June 2, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA: Disappointing Embassy Move Delay Rewards Terrorist Threats & Harms Peace Possibilities

ZOA Urges Pres. Trump to Commit to a Prompt Firm Deadline for Move

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

President Trump’s decision to sign a waiver delaying the move of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem rewards terrorist threats and damages peace prospects.  We are living in an era when combating radical Islamic terrorism is a serious U.S. national security issue.  The U.S. cannot afford to appease terrorist threats – for such appeasement always leads to even more terror and more threats.  Moreover, America has delayed the embassy move every six months since 1995, and this has not brought peace any closer.  Delaying the embassy move, in fact, impedes peace prospects by making the Palestinian Arabs believe that the eternal Jewish city of Jerusalem is on the table – or rather, on the cutting block.  Only if the Palestinian Authority sees that America is standing with Israel will there be a possibility that the PA will drop its outrageous demands to dismember Jerusalem.  As President Trump said during his 2016 AIPAC speech: “[W]hen the United States stands with Israel, the chances of peace really rise and rises exponentially.

Delaying the move harms the President’s credibility with America’s allies:  In March 2016, the President promised, “the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one,” promised to “move the American embassy to the Jewish people’s eternal capital Jerusalem” and assured that “when I say something, I mean it, I mean it.” The US embassy is located in the declared capital of every other nation, other than Israel.  As long as the American embassy is not in Israel’s capital, Israel is being treated like a “second-class citizen.”

The US embassy is located in the declared capital of every other nation, other than Israel.  As long as the American embassy is not in Israel’s capital, Israel is being treated like a “second-class citizen.”

ZOA thus reiterates our deep disappointment and concerns we expressed two weeks ago when the news broke that President Trump would not authorize the embassy move during his trip to Israel.  (See ZOA Deeply Disappointed That Pres. Trump Isn’t Moving U.S. Embassy to Israel’s Capital: This Rewards Terror Threats, Promotes Myth that Jerusalem is Holy to Muslims, Harms Trumps Credibility,” May 18, 2017.)

ZOA does appreciate the White House statement confirming the President’s intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and continues to believe that the President will fulfill his promise.  The White House stated yesterday: “as he [President Trump] has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”  (White House Statement on the American Embassy in Israel, June 1, 2017.) 

ZOA urges the President to make “when” as soon as possible, and to commit to a prompt, firm deadline.  The pro-Israel community has waited for the move for almost seven decades since Israel’s rebirth, 50 years since Jerusalem’s reunification, and 22 years since Congress overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requiring the move.

ZOA also respectfully disagrees with the President’s reasoning for delaying the move.  Yesterday’s White House statement said: “President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests.” 

In fact, delaying the move will damage U.S. national security, because it rewards terror threats – and will thus impede U.S. efforts to combat terror throughout the world and at home.

Delaying the embassy move has not brought peace during the past 70 years; it’s not going to work now.  The reason there is no peace is because the Palestinian Arabs want to destroy all of Israel and continue to incite and pay terrorists to murder Jews – not because of the location of the U.S. embassy. 

President Trump saw first-hand what the real problem is when Palestinian Authority (PA) dictator Mahmoud Abbas lied to President Trump, in both Washington DC and Bethlehem, about the PA/PLO’s terror incitement and payments to terrorists.  (See ZOA: At Trump Press Conference, Abbas Lies about Incitement, Makes Pro Terror Demands: PA Rejects Pres. Trump’s Request that PA Stop Paying Terrorists to Murder Jews,” May 4, 2017.)

In reality, moving the embassy will encourage real peace.  The Palestinian Authority needs to be disabused of the fantasy that they can once again divide Jerusalem.  There was no peace when Jordan invaded and illegally occupied Jerusalem’s old city (1948-1967).  Instead, Arab snipers and terrorists spent those years blowing up 58 synagogues, denying Jews access to their holiest sites, destroying 40,000 gravestones in the 3,000-year-old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, persecuting Christians, and using the hills of eastern Jerusalem as a vantage point for shooting Jews in their homes and Jewish children walking to and from school in the western portion of Jerusalem.  The Jewish people will not return to those days.

Coincidentally, the ZOA could not respond to the disappointing news about President Trump signing a waiver delaying the US Embassy move to Jerusalem yesterday, because we were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.  Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals during which Jews brought gifts to the Temple in Jerusalem, in accordance with the Torah’s commandments (Deuteronomy 16:16).  The holiday is one of the many testaments to the Jewish people’s eternal connection to Jerusalem.  

The fact that delaying the embassy move is mistaken is underscored by the happy reaction of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish groups and regimes.  J Street, Iran, neo-Nazis and the Palestinian Authority are dancing in the streets, celebrating President Trump’s signing of the waiver.  Anti-Israel group J Street publicly “welcomed” Pres. Trump’s signing of the waiver.  A commenter on the Iranian regime’s website, Press TV, wrote: “Donald Trump Lied to the Genocide Doing Zionists in Israel and They Fell for it Ha Ha Ha, Stupid is as Stupid Does.”  The neo-Nazi site, The Daily Stormer, celebrated with an article entitled: “Trump Breaks Promise To Kikes To Move Embassy to Jerusalem,” which gloated: 

During his campaign, Trump appeared before an assembly of vicious kikes and read from a teleprompter a speech he later admitted was written by his kike son-in-law Kushner.  In that speech, he pledged to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . . Trump has just signed this same waiver and the kikes are gnashing their rat teeth and rending their clothes.”

It’s time for the President to keep his promises to his real friends, and move the embassy.