Breaking a key campaign promise, President Trump has signed a controversial waiver allowing him to not move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Trump, who vowed to move the embassy on ‘Day one,’ is now following the same policy as presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush in refusing to take the explosive step.
A U.S. official said Trump remained committed to his campaign pledge and would eventually fulfill it, though no timetable had been set.
“He has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy,” the White House said in a statement. “The question is not if that move happens, but only when.”
The White House said the move was designed to “maximize the chances” of negotiating a Mideast peace deal.
Right-wing Israelis and their supporters in the U.S. welcomed Trump’s pledge to move the embassy. They have since soured on the incoming leader as he shows no signs of a rapid policy shift on Jerusalem and other issues.
The dovish J Street lobby welcomed the move in a statement.
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is required by an act of Congress in 1995 but can be delayed with six-month waivers, citing national security concerns. The latest waiver, signed by Obama, expired on Thursday.