Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Controversial new US ambassador arrives in Israel

Controversial new US ambassador arrives in Israel

Trump reached the decision after he was warned that moving the embassy could aggravate his nascent efforts at rebooting the peace process at a time when the U.S. has seen encouraging initial signs from the Israelis and Palestinians.

Trump conspicuously promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem at an AIPAC event in March of 2016. "So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and, I think, we have to see that for what it is". Speaking to 103 FM, a local radio station, he suggested Israel "punish" the withholding certain information.

Now, therefore, is a crucial time for highlighting the historic connection of the Jewish People to Jerusalem and to give no credence to those who deny it.

"This isn't your territory". It will be a topic that's going to be discussed during the President's trip between the parties that he meets with.

An official in Netanyahu's office said on Monday that Israel has contacted Washington about the matter.

Later, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Ambassador Friedman at the Prime Minister's office in Yerushalayim.

"Israel is convinced that this statement contradicts President Trump's policy, as was expressed by his recent opposition to a UN Security Council resolution", the official said.

US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster also had difficulty at a White House press briefing when asked, "Does the President believe that the Western Wall is part of Israel?"

Just another day at the Western Wall.

A final meeting is expected to be held Tuesday with the White House advance team, in which the timetable for the visit will be finalized.

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"I am so grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity, for having confidence in my abilities, and most importantly for sending me off this past week with the unequivocal and unambiguous mandate to support the State of Israel in every way, and in all ways", he also said.

He's here! But trouble already overshadows his arrival.After long months of anticipation, David Friedman, the new American ambassador to Israel, .

The new U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem.

At the Beit El Yeshiva, a religious seminary that relies on donations raised from the US charity Friedman once headed, worshipers swayed in silence last week in a new study hall decorated with ornate silver and woodcarved colonnades.

"I wouldn't have gone anywhere else", Friedman said of his visit to the holy site on Monday. It comes one week ahead of President Trump's visit to the region. He later said he prayed for Trump and Trump's upcoming trip to the area.

Bloomberg first reported the President's decision.

But Trump has said Jewish settlements "don't help the [peace] process".

Israel considers Jerusalem to be its eternal capital and wants all foreign countries to place their embassies there. The Trump administration quickly disavowed the statement, but stopped short of saying the Western Wall belonged to Israel. McMaster did however confirm that no Israeli leaders would accompany Trump on his visit to the site.

To avoid this, most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

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