Haley Echoes Trump Desire to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem

New US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch pray at the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem
New US ambassador to Israel prays at Western Wall
Author

17 May, 2017

Friedman spoke with Israel Hayom ahead of Trump's scheduled visit to Israel next week, now clouded by revelations that Trump gave sensitive Israeli information to Russian officials at a White House meeting, potentially risking the American-Israeli alliance.

Separately, a reported comment by a USA official helping prepare Trump's visit also led to Israeli criticism, with the official allegedly telling Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall was part of the occupied West Bank.

Friedman thanked Trump for appointing him to the job and said that "the president has chosen Israel as a site for his first worldwide visit this coming week". However, Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.

Now Team Trump is catching hell from conservative friends of Israel.

The administration has yet to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that would validate the religious and political significance of the city.

The Western Wall (also known as the Kotel), regarded as one of the holiest sites in Judaism, is the outer retaining wall of the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans in the 1st century A.D. Israel gained control over the Western Wall during the 1967 Six-Day War, when it captured the eastern half of Jerusalem from Jordan.

A Jewish-American bankruptcy lawyer, Friedman has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - the basis of years of USA diplomatic efforts.

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The Israeli government asked for clarification following Berns' reported remarks. "It would advance it by amending a historic wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn't the capital of Israel".

It continues, "The Republican National Convention's official 2016 Platform rightly stated, 'We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of USA law.' Moreover, we were honored and grateful that you pledged to specifically uphold this policy in response to a request from the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI) coalition during your campaign".

"McMaster was asked twice by reporters whether the Western Wall is in Israel". "It is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel".

The White House said the comment did not represent the president's position. "But obviously I think this stems from a comment that was made yesterday, in which was not the policy of the United States so just to be clear about what was said yesterday". Ambassador David Friedman, a NY attorney who has handled President Trump's bankruptcy issues for years, survived a grueling confirmation process that became sensationalized over remarks the politically right-wing Friedman had made regarding left-wing Jews. His inner core of top advisors was populated with enthusiastic proponents of expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, in a highly-contested move, the president appointed a very partisan David Friedman as ambassador to Israel. But Trump has said Jewish settlements "don't help the [peace] process".

Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish men participate in the Cohanim Priestly caste blessing during the Jewish holiday of Passover, in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's old city, Monday, April 25, 2016.

The former bankruptcy lawyer has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of USA peace efforts.

In fact, he (Netanyahu) repeated the calls for the U.S.to move their embassy to Jerusalem today.


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