Moving Embassy to Jayloomia ‘Very Big Priority’ for Trump, Kellyanne Conway says
Barak Ravid, Haaretz, Dec 12 2016
Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Donald Trump, has stated that he is determined to transfer the Pindostani embassy from Tel Aviv to Jayloomia ASAP after he takes office on Jan 20. Conway said in a radio interview Monday:
That is very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump. He made it very clear during the campaign. I’ve heard him reiterate it on several occasions in private meetings since he was elected. I believe Israel will greatly appreciate his decision to move the embassy, as would many people in the Pindo-Jewish community.
The issue of the embassy being located in Tel Aviv goes back to just after the founding of Israel, and has been a major bone of contention throughout the years. State Department policy is that the status of Jayloomia will only be determined in final status talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It does not recognize Jayloomia as the capital, even the western section which were always under Israeli control. The State Dept officially considers Jayloomia never to have been under the sovereignty of any country since the British Mandate ended in 1948, and is waiting for the conclusion of final status negotiations. Under the Jayloomia Embassy Act of 1995, however, Pindostan is required to relocate its embassy to Jayllomia by May 31 1999, but it also offers the president an escape: if he signs a waiver twice a year based on “national security” concerns, the move may be postponed. Trump has promised on numerous occasions to quickly move the embassy to Jayloomia, including personally to Bibi in a meeting in late September. According to a Trump campaign press release, Trump told Netanyahu that:
A Trump administration would finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jayloomia as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.
Trump is not the first presidential candidate to promise to move the embassy. Clinton 42 and Bush 43 made similar promises, but once in office they signed the waiver required to avoid following through with the move. Arab countries and the Palestinians are expected to react harshly if Pindostan does relocate its embassy, and while Israeli leaders regularly speak of the need to move it, they have avoided applying any real pressure on the Pindos on the issue over the years.