Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, reiterated on Wednesday that if elected in November, he would keep the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
“The move shouldn’t have happened in the context as it did, it should happen in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process,” said Biden in response to a supporter’s question during a virtual fundraiser with Boston-area donors. “But now that is done, I would not move the embassy back to Tel Aviv.”
Early on in his campaign, Biden noted that he would not move the U.S. embassy out of Jerusalem—the city U.S. President Donald Trump recognized in December 2017 as Israel’s capital, followed by moving the U.S. embassy there five months later in May 2018.
“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv,” a campaign spokesperson told Axios in July 2019. “But he would reopen our consulate in East[ern] Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.”
On Wednesday, Biden said he would indeed open the doors to the consulate to “engage the Palestinians” in an effort to reach a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As for the embassy, he continued, moving it “when we did without the conditions that we met was short-sighted, frivolous in a way that Donald Trump did it.”