WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama extended a waiver for an additional six months that delays moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Obama’s waiver, issued June 1, follows in the footsteps of predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who also extended the waiver every six months since a law was passed in 1995 mandating moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents are permitted to delay the move on national security grounds.
Some Jewish groups have pushed for the United States to move the embassy as a way to bolster Israeli claims to the city. Those favoring the use of the waiver say that moving the embassy would anger the Arab world and put the United States in the position of taking sides on an issue that should be settled in peace talks.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, has privately told Jewish leaders he would not commit to moving the embassy as president.