(JNS.org) Vice President Mike Pence said that President Donald Trump is “actively considering” moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a campaign pledge the president has yet to fulfill.
“President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Pence said at an event marking the 70th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 181, which endorsed the establishment of a Jewish state in what was then British Mandatory Palestine.
Trump on June 1 signed a waiver to keep the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, avoiding a move to Jerusalem for an additional six months. Since Congress passed legislation in 1995 authorizing the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, every sitting president has signed successive six-month waivers delaying the move, citing national security concerns.
In a speech held at the former U.N. General Assembly hall in New York City’s Queens borough, where the original vote took place in 1947, Pence said that Israel’s right to exist predated the vote.
“Israel didn’t need a resolution to call for its existence, because its right to exist is self-evident and timeless,” Pence said. “While Israel was built by human hands, it’s impossible not to see the hand of heaven here too.”
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said at the ceremony, “Seventy years ago, in this very room, in these very seats where you are sitting today, the dream of the Jewish people of 2,000 years came true. In 1897 Theodor Herzl dreamed of the impossible, in 1947 the Jewish people realized the impossible and today in 2017, 70 years later, the modern state of Israel has made the impossible possible.”
Pence, who is scheduled to visit Israel in December, praised Trump’s handling of the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“As President Trump said, ‘If the world knows nothing else, let them know this—that America stands with Israel,’” Pence said. “Under our administration, America will always stand with Israel.”