Israeli media (example, example) is reporting that President Trump has notified Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US Embassy will stay put in Tel Aviv…at least for now. (Interestingly, The Jerusalem Post is actually denying the report!)
Over the past three days, we have examined the controversy surrounding the move. In “To Move or Not to Move,” we considered:
- Will the US Embassy move to Jerusalem?
- The history behind the US Embassy in Tel Aviv
- Final thoughts about moving the Embassy
Great debate continues to surround the decision. In 1995, US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, mandating the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, a last-minute addendum provided for the president’s waiver for 6-month periods of time if the nation’s national security is at risk. Every president since then has signed waivers every 6 months, leaving the embassy in Tel Aviv.
Unless President Trump has a secret up his sleeve, he is likely to sign a waiver prior to the May 31 deadline to do so. Given the revived efforts at peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, it is no big surprise that Trump would backpedal on his campaign promise to move the embassy.
However, the decision is not permanent. Therefore, some are not only pressing for the embassy to be moved at some point, but are proving strategic plans in which to carry it out. One major proponent of the move is the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, whose US branch presented a letter and a strategic plan to President Trump recently. You can see both here:
Again, this is an issue that must be worked out very carefully, in coordination with our Israeli allies. It is a matter of prayer, as this is a spiritual issue (not a political one). I hope you will pray to that end.