Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner told participants at the annual Saban Forum held at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC on Sunday (Dec. 3) that his father-in-law and boss, President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether to renew the six-month “national security” waiver allowing the American Embassy to stay in Tel Aviv, or to begin the process of relocating the embassy to Jerusalem in compliance with the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act passed by Congress in 1995.
Speaking with Haim Saban on the final day of the Forum, Kushner said that although countless media had called saying their “inside sources” already had shared the news, the president himself still had not made up his mind.
“All the reporters have called saying they have inside sources and that they know what is position is,” Kushner said. [But] “The president is going to make his decision. He’s still looking at a lot of different facts, and when he makes his decision, he’ll be the one to want to tell you [what it is,],” he said.
The deadline for making that decision, and signing the waiver — or not — is Monday, December 4, when the president by law must either make history by deciding to move the embassy to Jerusalem, or follow the footsteps of his predecessors once more by again signing another waiver and leaving the embassy right where it is.
Regardless, rumors are continuing to fly around the world about the possibility that Trump will deliver a speech on Wednesday announcing a decision to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.
On Friday, a delegation from the Palestinian Authority met with Kushner to warn him that any move to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem, or to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would “kill the negotiations” and spell the end of the peace process between Israel and Ramallah.
Oddly, Palestinian Authority officials never dared to behave in such a manner to Moscow — at least publicly — prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement earlier this year (April 2017) recognizing “West Jerusalem” as the capital of the State of Israel.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has been calling on the leaders of various Arab nations in a massive effort to recruit their support in pressuring Trump into abandoning this plan.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, meanwhile, has renewed its threats to revive the October 2015 ‘knife intifada’ if Trump makes the announcement, and declaring Jerusalem to be an “Arab, Muslim, Palestinian” city.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who retains custodianship over Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, meanwhile, is taking action as the current leader of the Arab League to gather his diplomatic forces for an effort in the foreign affairs arena.
Jordan has begun to prepare to convene an emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ahead of Trump’s anticipated speech on Wednesday, according to a senior Jordanian source who spoke with Reuters.
The source said Trump’s expected announcement could “ultimately hamper all efforts to get the peace process moving and holds a very high risk of provoking Arab and Muslim countries and Muslim communities in the West.”