Israel is hoping that US President-Elect Donald Trump will move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem when he enters the White House in what would be an unprecedented step in strengthening links between America and Israel.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) on Wednesday morning issued the statement calling on Mr Trump to enact promises made earlier this year to move the embassy to Israel’s capital city, becoming the first nation to do so.

“I congratulate US President Elect Donald Trump, a true friend of Israel,” Shaked said. “I’m certain Trump will know how to courageously navigate the free world to successful destinations in the war against world terrorism. This is an opportunity for the American Administration to move the United States’ embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital city.”

Shaked noted that “such a move would symbolise the tight connection and deep friendship between our two countries.”

Back in October, Ivanka Trump told assembled members of The Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Florida, that her father would “100 percent” move the US embassy to Jerusalem should he be President.

Last January he said the city was “the eternal capital” of Israel and that he was “100 percent for” moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv. His desire to move the embassy to Jerusalem was reiterated in March when Trump spoke at the AIPAC Convention.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed by Congress on 23 October, 1995, calling for initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than 31 May, 1999. Congress even attempted to withhold 50% of the State Department budget for Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad until the United States Embassy in Jerusalem had officially opened. The same act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and to be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.

Since its passage, the law has never been implemented by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who saw it as an infringement on their constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy. To add insult to injury, all three, Clinton, Bush and Obama, had pledged on their campaign trails to move the embassy to the “eternal city.”

Source: Jewish Press / CUFI