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

Trump told not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital ahead of visit


Tel Aviv - The plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Western Jerusalem has turned into a public dispute between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US Administration.

REACTIONS: Abe Foxman, former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), lambasted the White House for its "very serious misunderstandings" on sensitive and important issues to Israel and the Jewish people.

Immediately after landing in Tel Aviv, Friedman traveled to Jerusalem and visited the Western Wall, praying for the health of his family and for the success of President Trump.

According to Channel 2, the same official told members of Netanyahu's team that Trump's visit to the Western Wall was a private visit and also added: "No way, why is this your business?"

Rivlin called on the "whole world to recognise Jerusalem as the official capital of the state of Israel".

Trump has two weeks to make that decision, before the embassy automatically moves based on a 1995 U.S. law mandating the location switch.

Mr. Netanyahu's Office issued a statement that said: "The things published on Fox News are false".

Over the weekend, the US and Israel already publicly exchanged views on the impact of relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem on the peace process.

Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), said on Monday that he is very disappointed with Trump's handling of the issue.

Since Mr Trump took office in January, the Israeli far-right has called on the prime minister to profit from the incoming Republican administration's pro-Israel bent by pressing issues on which previous United States presidents would not be budged, such as the location of the USA embassy. Instead of moving the embassy to Israel's capital of Jerusalem (almost every overseas American embassy is in the host country's capital), Tillerson floated the potential move as a bargaining chip as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

"It would advance it by fixing a historic wrong and shatter the Palestinian illusion that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel".

Expansion of ban on larger electronics on airlines likely
The dialogue was robust and collaborative, according to a US senior administration official speaking to reporters at a briefing. And a 5 percent drop in tourism would cost the USA economy $12 billion to $15 billion and between 500,000 and 1 million jobs.

It's unclear whether Tillerson is reflecting the viewpoint of the president, or simply discussing how he sees the embassy move in the grand scheme of his vision for the Middle East.

"The Western Wall is not in your territory", the official reportedly said.

The United States, like most of the global community, has traditionally considered Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations. "It will convey a message that we are in Jerusalem to stay".

He also later met with Netanyahu.

Just days before President Donald Trump's first visit to Israel, the U.S. -Israel relationship is undergoing its first major crisis in the Trump era.

The Palestinian Authority is based in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

A bankruptcy lawyer by profession, Friedman has no previous diplomatic experience.

Speaking of Trump, he said: "His love for and commitment to the state of Israel is rock solid and it enjoys his highest priority".

The Western Wall is revered as the holiest site where Jews can pray.

In a post on his Twitter account on Monday, Fox News correspondent Conor Powell wrote that "everyone" he has spoken to familiar with the deliberations on moving the embassy has confirmed that Netanyahu told Trump not to go through with the move.

"We look forward to receiving President Trump and we want to work with you and with the president these coming years to strengthen our great alliance".

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