As Guatemala announced their decision to follow suit of the United States and move their embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovley announced they have been in discussions with as many as ten other countries that are considering doing just the same.
In an interview with Israeli Radio, Hotovley would not identify which countries the Israeli government was in talks with however, it is being speculated that Honduras, Guatemala’s neighbor to the south, will be the first to announce the move. Hotovley made the following comments to Radio Israel regarding the possible relocations:
“I can only say that there are more than ten countries. We, at the Foreign Ministry, are working intelligently with each one. There are plenty of countries in the work. I know this because the Foreign Ministry is currently in the middle of important and meaningful efforts with these countries, some of which are European.”
Past Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all made the campaign promise to relocate the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and all three broke that promise. President Trump became the first to keep the campaign promise his predecessors decided to break when he made the announcement to relocate the United States embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On December 6 of 2017, the United States formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and President Trump ordered the embassy to be moved accordingly. The decision was met with condemnation by many in international community but praised by many Americans as a recognition of reality.
This past Sunday, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced that he had ordered his foreign ministry to relocate their embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A decision that was clearly made in light of the United States’ decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and ordered the embassy to be consequently relocated.
Hotovley expressed optimism at the possibility of more countries to follow in the United States’ wake as he suggested, “the U.S. is the trigger that is setting everything into motion.” Hotovley continued:
“Trump’s announcement will generate momentum. Right now we are seeing the first harbingers, but there is no doubt that there is a strong current here and that this is a historic achievement in the making.”
As of right now the Israel Hayom, an Israeli daily newspaper, has reported that both Honduran and Panamanian governments have notified the Palestinian Authority of their plans to relocate their embassies.
As time moves forward, the countries that will be first to follow the U.S. in moving their embassy to Jerusalem will be those that have been historically friendly towards the Jewish state. Guatemala has always been friendly towards Israel since its founding in 1948. Both Guatemala and Panama held their embassies in Jerusalem until 1980 when a UN resolution was passed urging the two countries to relocate them to Tel Aviv, both acquiesced.
Honduras and Israel have been growing closer in recent years. In 2016 Israel and Honduras signed an agreement that would allow Israel to assist Honduras in their fight against organized crime. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has personal ties to Israel as he graduated from Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, MASHAV.
The majority of UN member countries voted to condemn the United States for relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As more countries follow in the wake of the America’s decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, regardless of feckless UN resolutions, it will serve as a stark reminder to the United Nations of who really leads the way in the world; the United States of America.