On Wednesday afternoon, President Trump made what some are calling the most important announcement of his presidency. He revealed that the United States will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Additionally, the president detailed out plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, where it currently resides, to Jerusalem. This decision was one of his campaign promises and it is now being actualized.
While the prime minister of Israel, conservatives, and many Christians have praised President Trump for this decision, many others, particularly those on the extreme Left, have bashed him. While the president said that he still wants peace between Israelis and Palestinians and that he will follow their decision on a two-state option, some have criticized the decision, claiming that President Trump should not have gotten involved at all and that this is a major blow for Palestine.
What many people who are bashing President Trump are failing to realize, however, is that several past presidents have promised to make similar moves.
President Trump said, "While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver."
ABC News gathered information on several former presidents and their statements on the matter. The controversial decision stems back to a policy change that occurred in 1995. The US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act which said that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and that the US embassy should be moved there by 1999.
Though that was the law, presidents have been able to sign a waiver every six months to postpone that move. While the last three presidents have opted to postpone the move, those actions did not directly correlate to statements made during their campaigns.
In 1993, former President Clinton said that he was in support of "the principle" of moving the embassy to Jerusalem. However, he never moved forward with that idea.
In 2000 he said, "I have always wanted to move our embassy to West Jerusalem. We have a designated site there. I have not done so because I didn't want to do anything to undermine our ability to help to broker a secure and fair and lasting peace for Israelis and for Palestinians."
In 2000, then-presidential candidate George W. Bush said that he would move the embassy if elected. However, he never delivered on that promise.
He had promised, "Something will happen when I'm president: as soon as I take office I will begin the process of moving the US ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital."
In 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama accidentally called Jerusalem the capital of Israel during his first foreign policy speech.
He said, "Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It's non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper- but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders...Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. I have no illusions that this will be easy."
Shortly after, he changed his statement and said that the city would be up for negotiations. More recently, the White House corrected a "diplomatic blunder" made in a 2016 transcript.
While President Trump's decision has outraged some, it has been a long time coming and was not a sudden move. What do you think about this? Let us know your opinion. In other recent news, several famous celebrities have had to evacuate their homes amid raging wildfires.