A new report is stating that President Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a speech on Wednesday.
According to Axios, two sources have confirmed that Trump will be issuing this statement, although the White House did not directly confirm it to Axios.
“The President has always said it is a matter of when, not if,” a spokesperson told Axios. “The President is still considering options and we have nothing to announce.”
Earlier in the week, it was reported that Trump is leaning toward moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. White House officials are indicating that the president won’t be moving the embassy yet out of concern that the move would inhibit a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, however, according to the Los Angeles Times, Trump will be ordering “a review of the best way to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.”
If Trump does eventually move the embassy to Jerusalem, it would fulfill a campaign pledge and be a victory for Israel.
In 1949, Jerusalem was divided under the armistice lines follow the war for independence, but was eventually reunited after Israel’s victory in the Six Day War. The United Nations has made every effort to try and prevent Jerusalem from being recognized as the undivided capital of Israel, even going as far as passing a resolution in 1980 that Israel declaring Jerusalem as the capital was in violation of international law.
In 1996, Congress passed a law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the embassy would be moved to Jerusalem. The law requires that the president either conduct the move or issue a waiver every six months; every president since the law’s passage has issued the waiver.
Jerusalem is considered to be the ancestral capital of the Jewish people, which is substantiated by archaeological evidence. Ever since King David conquered the city, Jerusalem has been the hub of Jewish life. The Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and the city itself has had a Jewish majority dating back to the 1840s.
“Jerusalem was only ever the capital of the Jewish people, not of any other people,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2015. “Here our path as a nation began, this is our home and here we shall stay.”