US Congress Passes the “Jerusalem Embassy Act”

Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Act states that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” Despite this deadline, the law stipulates that “Beginning on October 1, 1998, the President may suspend the… [relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem] for a period of six months if he determines and reports to Congress in advance that such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.” Since 1998, every six months, all US Presidents postpone implementing the law on these grounds, including Trump, who signed the deferment during his first year in office. On May 15, 2018, however, fulfilling a campaign promise, President Trump departs from this practice, officially relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s sovereign capital.