This week President Trump made Israel his priority stop during his first foreign trip as president, a trip notably scheduled quicker than the past five U.S. presidents who visited Israel before him. The original purpose of the trip was to signal tighter US-Israel ties. Trump also wished to erase the acrimony many felt festered between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama.
Does President Trump plan on moving the US embassy to Jerusalem?
This question was asked of Bill Koenig on our television program Christ in Prophecy. Bill has been a White House Correspondent for the last fifteen years. He is president of a news website called World Watch Daily, and he publishes a weekly report called “Koenig’s Eye View from the White House.” Bill is also the author of a telling book titled Revealed: Obama’s Legacy.
[Note: Bill’s answer below has been edited slightly for grammar and clarity.]
Moving the U.S. Embassy
Presidents in recent years came to Israel naively believing they would solve the Middle East crisis, but when it doesn’t happen, they get irritated with Israel because they think Israel isn’t giving enough. John Kerry especially had the attitude. Kerry was so egotistical that he believed that the only reason there hadn’t been peace made in the last 20 years was because he personally hadn’t been working on it. Kerry couldn’t even handle it himself! He never listened to the people who actually had any experience in the peace process. John Kerry came up with a bunch of plans that basically had already failed before he had ever drafted them. It was almost like John Kerry had been on another planet for the past ten years.
Seldom do you see the Left and the Right in Israel agree on anything, but they wholeheartedly agreed that Secretary Kerry made the situation much, much worse than it already had been. Kerry even signed on to that disastrous UN Resolution 2334.
When it comes to Donald Trump bringing peace to the Middle East, I don’t believe he will end up blaming Israel if peace naturally isn’t achieved right away. President Trump campaigned on a promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and that’s just very pragmatic. Trump is well aware of the fact that if you keep the Two State Solution plan on the table, that’s just not a good move. I hope Trump totally takes it off the table. Just like in real estate. If you’re working on a real estate deal and you keep giving and giving and giving, and they don’t counter, then you take it off the table.#PresidentTrump campaigned on a promise to move the #USEmbassy to #Jerusalem. Click To Tweet
Right after Trump had his meeting with Netanyahu at the White House, Trump said basically, “Two State, one State — whatever they want to do.” Of course, the UN, the EU, the G20 — everybody went nuts! Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley defended Trump by stating he still believed in the Two State Solution, but that he was going to do some out-of-the-box thinking. Secretary of State Tillerson was at a G20 meeting and he also claimed Trump still favors a Two State Solution.
The following week Trump tweeted he did favor two states, but it was up to the Israelis and Palestinians to do what they wanted to do, which is the way it should be. The way I look at, Trump’s setting up a very smart strategy. Every deal given to Palestinian leaders, such as Arafat and Abbas, where virtually they were offered almost everything they could possibly want related to a Two State Solution, they’ve turned down. The same old plan has been on the table for decades. I say, if the Palestinians refuse to accept the Two State Solution, then take it off the table. That’s a very smart move, and the one I believe Trump is making.
In truth, the bottom line is that the Palestinians don’t really want two states, rather they want the annihilation of Israel. Just visit the Palestinian Peace Center located in Bethlehem. Can you believe the Palestinians call it a Peace Center? Give me a break! This center has nothing to do with Middle East peace. Even the Arab League just a couple weeks ago threatened that it would be a big mistake if the United States moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Who are they to determine where the United States puts our embassy? If the United States wants to move our embassy to the capital of Israel, which is Jerusalem, then we have every right to.The #Palestinians don't really want two states, rather they want the annihilation of #Israel. Click To Tweet
Every president the United States has elected in recent years, including the Bushes even, said they were going to move the embassy to Jerusalem. But, as soon as they were elected, they just backed off and forgot about it. These presidents have been reluctant for a number of reasons.
The number one reason has been terrorism. Back in 1995, when that embassy resolution was put in place, Feinstein and at that time her aid Dan Shapiro, who ended up being Obama’s ambassador to Israel, put a stipulation in that said it was up to the President every six months, if necessary, to determine when was a good time to move the embassy. Every time the president used that stipulation because of the fear of outrage among Muslims thereby causing chaos in the Middle East. No doubt, some of our embassies would very likely be attacked.
Truly we are living in exciting days!