President Obama said Wednesday he’s cautioned President-elect Donald Trump and his team against moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, warning them that the action would have “enormous consequences” on Middle East tensions.
The president said he told Trump officials to “pay attention to this. This is volatile stuff.”
“People feel deeply and passionately about this,” Mr. Obama said. “The actions we take have enormous consequences and ramifications. We’re the biggest kid on the block.”
He said it’s “right and appropriate for a new president to test old assumptions” about such matters.
“But if you’re going to make big shifts in policy, just make sure you’ve thought it through,” Mr. Obama said. “You want to be intentional about it. You don’t want to do things off the cuff.”
Trump officials renewed their talk of moving the embassy after the Obama administration angered Israel and its supporters last month by refusing to veto a U.N. Security Council measure that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank.