| ||Netanyahu: All Nations Should Move Embassies to Jerusalem
| ||The Tower
Netanyahu called on all nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem, “the eternal capital of the Israeli people.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on all nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem on Thursday.
Speaking at a Likud party event ahead of President Donald Trump’s scheduled visit to Israel later this month, Netanyahu said that Jerusalem is the “eternal capital of the Israeli people and it is fitting that all embassies, especially that of our friend the United States, be moved to Jerusalem.”
All US presidents since 1995 have availed themselves of a provision in the law allowing the president to delay the move, if he signs a waiver affirming that in his judgment the move would harm America’s national security interests. The waiver must be signed every six months and Trump’s visit would be shortly before he is due to sign it.
While a report has surfaced that Trump has decided not to move the embassy to Jerusalem, the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office have both denied the report, and Jerusalem is now waiting expectantly for a final decision on the issue.
Most countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Some, like the United States, have a consulate-general in Jerusalem, the seat of Israel’s government.
Rectifying an Imbalance
In the article “Jerusalem Already Has Plenty of Embassies—Just Not to Israel,” which was published in the March 2017 issue of The Tower Magazine, Eylon Aslan-Levy noted that while no nation currently has an embassy to Israel located in Jerusalem, there are quite a few embassies in the city.
Ironically, those are embassies to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Aslan-Levy concluded by arguing that moving the American embassy should be viewed as a means to rectify an imbalance:
“Clearly, Jerusalem is the subject of a striking double standard, which no foreign ministry is willing to rationalize or justify. On the one hand, Israel is withheld recognition of its capital, and told it cannot host embassies there lest it give the impression that the international community recognizes its sovereignty in the city. But on the other hand, the Palestinians enjoy the privilege of diplomatic missions in the very same city, without any qualms in the international community about the effective hypocrisy,” he pointed out.
“Looked at this way, at least as a moral question, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem could be seen not be so much a gift as an act of redress. It would be an admission that the anachronistic proposal to make Jerusalem a UN trust territory is off the table. And it would be recognition that since the Palestinians—by accident—already enjoy diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, the denial of the same to the country that already exists and controls that city would be an act of inconsistency,” he wrote.