Biden Says He’d Keep US Embassy in Jerusalem
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday said that if he wins the November election and enters the White House, he will keep the US Embassy in Jerusalem. President Donald Trump in December 2017 recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the following May moved the mission from Tel Aviv to the holy city in a step that was widely panned by the international community. While Biden described that decision as “short-sighted and frivolous,” he nevertheless conceded that “it’s done” and instead suggested opening a US consulate in east Jerusalem whose primary purpose would be to engage Palestinian leaders in order “to keep the prospect of a two-state solution alive.” Biden’s comments came a day after his top foreign policy adviser made clear that the former US vice president opposed the prospect of Israel’s unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank, a policy Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intends to implement as of July 1. In this respect, a US State Department spokesperson earlier this week confirmed that the Trump Administration was “prepared to recognize” the application of Israeli sovereignty over about 30% of the contested territory in accordance with the White House’s Middle East peace plan.