Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. (AP/Carolyn Kaster) (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Ron Dermer

As the presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem – a common Republican pledge during elections – and now the Israeli ambassador to the US is calling on him to live up to it.

The Israeli ambassador to the United States is urging the incoming Trump administration to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump and his nominee for US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, have pledged to move the embassy.

Speaking at his annual Chanukah reception at the Israeli embassy in Washington on Tuesday, Ambassador Ron Dermer said it would be a “great step forward” for peace. He added that it would send a “strong message against delegitimization of Israel” and that the move should have been made long ago.

The ambassador said that maintaining an embassy in Tel Aviv over Jerusalem was the equivalent of Israel keeping its embassy in New York instead of Washington.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Democrats in the room, several of whom still serve in the Obama administration, were furious, questioning why Dermer was making such statements, in contrast to the current US leadership, while its “body was still warm.”

Trump’s election campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, says the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem is a frequent topic of private conversation.

Shortly after Trump’s victory, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on him to fulfill the pledge made during his campaign and move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

In his message to Trump, posted on social media, Barkat stressed the importance of the US as a close ally to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

“You have been a dedicated friend to the city of Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel and the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and for that I thank you,” he wrote. ”I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”

Barkat added that he was looking forward to Trump’s support of Jerusalem’s development and invited him to visit the city.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York in September, Trump “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the US, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” his campaign said in a statement.

During a January appearance on The Brody File, a Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) show, the interviewer mentioned that Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio supported the move, to which Trump responded, “I am for that one hundred percent.”

In 1995, the US passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, with overwhelming support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, mandating the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem by the fiscal year 1999, but allowing for a presidential waiver, which all presidents since then have relied upon.

By: United with Israel Staff

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