White House announces ‘postponement’ of Jerusalem embassy move

White House announces ‘postponement’ of Jerusalem embassy move, by Michael Wilner.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday “postponed” delivery on his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, signing a waiver that officially delays a congressional mandate to do so.

Explaining the move, White House aides said Trump hoped to maximize his chances of brokering a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, “fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement, however, that “no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the president’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance.”

The decision disappointed Israel’s government, which lobbied for the move until the last moment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to US Ambassador David Friedman on Monday in a last-ditch effort to persuade the Americans to carry out Trump’s campaign pledge, and the issue was also raised during Trump’s visit to Israel last week.

Not sure that keeping the pressure up on the Palestinians wouldn’t have made a deal more likely. This would seem to lessen the likelihood of a peace deal.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific