“I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” said the US Vice President.
Addressing the Christians United for Israel summit in Washington on Monday evening, he forcefully reiterated President Donald Trump’s promise to move the US Embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
“I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Pence said. “It is not a question of if; it is only when.”
Speaking to the pro-Israel Christian audience, Pence received cheers as he listed the administration’s commitments to Israel.
“Under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, then the world will know this: America stands with Israel, now and always,” Pence said.
“Standing in Jerusalem, in that ancient and holy city, our president declared for all the world to hear that under his leadership the United States of America ‘will always stand with Israel,’” he added. “President Trump and I stand with Israel for the same reason every freedom-loving American stands with Israel, because her cause is our cause, her values are our values and her fight is our fight,” Pence declared.
Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, speaking ahead of Pence, praised him and called his repeated commitments to Israel since taking office a statement of support for Israel “unrivaled in American history.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the summit remotely, stressing the importance of defining Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The capital of Israel is Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “The embassies of the world should be in Jerusalem. I know I believe that. I know you believe that, and I thank you for that support.”
Will Trump Keep His Promise?
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
However, in June Trump renewed a waiver postponing the move for a further six months, thus breaking one of the campaign promises that brought him to the White House in January.
“While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance,” the White House said in a statement at the time.
“President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians,” the statement continued. “But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”
“I regret President Trump’s decision to sign the waiver but am certain that he will keep his word and bring the US embassy to its rightful place – Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. I will continue to provide assistance to the US administration and do all I can to ensure that the relocation happens as soon as possible,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat declared.