JERUSALEM, Israel – Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden says he will not move the United States Embassy in Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv if he wins the 2020 bid for president.
However, Biden said the decision to move the embassy by President Donald Trump in 2017 was “short-sighted and frivolous” while speaking at a virtual fundraiser Wednesday.
“It should have happened in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process,” Biden said.
“But now that it’s done, I would not move the embassy back to Tel Aviv,” he continued.
Biden said instead of moving the embassy back, he would reopen the US embassy in eastern Jerusalem, a territory the Palestinian people see as their capital.
Trump’s peace plan released earlier this year calls for a similar move. Trump called for the creation of a Palestinian state and said he would “proudly” open an embassy in eastern Jerusalem if Palestinians accept the deal.
Palestinians protested the embassy move and rejected Trump’s peace plan.
Biden, who has long said he is a supporter of Israel, said he will also push for two states for both peoples if elected president.
“I’ve been a proud supporter of a secure, democratic Jewish state of Israel my entire life,” Biden said. But, he added: “My administration will urge both sides to take steps to keep the prospect of a two-state solution alive.”