U.S. AND ISRAELI OFFICIALS DOWNPLAY REPORTS OF IMMINENT EMBASSY MOVE

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YNet News: WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a highly charged declaration that risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East, officials said Thursday. The announcement would be a way to offset a likely decision delaying his campaign promise to move the US Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv.

Trump’s announcement is expected next week and follows months of internal deliberations that grew particularly intense in recent days, according to officials familiar with the talks. They described the president as intent on fulfilling his pledge to move the embassy but also mindful that doing so could set back his aim of forging a long-elusive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.

The officials said the outlines of Trump’s plan emerged from a meeting of his top national security advisers at the White House on Monday. Trump himself was expected to drop by the meeting for 15 or 20 minutes. He ended up staying for at least an hour and grew increasingly animated during the session, according to two officials briefed on what happened. more …

Opinion: The US embassy football …

Timeline:

  • Tuesday November 28: VP Mike Pence remarks, at an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ vote calling for the establishment of a Jewish state, to get ready for the US embassy to move to Jerusalem.
  • Wednesday November 29: Major Israeli websites (JPost, YNet, BIN) carry the headline that the announcement of the embassy move will come in days.
  • Thursday November 30: YNet News announces that preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within days was “premature.”

If the president called off the move because of threats of grave danger to American diplomats and troops in the Middle East, the Arab world will have scored another major victory, making the ME even more dangerous.

Well, I did say the coming days would be fascinating …

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