Bennett– ‘It’s obvious now that all Trump’s campaign promises on Israel were just to get elected’
“Jerusalem must remain united under Israeli sovereignty only, without being divided geographically or in its sovereignty, just like Paris and Washington.”
US President Donald Trump spoke positively about settlements and Jerusalem during the election campaign in an effort to impress his voters but since then “changed his mind,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett told his Bayit Yehudi faction in the Knesset Monday.
Bennett noted that Trump also called for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during the campaign.
“These expressions were for his voters,” Bennett said. “Since then, his words have changed. The source of the change is not clear.”
Bennett advised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to follow American business practices of telling the truth and asking for what is wanted.
“The truth is that anyone with a brain knows that the creation of a Palestinian state in addition to Gaza isn’t going to happen, and we should say it,” Bennett said. “Jerusalem must remain united under Israeli sovereignty only, without being divided geographically or in its sovereignty, just like Paris and Washington. If we say this with determination, they will appreciate us.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman criticized Bennett’s approach in a meeting with his Yisrael Beytenu faction.
“It would be fit to [relay opposition to American policies] in proper forums with the prime minister, not in the media,” Lieberman said. “The media fight doesn’t strengthen Israel. It doesn’t help our negotiations with the Palestinians. Of course we are in favor of the US embassy being in Jerusalem, and that’s clear to the whole world. This administration is friendly. It’s not our first disagreement with the US. We need to overcome our instincts and handle it respectfully, not in the media.”
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid reiterated the call to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying on Monday: “I join the prime minister’s call to the president of the United States to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.”
“We cannot let threats of disorder affect us,” he said as he explained that his party came specifically to Ammunition Hill to hold its faction meeting. “Israel and the United States do not determine policy based on threats but on what is right and what is just. And there is nothing more just – historically and morally – than our connection to Jerusalem.”
Moving on from the issue of the embassy, that has triggered an ongoing controversy since prior to Trump’s election, Lapid concluded by relaying an important message about the peace process. “Yesh Atid supports the principle of two states. It’s time to separate from the Palestinians, to divorce the Palestinians. It is time for the world to say to the Palestinians- if you want a state of your own, take responsibility.”
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