There is a great deal of ferver among the pro-Israel camp in reaction to Mitt’s verbal commitment to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv. However, will Romney as a President move the American Embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem?

Don’t hold your breath.

A long line of presidential hopefuls from both parties have promised that when they are president they will move the embassy.

And a long line of presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have wavered and delayed the move to Jerusalem citing the needs of “American interests.”

For example, the Associated Press reported in 2001:

The Bush administration said … that while the president remains committed to starting a process to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, the mission will stay put. During his campaign, Bush promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, an act that would lend support to Israeli claims to the city as its undivided capital.

W. who is hailed as a great friend of Israel backed down. He didn’t want to upset the Saudis most likely, and other Arab nations.

Clinton didn’t move it, and Obama has delayed a decision so often that it seems unrealistic that he will act now.

So why are Jewish Republicans, and the strong pro-Israel camp so impressed? I presume that they are trying to woo American Jews to back Romney and score some points against Obama.

As a strong backer of Israel, I am also realistic. As long as America is dependent on Arab oil to fuel the economy, no American president can make the risk of moving the embassy to Jerusalem. There is no doubt it would be risky.

The Saudis have always been against any American move that would show support of Israel’s claim that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Other Arab nations galvanized by the Arab Spring would also revolt against such a move. The recent Islamist victories do not favor any change vis a vis Israel and Jerusalem.

This is not rejection of Romney, but our votes and our support for him or any candidate cannot be pinned to an issue as highly political and charged as relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem. As we know from both history and current events, all issues that involve Israel and oil are truly a concern of the the US President and not of a presidential candidate.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Romney did not say he would move to Jerusalem, he said he would do it with the government. State Dept will not agree.but he did recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, two different things.

  • There is a spelling error. Barack Obama is our current president, not Barak Obama.

  • Haha. Like this is really the issue determining which candidate is more supportive of Israel. LOL.

  • This is just another one of those things where we are stuck in an outdated mindset and afraid of our shadows. In the past, the world would shudder with every Arab threat. But over the past ten years, we’ve discovered that we move on issues, and they don’t so much as make a whimper. Everyone warned about some world war if Jews would go up to the Temple Mount – nothing happened. Everyone warned about Muslim rampage if the Jews that did go up on the mount would pray there – and that also happens more often than not, and all we have to deal with is some Wakf dude yelling.

    Settlement building continues – big deal.
    Outpost build continues – big deal.

    The Arab threats of the past are barely worth the paper the history books are written on. Moving the embassy to West Jerusalem would simply be making a statement that Israel has chosen this city (at least the western side) as its seat of government and we respect that. The countries can all make statements that it does not legitimize or condone the ‘occupation’ of the east side.