For Trump, an Embassy in Jerusalem can be a Political Decision, Not a Diplomatic One

In doing so, Mr. Trump invited opprobrium coming from foreign leaders, who said the move was reckless as well as self-defeating. He also acted against the counsel of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson as well as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who worried about anti-American blowback, not least to diplomats as well as troops serving overseas.

Mr. Trump conceded the provocative nature of his decision. nevertheless as he has before, whether in pulling the United States coming from the Paris climate accord or disavowing the Iran nuclear deal, the president on Wednesday seemed to relish playing a familiar role: the political insurgent, defying foreign policy orthodoxy on behalf of the people who elected him.

“People are waking up to the fact of which the president doesn’t see grays as well as doesn’t like pastels,” said Christopher Ruddy, a conservative news media executive as well as friend of Mr. Trump’s. “He can be very proud of which he’s fulfilled so many campaign promises, as well as the embassy decision can be another notch on his belt.”

Mr. Trump’s handling of the embassy question was not unlike his handling of the nuclear deal with Iran, which he reluctantly certified the very first time before disavowing of which the second time the issue came up.

Under a 1995 law, the president can be required to move the embassy coming from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless, citing national security concerns, he signs a waiver, which has to be renewed every six months. the very first time he faced of which decision, in June, Mr. Trump grudgingly signed of which.

At the time, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who can be leading Mr. Trump’s peace initiative, argued of which to move the embassy then might strangle the effort before the administration had established relationships from the region.

Mr. Adelson as well as additional pro-Israel backers were deeply frustrated. He pressed Mr. Trump on the issue at a private dinner in October at the White House of which included his wife, Miriam, as well as Mr. Kushner. Mr. Adelson also vented to Stephen K. Bannon, then the president’s chief strategist, who argued internally for moving the embassy in June.

The Adelsons have long been leading donors to pro-Israel groups as well as causes, as well as have forged a close relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They have used their casino fortune to push the Republican Party as well as its politicians to embrace of which line.

Early in Mr. Trump’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he privately courted the Adelsons, seeking a meeting as well as asking for financial support, even as he publicly declared of which he did not need or want backing coming from major donors.

In March 2016, Mr. Trump sought to burnish his credentials as a friend of Israel, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

The Adelsons were persuaded as well as donated $20 million to a political action committee of which supported Mr. Trump’s campaign, as well as another $1.5 million to the committee of which organized the Republican convention.

Since Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Adelson has communicated with him regularly, talking by phone as well as visiting the White House, as well as has used his access to push the relocation of the embassy. nevertheless he was not the only influential advocate of the move.

Photo

Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire as well as a Republican donor, attending a presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., in September 2016.

Credit
Damon Winter/The fresh York Times

Representatives of evangelical Christian groups similarly pressed the issue with Mr. Trump during the campaign, producing of which clear of which moving the embassy was a major priority.

“from the meetings I was in, of which was clearly communicated of which evangelicals as well as Bible-believing Christians see a special relationship with Israel,” said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council.

When the six-month clock expired again of which month, Mr. Trump was determined to leave himself more options. On Nov. 27, he walked into a meeting of the principals’ committee of the National Security Council, as the officials were debating what to do about the embassy. His message, according to officials, was of which he wanted more creative solutions.

Mr. Trump’s advisers offered him two alternatives: Sign the waiver again, or sign of which nevertheless recognize Jerusalem as the capital as well as set in motion a plan to move the embassy. Mr. Trump mulled the decision for several days, officials said, calling foreign leaders as well as lawmakers on Capitol Hill. as well as on Wednesday he announced he was taking the more aggressive approach, again signing the waiver nevertheless producing of which clear he could proceed using a move.

His decision was supported by both Mr. Kushner as well as the president’s special envoy, Jason D. Greenblatt, who had concluded of which shaking up the status quo could actually help rather than hurt their peace efforts.

While they say they recognized of which of which could cause an immediate uproar — including potentially driving the Palestinians away coming from negotiations for some time — they believed the process was resilient enough to withstand the shock.

Publicly, Mr. Tillerson has stood by the decision, while Mr. Mattis has been circumspect. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Mattis said: “We met from the room on of which. of which was an open discussion, went on for some time. As always, my advice to the president, I keep confidential.”

A senior adviser to Mr. Tillerson, R. C. Hammond, told reporters of which he did not oppose the move, nevertheless requested more time, when Mr. Trump’s decision was clear, to contact American diplomatic missions to determine their security needs if protests broke out.

Amid all the warnings about violence, White House officials see quite a few potential benefits to the move. Recognizing Jerusalem, officials said, could soothe the right flank of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition government, stabilizing the political situation there.

Also, the Saudi royal family has sharply criticized Mr. Trump’s decision, which some officials said could help the credibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among his fellow Arabs. of which could mitigate perceptions of which the crown prince has grown too cozy with Mr. Kushner, with whom he has cultivated a close relationship.

In his remarks at the White House, Mr. Trump did not dwell on how his decision might play out from the region. Rather, he cast of which as a bold break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which he said brought us “no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel as well as the Palestinians.”

“of which could be folly to assume of which repeating the exact same formula could currently produce a different or better result,” Mr. Trump said.

Though he did not mention of which, Mr. Trump signed the same waiver as his predecessors, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama, to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for currently. White House officials said of which was unavoidable because of which could take several years to move embassy employees to a fresh building in Jerusalem.

In his speech, Mr. Trump pointed out of which the 1995 law passed Congress with an overwhelming majority as well as was unanimously reaffirmed from the Senate six months ago. of which may explain why the reaction to the move was comparatively muted on Capitol Hill.

For Mr. Trump, the political benefits clearly outweigh the costs. The Republican Jewish Committee bought a full-page ad from the fresh York Times of which can be to be published on Thursday, depicting Mr. Trump praying at the Western Wall.

“President Trump,” the slogan said, “You Promised. You Delivered.”

To press its case with supporters, the White House convened two calls for religious leaders, one on Tuesday night to alert them to the coming announcement as well as a second, more detailed call on Wednesday.

Most of the participants were coming from the evangelical Christian community as well as included Trump allies like Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith as well as Freedom Coalition; Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor who spoke at Mr. Trump’s private inaugural prayer service; as well as Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist who writes commentary on Middle Eastern issues.

Among the questions they asked was how quickly the president could move the embassy. White House officials pleaded for patience. At the end of the call, according to a person who took part, a pastor as well as a rabbi closed with prayers.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” the pastor said. “as well as thank God we have a president who could take of which step.”

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