The proposal to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim has taken on new life, as a committee of the House of Representatives began discussions of the move which was an early goal of the Trump administration but since put on the shelf.
Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida, who chairs the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee for National Security, is calling for relocation, with the U.S. consulate building in the capital’s Arnona neighborhood as a possible site, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
The subcommittee is in charge of security arrangements for U.S. diplomatic missions across the globe.
The White House repeated its position on the matter: not now but not saying when either.
“The president has always made it very clear that it is a matter of when, not if. We have no news to share at this time,” a White House official said in answer to a query.
In June, the president, following his predecessors, signed a waiver that delays for six months any relocation of the embassy. The waiver expires on December 1, but he is expected to renew it, a bow to the exigencies of Mideast politics. Washington has been warned by the Palestinians and others that such a move would be seen as prejudicial to the peace process and would provoke angry reactions.
Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. told the subcommitte: “I believe that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and relocating our embassy there on incontestably Israeli sovereign territory would be sensible, prudent and efficient for the United States government.”
Dore Gold, a former director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, also spoke in favor of the proposal, and voiced confidence that the administration would follow through.
“It is my view that President Donald Trump has made a commitment in that regard, and I believe he will stand by what he has said,” Gold said.