Israel’s political system reacts to US President Donald Trump’s decision today (Thursday) to sign the waiver to postpone the US embassy’s transfer to Jerusalem by another 6 months. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office says the move will ‘distance peace’ while Opposition leader Isaac Herzog describes Trump’s decision as a ‘lesson’ for Netanyahu.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Shortly after the White House announced that US President Donald Trump had signed the order rejecting the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem, the Israeli prime minister’s office was quick to respond and said Thursday that Israel’s consistent position was that the American embassy should be in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. “Although disappointed at the failure to transfer the embassy at this time, Israel appreciates the president’s friendly words and promise to transfer the embassy at a later time.”

The White House said that Trump signed the order to allow negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to resume. The Prime Minister’s office responded saying that “the existence of embassies outside the capital distances peace since it contributes to the revival of the Palestinian illusion that the Jewish people and state have no connection to Jerusalem.” Palestinian officials expressed support for the order and called it “a chance for peace.”

Earlier today, Trump signed the waiver postponing the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Thursday, meaning that the embassy will remain in Tel Aviv for now. The waiver Trump signed delays the relocation, which was approved in 1995 by Congress, for another six months.

Waiver postpones law-required transfer for another 6 months

Waiver postpones law-required transfer for another 6 months Photo Credit: Krokodyl, Sky News/Channel 2 News

Israel’s politicians were quick to respond as well.  “There is no peace deal based on the division of Jerusalem,” Minister Naftali Bennett (Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi) said in response to President Trump’s decision. “The delay in the transfer of the embassy actually makes it difficult for real peace because it fosters a false expectation among the Palestinians to divide Jerusalem, which will never happen. Only full recognition of a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty will end the illusions and pave the way for true peace with our neighbors.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) also responded to the signing of the order and said that the transfer of the US embassy, ​​as well as any other embassy to Jerusalem, was a matter of request: “Unfortunately, Netanyahu learned another lesson today, that there are no shortcuts and anyone who wants international recognition must reach a courageous political understanding,” said Herzog. “From what Trump understands, I hope that after 50 years, Netanyahu will also be more modest.”

“I regret the decision to postpone the embassy transfer, ​​but it is certain that President Trump will keep his promise and transfer the embassy to the capital of Israel. I will continue to act to ensure this will happen as soon as possible, and we will provide the US with all the assistance necessary,” responded Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat.