Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel this week with good news for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 22, 2018
He pledged Monday that the U.S. Embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, before the end of next year.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 22, 2018
The VP’s swift timeline directly contradicts the plan initially laid out by Rex Tillerson’s State Department.
In December, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy.
Secretary Tillerson appeared determined to delay the move indefinitely, frequently telling the news media that the process would take “years” and would likely occur well after President Trump’s first term in office. Thus, if Trump’s presidency ended after one term, State could reset the Jerusalem issue back to the starting point.
Pro-Israel observers will likely be relieved by the news that the White House is prioritizing the embassy move. Leaving it up to the State Department – notorious for its anti-Israel bureaucracy – could have spelled disaster.