Leo Hohmann – December 6, 2017
Donald Trump made history on Wednesday, becoming the first American president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
He said his decision was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality” and that the move should not be interpreted as a departure from the U.S. stance of working toward a peaceful “two-state solution” to the age-old Arab-Israeli conflict.
In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that city as Israel’s Capital.
“This Act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago,” Trump said in remarks to the nation from the White House Wednesday afternoon.
But the law contained a clause allowing the president to sign a “waiver” that would delay its implementation. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama signed the waiver every six months, refusing to let the law passed by Congress go into effect.
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital was one of the promises he made to those who voted for him in November 2016, and it’s now another promise he can cross off his list.