Joe Biden Says He’d Leave US Embassy In Jerusalem If Elected

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In this image from video provided by the Biden for President campaign, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual press briefing Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (Biden for President via AP)

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. embassy in Israel would remain in Jerusalem if he’s elected, even as he called President Donald Trump’s decision to move the diplomatic base from Tel Aviv “short-sighted and frivolous.”

Biden, speaking during a virtual fundraiser, suggested relocating the embassy again would not help the stagnant peace process between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.

Yet rather than reversing Trump, Biden told donors he’d reopen a U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem to engage Palestinian leaders in talks about a “two-state solution” that has long been the official U.S. posture toward Israel and the Palestinians.

“I’ve been a proud supporter of a secure, democratic Jewish state of Israel my entire life,” Biden said Tuesday. But, he added: “My administration will urge both sides to take steps to keep the prospect of a two-state solution alive.”

Biden’s remarks Wednesday were among the most detailed explanations of the issue he has given during the 2020 campaign.

Congress authorized the embassy move to Jerusalem in 1995 – with Biden voting for the measure as a Delaware senator – but a succession of presidents from both major parties delayed the shift, setting conditions as part of ongoing peace negotiations.

Biden said Trump gave away that leverage.

“Moving the embassy when we did without the conditions having been met was short-sighted and frivolous,” the former vice president said. “It should have happened in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process.”

Trump ostensibly backs a two-state solution. But his 2018 decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv reflected his alignment with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an unapologetic hardliner in advancing Jewish claims to Jerusalem and surrounding regions.

(AP)


3 COMMENTS

  1. Kudos to the writer who happened to put a note on a card in front of Joe Biden and get him to say it from his basement in between naps. Alternatively, his wife could have said it for him.

  2. That’s a shame. A secular country should have a secular capital. Jerusalem as the capital only strengthens the illusion that Israel is any kind of Jewish state.