Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized President Donald Trump on Tuesday for not following through on his assurances to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The New York Democrat called out what he sees as “indecisiveness” on the part of the president, who promised during the campaign to move the embassy from its current home in Tel Aviv.
“As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem,” Schumer said in a statement. “Moving the embassy as soon as possible would appropriately commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and show the world that the U.S. definitively acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
Schumer’s remarks come after Trump said last weekend that he wanted to wait for the results of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks before he makes a decision on relocating the embassy.
“I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem,” Trump told Mike Huckabee during a radio interview, according to Reuters. “If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen.”
A law enacted by Congress in 1995 recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and says the American embassy should be located there. However, the law includes presidential waiver authority, which allows presidents to postpone the relocation of the embassy to “protect the national security interests” of the U.S. Since the law was passed, all U.S. presidents have all exercised the waiver authority to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.
Trump issued a six-month waiver in June, meaning he will have to consider the issue again by Dec. 1. The president told Huckabee he would “make a decision in the not too distant future.”
Schumer, long one of the Senate’s most prominent pro-Israel voices, said moving the embassy now would make “[U.S.] commitment to Israel’s capital clear.”
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