- “There is No Crisis at the Border” January 13, 2019
- “One Bright Shining Moment” December 26, 2018
- A Sequel: The Best Film Ever Made About Politics December 3, 2018
- Thanksgiving Good News from Palestine November 20, 2018
- “Hate Is on the Ballot Next Week” October 31, 2018
- Israel’s Uri Avnery Dies Too Soon at 94 October 22, 2018
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Monthly Archives: December 2017
Thirty-five nations abstained, and 21 countries did not cast a vote. The eight countries voting with the United States were Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo. Continue reading
James M. Wall writes: Below is an email from a close friend, Laurie Salameh. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband Estephan, and their three children. I asked Laurie for permission to share her email, which she had circulated to friends. She … Continue reading
Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco.
Trump’s announcement is actually the culmination of years of pressure by a large bipartisan majority of Congress and leaders of both political parties towards the White House. It represents the fulfillment of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandates that the United States move its embassy to Jerusalem, though the bill allows a president to waive that requirement every six months if deemed in the national interest.
In the Senate, the bill was cosponsored by such prominent Senate Democrats as Joe Biden and John Kerry and only one Democrat (the late Robert Byrd) voted no. On the House side, just thirty out of 204 Democrats voted no, along with the independent then-Congressman Bernie Sanders.
Since then, every President has taken advantage of the waiver to prevent such a provocative move, despite continued bipartisan pressure from Congress. As recently as this past June, just days after Trump issued his first waiver of the requirement, the Senate voted 90-0 in favor of a resolution re-affirming the 1995 law and calling on President Trump “to abide by its provisions.” Co-sponsors included such leading Democrats as minority leader Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin, ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden.
Schumer has openly encouraged Trump to move the embassy and previously criticized his “indecisiveness” on the issue.
Support by Congressional Democrats and party leaders for moving the embassy is not due to demand from their constituents. A recent poll shows that 81 percent of Democrats oppose moving the embassy while only 15 percent approve.