Poll shows most Americans oppose embassy move to Jerusalem
Most Americans oppose moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to an IRmep poll fielded through Google Consumer Surveys.
IRmep conducted the survey January 27-29 as speculation continues about whether the Trump administration will break with twenty years of precedent and move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Among 1,035 Americans surveyed, 56.2 percent said the US should keep its embassy in Tel Aviv while 38.3% said the US should move it to Jerusalem.
The survey had an RMSE score of 3.3 percent.
After Donald Trump took office, his administration continues to promise to move the embassy, despite warnings that it would predetermine any “final status” negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
According to an IRmep analysis—which explains the unique phrasing of the survey question—fifteen major presidential candidates have promised to move the embassy while campaigning for office. Those elected reneged after assuming power.
The original 1947 UN agreement partitioning Palestine into Arab and Jewish states required that Jerusalem be “internationalized.” US-based Israel lobbying organizations began laying the groundwork for moving the US embassy—in hopes that other countries would also relocate from Tel Aviv—in the late 1970s.
In 1979, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) submitted a petition with 100,000 signatures to President Jimmy Carter—who had campaigned in favor of a move—asking him to formally withdraw the US from the 1947 UN Agreement and relocate the embassy. Carter refused.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Christian Coalition began lobbying for a law to move the embassy in 1984. AIPAC intensified lobbying in the mid-1990s to predetermine the outcome of the Oslo peace process. The Oslo accords sought a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians, including through negotiation of the final status of Jerusalem.
In 1995, Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) during his presidential bid agreed to co-sponsor a bill that would defund the US State Department if it did not move the embassy by 1999. To avoid constitutional separation-of-powers challenges, ZOA and AIPAC legal scholars crafted a “waiver” that allows the president to delay the move every six months on “national security” grounds.
Ever since the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 became law, US presidents have signed waivers to avoid moving the embassy.
IRmep is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit researching U.S. Middle East policy formulation.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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