Republican presidential frontrunner said Tuesday that he is “100%” in favor of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem–a reversal from his position in December.
Trump announced his new position on the simmering controversy in an exclusive interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network on Tuesday:
David Brody: Israel, I know you’ve been talking to the Republican Jewish Coalition about this, it’s a tier-A issue for Evangelicals as it relates to support for Israel. What about this whole embassy question? This idea that the embassy is in Tel Aviv… Cruz and Rubio…
Donald Trump: And they want it in Jerusalem. Well I am for that one hundred percent. We are for that one- hundred percent.
Trumpdrew boos at a Republican Jewish Coalition candidate forum in December when he was asked about “Jerusalem as the undivided capital” of Israel and declined to answer, pending a visit to Israel that was later canceled. He explained at the time that he did not want to dictate terms to Israelis or Palestinians, but promised the audience that they were going to be “very happy” with his policies as president towards Israel.
Presidents of both parties have declined to move the embassy to Jerusalem, despite congressional legislation to that effect, by exercising a national security prerogative in the law.
Recognizing Israeli sovereignty to Jerusalem, even in the western part of the city that is certain to remain in Israeli hands in any peace agreement, is something no U.S. administration has done, though many politicians–including Barack Obama in 2008–had promised to do so.