Trump Vows to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem in AIPAC Speech

‘I love the people in this room, I love Israel’

Donald Trump at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee / AP
March 21, 2016

Donald Trump vowed that as president he would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and scrap the Iran nuclear deal in a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on Monday.

In pre-written remarks—a departure from Trump’s typically improvisational style—the Republican presidential candidate said that his "number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran."

"I’m a deal-maker, and let me tell you this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel, and for the whole of the Middle East," said Trump. "Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world and we will work to dismantle that reach, believe me, believe me."

Trump also said he had "studied this issue in great detail, I would say far greater than anyone," prompting laughs from the audience.

Despite anti-Trump protests outside and a walkout from the auditorium, the candidate's speech was warmly received by the AIPAC crowd. While a handful of audience members appeared to leave before his remarks, the protest was insignificant in a nearly-full venue, which seats about 20,000.

One of the biggest applause lines was Trump’s promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"We will move the U.S. embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem," said Trump. "I love the people in this room, I love Israel."

Trump was also rewarded with cheers when he took digs at President Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom he called "a total disaster, by the way."

"President Obama’s in his final year. Yay," said Trump.

While the speech did not delve into specifics, Trump did lay out a general vision for his policies in the region that fit with standard Republican fare. He said he was opposed to a United Nations negotiated settlement to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and said he would crack down on Iran’s global terror network and weapons testing.

"When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state," said Trump. "It will be vetoed 100 percent."

Trump also said that as president he would invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House "immediately."

Published under: AIPAC , Donald Trump