THE WASHINGTON POST – JOSH DAWSEY, MISSY RYAN, KAREN DEYOUNG
During a visit to his Mar-a-Lago resort in March, President Trump approached legal scholar Alan Dershowitz to talk about the Middle East.
While Trump questioned Dershowitz, a confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about the region, the president seemed certain about one thing: where he stood on the U.S. Embassy in Israel.
“What he said to me was, ‘I’m going to do it. Every other president has promised, and all of them didn’t keep their promises,’ ” Dershowitz said, referring to a controversial proposal to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “He said there would be criticism of him but that he wanted to keep his promise.”
In the weeks leading up to his announcement Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of U.S. policy, Trump heard entreaties for and against the proposed move from advisers inside and outside the White House.
The decision to shake off warnings from senior officials such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and align himself instead with prominent proponents of the move, including Vice President Pence and major donor Sheldon Adelson, underscored the president’s determination to break with past policy and keep a key campaign pledge — despite the potential risks to U.S. interests in the region and the goal of Middle East peace.