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Guessing or Predicting Embassy Moves New National Pastime

Since President Trump announced his intention to move the US Embassy in Israel from the city of Tel Aviv to the Jewish state’s declared capital, Jerusalem, it’s become something of a national pastime to predict which nations will follow suit – and which will not. To date, the only country that has said it will move its embassy, too, is Guatemala. Overnight, that Central American nation has been elevated among Israel’s supporters to a level of extreme esteem – something akin to being called the “Nikki Haley of Nations.” While nine countries voted against the United Nations Security Council resolution that demanded President Trump rescind his declaration, some of America’s closest allies are refusing to rescind their public slap in the American face. The silence from capitals was addressed by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who told the newspaper Haaretz that her ministry is engaged in discussions about moving embassies with ten countries, but those nations are more likely to make recognizing Jerusalem as the capital without the embassy move the point of departure. Meanwhile, the American gesture continues to appear to be more symbolic than substantive based on what most see as exaggerated estimates of time the White House says it will take to prepare the move. Some of the official statements speak of as long as seven years being necessary, which few accept as a realistic estimate. Explaining that the Guatemalans would not make the move before the US did, Israel’s ambassador to Guatemala said on Tuesday that it could take years, while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously called three years “ambitious.”

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