GOP Mega-Donor Adelson Upset Over Tillerson’s Comments Regarding US Embassy in Israel
By Brian Freeman
Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who gave President Donald Trump’s inauguration its single largest donation at $5 million, is furious about comments Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made on Sunday regarding Trump’s campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Axios reported.
When asked about Trump’s vow to move the embassy to Jerusalem, Tillerson told NBC’s “Meet The Press” that the president “has rightly taken a very deliberative approach on the issue,” insisting that because Trump “wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine… the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision [moving the embassy] would impact a peace process.”
Adelson, who along with his wife also spent more than $80 million on Republican campaigns during the last election, reportedly said that Trump’s promise was not contingent on the progress of the peace process since that was always the rationale of previous presidents, and Trump’s vow was meant to differentiate from that view.
Israel’s position is that all embassies should be in its capital, Jerusalem, but the international community has maintained that the status of the city should only be decided when there is a peace treaty with the Palestinians, who insist that the eastern half of Jerusalem should be their capital.
Congress passed a law in 1995 that an undivided Jerusalem should be considered Israel’s capital and that the American embassy should be moved there no later than 1999, but presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all decided to use a clause in the bill which allowed them to delay the move at regular six-month intervals if they thought national security would be endangered, The Jewish Chronicle reported.
Earlier this month, marking Israel’s Independence Day, Vice President Mike Pence said that the Trump administration was continuing to give “serious consideration” to moving the embassy to Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported.