Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem was once a cornerstone of President Trump’s new cozy policy to Israel — a powerful statement about the Donald’s commitment to the “eternal capital of the Jewish state.”
It was so crucial that the incoming president considered decreeing the move at a minute after midnight on inauguration day.
Now it’s one option to be considered at some unspecified time in the future, if and when it makes sense to U.S. policymakers. In other words: Don’t hold your breath.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said when questioned about his commitment to the move during a joint press conference with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
So much for a clean break that the Orange One promised from previous administrations, Republican and Democratic, that saw the move as untenable.
Trump has apparently been listening to advisers that warn him that moving the embassy could enrage the Arab world and make achieving other goals (got peace talks?) even more difficult.
It remains to be seen how Jewish right-wingers in and out of Israel will respond to what should be a bitter betrayal over the embassy move.
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner