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Blocking embassy move to Jerusalem Trump's wisest decision yet

By signing the waiver against moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, President Donald Trump displayed responsibility and sound judgment.
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump (L) participate in a wreath-laying with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX3794Q
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The decision by US President Donald Trump to sign the June 1 waiver suspending the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was rather expected. Nonetheless, when the signer is one of the most unpredictable politicians in the world, the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps should be sighing in relief at his decision. Concerned American citizens can also find some solace in the responsible move by their president on this score. This may be an indication that he is starting to understand that “in the Oval Office you view things differently,” as Republican President Gerald Ford said in 1974 when asked why he was not fulfilling his campaign pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Ford explained at the time that such a move could undermine efforts to achieve a just and sustainable peace between Israel and its neighbors. A decade later, Ford also signed a 1984 letter urging Congress to reject proposed legislation by New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan that would have required the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem. Former President Jimmy Carter and former President Richard Nixon also wrote similar letters; former Secretaries of State Dean Rusk, Cyrus Vance and Edmund Muskie also wrote a joint statement saying such a move would jeopardize US interests in the Middle East. The former top officials' messages generally noted that moving the embassy would damage US ties with the Arab world and harm Israel’s vital interests.

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