Now we have dueling reports, one saying Trump will move the embassy and a new one saying he probably won’t:
BREAKING: Officials: Trump likely to waive requirement to move US embassy to Jerusalem but may recognize city as Israel's capital.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 30, 2017
President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a highly charged declaration that risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East, officials said Thursday. The announcement would be a way to offset a likely decision delaying his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv.
Trump is likely to issue the waiver by Monday, officials said, though they cautioned that the president could always decide otherwise.
At Monday’s White House meeting, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the case that moving the embassy in Israel would pose a grave danger to American diplomats and troops stationed in the Middle East and Muslim nations, the U.S. officials said.
King Abdullah II, who met Trump and Tillerson this week in Washington, made the same argument, telling the president and others that any change to the embassy in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would create unrest and instability throughout the region and drive up anti-American sentiment, according to the officials.
After a lengthy back and forth at the White House meeting, Trump and his inner circle appeared to accept those concerns but insisted that the president had to demonstrate his stated commitment to move the embassy, the officials said. The discussion then turned toward waiving the embassy move for another six months but combining it with recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital, which the Israelis have long sought.
So Trump might declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel but not move the embassy, at least right now, due to safety concerns.
It seems to me, though, that those safety concerns are always going to be there. If we can’t move it now because of this, then we’ll never be able to move it.