Following the announcement that Guatemala has decided to move its embassy to Yerushalyim, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement predicting that “other countries will recognize Jerusalem and announce the relocation of their embassies. A second country did it and I repeat it: There will be others, it’s just the start and it’s important.”
The second country PM Netanyahu was apparently referring was Honduras, according to a Channel 10 report on Monday evening.
Israeli officials were quoted saying that the foreign ministry was discussing the matter with Tegucigalpa, and they expect Honduras will announce the move sometime after Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez is sworn in for a second term on Wednesday.
But the list is longer than that. Channel 10 said 15-20 countries are telling the foreign ministry they are interested in following suit. Togo and Paraguay are said to be among them.
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel Radio that Israel is in talks with ten other countries about moving their embassies, though she would not disclose which ones.
But she told Haaretz that Israel is focusing on persuading them to recognize Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, as President Trump did, and not necessarily moving their embassies.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the American move might not materialize for several years, in any case. Guatemala stipulated that it would authorize the move only after the U.S. does so.
Not surprisingly, the Palestinians and Arabs are not welcoming the news. Jordan’s foreign minister calls Guatemala’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a “provocation” and violation of international law.
“We reject Guatemala decision to move embassy to Jerusalem & condemn it as absurd provocation, violation of international law,” tweeted Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister.
“This is a disappointing decision that we must fight by the way of political and diplomatic measures,” Majdi al-Khalidi, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s diplomatic affairs adviser, told The Jerusalem Post.