Minister of Infrastructure and Likud party member Yuval Steinitz expressed this morning in an interview with Army Radio his “hope and belief” that Trump will stay true to his promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“We’re all praying that, aside from the humor and colorfulness, Trump understands the weight of responsibility on his shoulders, and reveals himself to be a serious and courageous president. I hope and believe that he will move the American embassy to Jerusalem.”
According to Steinitz, an American embassy move to Jerusalem would set a precedent for other countries.
“It’s absurd that the embassy is in Tel Aviv, and the US needs to be the first to move its embassy to Jerusalem; with time, other countries will follow in its footsteps.”
On Thursday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat urged Israelis to encourage Trump to move the embassy by expressing their support.
“Together with the citizens of Israel, I congratulate President Donald Trump on his election to president of the United States and leader of the free world.”
“This call to Israel’s citizens is a reaction to our enemies who are trying to prevent the move of the embassy and wish us ill,” Barkat continued. “I am reaching out to the entire spectrum of Israeli society – together, we will remind Washington that Israel remains its greatest friend and closest ally.”
Trump on Thursday indicated that he still remains committed to moving the embassy. “Of course I remember what I told you about Jerusalem. Of course I didn’t forget. And you know I’m not a person who breaks promises,” he told Israel Hayom correspondent Boaz Bismuth.
On the other hand, the umbrella group Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing 57 Muslim countries, on Thursday condemned the potential US move, discouraging any move that would encourage Israel to “pursue its illegal occupation and annexation of ….east Jerusalem, including any such encouragement through the transfer of their diplomatic missions to the city,” and called on member states to “to take the necessary steps and measures” against such a position, according to Associated Press.