Trump’s vow to move embassy to Jerusalem is now a ‘decision-making process’

US Politics
on 38 Comments

At his press briefing yesterday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer three times addressed Jerusalem and repeatedly used the words “decision-making process” to characterize the lack of immediate action on Donald Trump’s promise to move the U.S. embassy there.

As I’ve noted yesterday, through several press inquiries, there’s no decision, we’re at the very early stages of that decision-making process.

As I noted, John, it’s very early in this process, we’re at the beginning stages of this decision-making process, and his team’s going to continue to consult with stake-holders as we get there.

I think I’ve answered it twice now. We are at the early stages in this decision-making process… There’s a reason you go through a decision-making process, and that’s what we’re in the process of starting right now, so I just don’t want to get ahead of– if it was already a decision, we wouldn’t be going through a process.

“Stake-holders” is not a good sign for embassy-movers; it surely refers to Trump’s phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi yesterday. The Daily News says that the Trump administration is walking back the promise to move the embassy. CNN says he’s still committed, but is planning to move cautiously.

The New York Times reported that the Israeli media are on the edges of their seats awaiting such a move.

The Israeli news media was filled with speculation on Sunday that the Trump administration would immediately announce the embassy move — as a de facto recognition of Israel’s annexation of predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, which it captured from Jordan during the 1967 war.

And though Netanyahu and Trump had a friendly phone conversation on Sunday– “The White House seemed to seek to stifle speculation of any immediate announcement.”

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat says he’s in talks with US officials to facilitate the move, but it won’t happen “in a day.” The Times of Israel:

“From the conversations I’ve had with US government officials, I know they are serious in their intentions [to move the embassy],” Barkat told Army Radio.

Shmuel Rosner sees the writing on the wall and expresses disappointment in the Jewish Journal:

Trump might have calculated that this is one election promise he can easily break without having to pay a heavy price for it…

Though he imagines scenarios under which Trump could follow through.

Trump will do it, if Trump gets something out of it… Trump could be saving it for later – for the Netanyahu visit in February, for the AIPAC Policy Conference in March, for Israel’s 50th Jerusalem Day in May. From a PR standpoint, saving Jerusalem for later is wise.

Oh: the blessed PR standpoint. Peter Beinart in the Forward echoes Arab leaders’ warnings that moving the embassy is not just about PR.

Unless they change course, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are going to get Jews killed.

Meantime, Netanyahu has approved hundreds more illegal Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, presumably to provide more evidence to a dubious world that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

P.S. Rosner informs readers that he is on the record saying the embassy will move. My bet has been, and is, that it won’t.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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38 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    January 24, 2017, 11:50 am

    So according to Rosner the delay has nothing to do with a political u-turn or a suitable quote from a removals firm. Trump is simply saving it for a rainy but more suitable day when he thinks that he can” get something back ” in return. As if Ziobots understand the principle of give and take – their philosophy simply being “we deserve , we want and we will whinge and moan about Anti-Semitism if we don’t get what we want”.

    His “sane” advisors have probably already laid out the consequences of the “move” and hopefully even the loony Donald will sense a self made trap.

    All fairly irrelevant in the longer term of course given the death of the 2SS.

    • just
      January 24, 2017, 12:35 pm

      “His “sane” advisors have probably already laid out the consequences of the “move” and hopefully even the loony Donald will sense a self made trap.”

      Where are these “sane advisors”?

      “Former Executive Director of Anti-Immigrant Hate Group FAIR Joins Trump Administration

      Julie Kirchner, the former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has been named chief of staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the largest federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

      Kirchner worked at America’s most influential anti-immigrant organization for almost ten years before leaving in 2015 to become an immigration advisor to the Trump campaign.

      The appointment, reported by multiple sources, suggests that President Trump intends to follow through with his promises to anti-immigrant advocates. Throughout his campaign, Trump worked closely with nativist leaders and has appointed individuals such as U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (Attorney General) and Mike Pompeo (Director of the Central Intelligence Agency) who maintain cozy relationships with America’s anti-immigrant movement.

      After Trump’s election, and certainly throughout his campaign, nativists have rejoiced with their newfound intimacy with the White House, and Kirchner’s appointment is only the latest of extremists groups suddenly enjoying a direct line to federal power.

      Since its founding in 1979, FAIR has push an agenda centered on a complete moratorium on all immigration to the United States and defined by vicious attacks on non-white immigrants. Its founder was white nationalist John Tanton, an avowed eugenicist who created the modern anti-immigrant movement in the United States. …”

      https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/01/23/former-executive-director-anti-immigrant-hate-group-fair-joins-trump-administration

      (Spicer is in a league of his own… I find it nearly impossible to listen to him and his propaganda/fecaliths)

      • just
        January 24, 2017, 1:35 pm

        “The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, clearing the way for what is expected to be an easy confirmation … 

        Haley was approved by unanimous voice vote, despite some Democrats’ concerns about her lack of experience in foreign policy and international affairs. 

        Governor Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s pick for UN ambassador, said on Wednesday she is committed to the bipartisan consensus in the U.S. against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

        Haley told the committee during her first confirmation hearing on January 5, when asked about Israel, that she supports relocating the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as Trump suggested he would do. She also called herself a proponent of the two-state solution adding that she understands how settlements “can hinder peace.”

        Haley criticized the Obama administration for not vetoing UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which challenged the legality of settlements. The resolution passed last month, she said, was “harmful” to the two-state solution and  “a kick in the gut” to Israel. 

        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.767270?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        Another “kick in the gut” to Palestinians, Americans, and to ‘international law’.

        “Haley has little foreign policy experience, but she argued during her confirmation hearings that her executive experience as a governor gave her deal-making and coalition-building skills that will come in handy in dealing with the more than 190 member states at the United Nations. She also stressed that she will ensure that U.N. priorities are aligned with U.S. priorities, including by defending Israel when it is singled out for condemnation.”

        http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/nikki-haley-senate-committee-approves-234109

    • Mooser
      January 24, 2017, 12:45 pm

      “Trump might have calculated that this is one election promise he can easily break without having to pay a heavy price for it…” “Rosner”

      Well, if Trump doesn’t move the Embassy, good gosh, won’t he owe the Zionists? I’m sure there’s a ton of stuff they can suggest to make up for not moving it.

  2. Mooser
    January 24, 2017, 12:54 pm

    “Unless they change course, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are going to get Jews killed”

    I think “get Jews killed” is Beinart-speak for ’cause a huge number of Jews to leave Israel’.

    • MHughes976
      January 24, 2017, 2:10 pm

      It’s interesting to see how this is the first matter over which Trump, so much at least in image the decision maker and man of strong will, hesitates. I wish Beinart had said ‘get many people killed, many of them Jewish’.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    January 24, 2017, 1:12 pm

    RE: “Trump might have calculated that this is one election promise he can easily break without having to pay a heavy price for it…” ~ Shmuel Rosner

    MY COMMENT: Over the Adelson’s (Shelly’s and Miriam’s) dead bodies canceled checks!

    P.S. Damn, it’s hot as hell in here! A nice, cold glass of pink champagne certainly would hit the spot.
    Arnon?
    Arnon, dear?
    Arnoooooooon! ! !

  4. yonah fredman
    January 24, 2017, 2:30 pm

    I certainly hope it won’t move and since mattis and Tillerson are two decisive voices, I think there will not be a move. But trump is a wild man, so who knows?

  5. amigo
    January 24, 2017, 2:38 pm

    On CNN today!!.

    Spicer was asked if the trump administration opposes or supports the decision by Israel to build another 2500 Settlements ( the word Illegal is verboten in the press room ) and he refused to answer the question directly.He chose instead to refer to the upcoming meeting between Trump and nutandyahoo —oh and that the US and Israel are allies.

    Obviously no condemnation.No claims of being “deeply troubled ” or “unhelpful moves ” blah blah blah.In a perverse way , it is almost a relief from having to listen to the previous admin.

  6. amigo
    January 24, 2017, 2:51 pm

    “Trump will do it, if Trump gets something out of it… Trump could be saving it for later – for the Netanyahu visit in February, for the AIPAC Policy Conference in March, for Israel’s 50th Jerusalem Day in May. From a PR standpoint, saving Jerusalem for later is wise. ”

    Wtf , is Israel going to give in return . This has to be the most hypothetical suggestions of the century.Israel doesn,t give –it only takes and who the hell does Trump think he is , trying to negotiate with the chosen people.God will smite him.

    Second thoughts—maybe Trump will demand that Israel will guarantee him a second term.

    • JWalters
      January 24, 2017, 7:16 pm

      Interesting points. Israel gives American politicians campaign “donations”, and favorable press in the “American” media (instead of mega-bankrolling their opponent and character assassinating them in the media). Trump seems willing to disdain both the money and the media. And for some in Trump’s Evangelical base, Israel may be due for an Armageddon.

  7. David Doppler
    January 24, 2017, 3:03 pm

    Could this be the initiation of a “deal-making process?”

    Whatever Israel wants, he’s happy to promise, but then the costs start being enumerated. He says, I want to help you out, but, if I do what you want, it’s going to cost me x, y, & z. What does the US get in return? And what do you have for us to give to the Palestinians and Saudis, and EU, and everyone else, to pay for what it is you want?

    Let’s enumerate wants and costs, and negotiate conflicting interests. See if we can make a deal. But let’s negotiate it. Let’s get it all on the table. Everything you want! It’s yours. But it’s not free.

    • Mooser
      January 24, 2017, 3:21 pm

      “Everything you want! It’s yours. But it’s not free.”

      Yes, they will have to give Trump something. The US, not so much, as long as Trump gets his.

      • JWalters
        January 24, 2017, 7:32 pm

        Maybe Netanyahu will offer to not nuke Trump Tower.

  8. Annie Robbins
    January 24, 2017, 6:33 pm

    My bet has been, and is, that it won’t.

    me too phil

  9. RoHa
    January 24, 2017, 7:02 pm

    A candidate makes a promise, breaks it when elected?

    Never heard of that before.

  10. Mooser
    January 24, 2017, 7:06 pm

    “My bet has been, and is, that it won’t.”

    And so without doing a thing, Trump has let down Israel, and will owe them for it. That’s some negotiator!

  11. Keith
    January 24, 2017, 7:07 pm

    PHIL- (quoting Shmuel Rosner)- “Trump will do it, if Trump gets something out of it…”

    How about full Israeli/AIPAC support if there is an impeachment attempt?

  12. ToivoS
    January 24, 2017, 8:06 pm

    Damn I was hoping that Trump would have moved the embassy to Jerusalem. That would have definitely thrown a wrench into the 2ss for Israelis and Palestinians. I think this is a good example of the dog who always chases cars: What happens if the dog finally catches one?

    I have do doubt that Trump would have moved the embassy, but it is the Israelis that are getting cold feet. We will be sure of that when it is finally announced that the embassy will not be moved and there will no objection from the Israel lobby.

  13. inbound39
    January 24, 2017, 8:45 pm

    Me three……..anyone with the very basics of a strategic intellect can see that shifting the embassy to Jerusalem is going to trigger a large number of deaths,Israeli and Palestinian in the immediate area and it will undoubtedly spread to areas in Europe and America….particularly when you have Kahanist terrorists living and walking free in America.

    • CigarGod
      January 25, 2017, 9:07 am

      So?
      What is a large number versus an acceptable number?
      It spread to europe and usa decades ago.

      • inbound39
        January 25, 2017, 11:55 am

        There has been a sharp rise in anti semitism in Europe and America in recent years CigarGod.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2017, 12:45 pm

        do you mean anti israel or anti semitism? i am not in europe so can’t speak for that. but how are you gauging anti semitism in america? who is informing you? the press or ADL? i ask because i see a big push to change the definition of antisemitism to include anger or opposition to israel/israeli policies and/or those who support bds. if that altered definition takes root and spreads, huge proportions of our population would be considered anti semitic.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2017, 1:53 pm

        “There has been a sharp rise in anti semitism in Europe and America in recent years”

        In order to get this in proportion, shall we use the amount of anti-black, or anti-Muslim incidents as a baseline (not to mention the normal level of violence in a society) from which to compute the “sharp rise in antisemitism”?

      • catalan
        January 25, 2017, 5:04 pm

        “There has been a sharp rise in anti semitism in Europe and America in recent years” – Inbound
        I live in the United States and have not felt almost any ill feeling towards Jews either now or at any time. Interest towards the Middle East is limited only to a small group of people who talk to each other so they all think it is a big topic, whereas for the working classes this would be like discussing the origin of the universe.
        I wonder what is the evidence for this assertion.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2017, 7:19 pm

        Interest towards the Middle East is limited only to a small group of people who talk to each other so they all think it is a big topic

        like global warming no doubt.

      • catalan
        January 25, 2017, 9:59 pm

        “like global warming no doubt.”
        Yes, both global warming and the Middle East rank very low on the list of concerns of the people I encounter. In fact, neither registers. Working people are not too interested in such things. I suppose when people retire and their kids leave, they start worrying about the grand matters.
        Here people are also overall very religious – so that really changes the outlook on things, it is a more fearful, humble, fatalistic view.

      • CigarGod
        January 26, 2017, 10:50 am

        Inbound39,
        Annie’s comment is on the mark.
        How do we/you know?
        There is a terrific video “orwell rolls in his grave.”
        It answers Annie’s question, and I think it will leave you despondent for days.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 26, 2017, 11:27 am

        i’ll check it out

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2017, 5:14 pm

        “Here people are also overall very religious – so that really changes the outlook on things, it is a more fearful, humble, fatalistic view.”

        I’m sorry, I must be missing something. The people are “very religious”? Which religion are you talking about which inculcates this fearful, humble, fatalistic view?

      • gamal
        January 26, 2017, 5:19 pm

        “check it out”

        thanks very interesting learned a lot of stuff, lot of detail, i will never run out of ignorance.

  14. Ossinev
    January 25, 2017, 7:04 am

    @amigo
    “No claims of being “deeply troubled ” or “unhelpful moves ” blah blah blah.In a perverse way , it is almost a relief from having to listen to the previous admin”

    Totally agree. The time honoured “response by a White House spokesman ” routine had become so predictable and so so boring. Donald will probably change all that – hell he may even give up the charade altogether and offer to finance the new settlements himself providing he is given the opportunity to build a golf course/hotel complex in each one. At the end of the day to America`s latest saviour it`s all about business and maximising real estate profit isn`t it?

  15. eljay
    January 25, 2017, 9:47 am

    According to this Dec. 12, 2016 article:

    … During a March address to AIPAC, Trump said he intended to “move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.” In a television interview that month Trump assured the move would happen “fairly quickly.”

    However, shortly after Trump’s November 8 victory, Walid Phares, one of his foreign policy advisers, appeared to walk back the pledge to relocate the embassy.

    “Many presidents of the United States have committed to do that, and he said as well that he will do that, but he will do it under consensus,” Phares said, causing some confusion. He later clarified that he meant “consensus at home,” yet what he means by that is still somewhat murky …

    If it’s possible for Trump to do so, I imagine he will advocate the move but leave the formal authorization / approval to others. That way, if things:
    – go well, he can boast that he made good on his promise to “the Jewish people”;
    – go poorly, he can blame the people responsible for the ill-advised decision.

  16. Boo
    January 25, 2017, 12:28 pm

    “we’re at the beginning stages of this decision-making process, and his team’s going to continue to consult with stake-holders as we get there.”

    Heresy! Barely four days in office, and Mr. Outsider is sounding like a fulsome politico already!

  17. Ossinev
    January 25, 2017, 12:50 pm

    @just
    “Where are these “sane advisors”?”
    Sorry Just I have to believe that at least some of the coterie of arslikkans with which he has surrounded himself have a degree of sanity and will discreetly steer him away from the traps including regular U-Turns on his Twitter rants. The fact that the”immediately move the US Embassy to Jerusalem” process has now been stalled suggests this. I don`t think that Dangerous Donald America`s latest blonde bombshell has the basic action = reaction = consequences brainpower to work these things out for himself ( no offence to other blonde bombshells intended)

  18. shaun patrick
    January 26, 2017, 7:46 am

    If Trump was to make the deal of the century and bring about a two state solution he cannot move the embassy because that is a deal breaker and saying the embassy is not the embassy of East Jerusalem won’t work because Palestinians remember the broken Oslo accord promises.Trump is only about Trump and he will do only what feeds his ego. I believe the two state solution is dead and buried.Look at the problems the settlers have caused over Amona.The sooner the two state solution is buried then the bi national state can be born

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