By: Mahmoud Ghorab
By announcing his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, US President Donald Trump did what his predecessors were unable to do.
Last June, and like all United States Presidents, Trump postponed implementation of Congress's decision to transfer the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He declined to sign a six-month waiver blocking the move as every predecessor have done since 1995.
But this time, Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and orderd transfering U.S embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump implemented his promise, during presidential campaign last year, that he would move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
It is a matter of Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, passed by the Congress with overwhelming approval in both the House and the Senate in 1995, with 374 yes to 37 no in the House and 93 yes to 5 no in the Senate. The Act asserted that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel and that US Embassy should be established there "no later than May 31, 1999." The Act stressed that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city as Israel's capital. The Act permits the President to postpone implementing this Act for six-month periods if the President determines it is necessary to protect the "national security interests of the United States," as it falls within the powers of the President as the highest executive authority.
The following is the most prominent information about this Act:
1- The Act was issued in 1995, in the era of Bill Clinton and stated that the United States should move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a specific date.
2- The Act stated that this step could be put off for six months at a time as long as the President "determines and reports to Congress in advance that such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States."
3- The Act-passing efforts in Congress led by Senate majority leader Bob Dole, who was the first to introduce a bill on moving the US embassy.
4-The reasons why such a waiver might be needed are not different from they were in 1995. According to TIME, though both the Clinton Administration and Israeli government supported the move to Jerusalem in principle, they preferred to see the peace process more stabilized before confronting the explosive issue of Jerusalem.
in this aspect, as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush deferred implementation of congress act, and Barack Obama ignored him, although the first and second promised during the election campaigns. Both Bill Clinton and George W Bush, also promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, they backed away and deferred implementation of the 1995 Act, while Barack Obama has ignored it.
Given the dire consequences it will bring to the future of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the successive US presidents ignored implementing of this Act. For more than 20 years, successive US presidents have been forced to sign a six-month waiver blocking the move US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were no less sympathetic to Israel than Trump, but they bowed to what they received from their advisors and assistants on the seriousness of taking such a step.
previous reports have said Trump might follow his predecessors in the White House or merely naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, without actually moving the embassy. But the question is what are the changes that took place over the last six months, encouraging Trump to escalate by naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ?
Perhaps the most important answer lies in the fact that the implementation of the Act to move the embassy to Jerusalem comes within a series of actions initiated by Trump Administration that serve Israel's interests. These actions included the appointment of David Friedman as US ambassador to Tel Aviv, known for his strong hostility to the two-state solution, the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in Washington, and the US House of Representatives decision to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
According to CNN, there is another reason pushes Trump to carry out this move, which will bring serious consequences to the region. CNN mentioned that this reason is the decline in the popularity of Trump to 35% and his strong focus fulfill his prudential promises in a difficult year. The decision of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is coming at the time Trump is under considerable political pressure, as Former national security adviser Michael Flynn brought the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election to President Trump's inner circle.