Deputy Foreign Minister says it is ‘essential’ for peace that Jerusalem be recognized as unified capital of Israel.
Israel National News
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said Sunday evening that Israel expects the Trump administration to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s undivided capital.
Speaking at an event held by the Shurat Hadin organization, Hotovely responded to comments earlier Sunday by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Meet the Press regarding the president’s deliberations over the possible move.
Trump, said Tillerson, was considering the move based on its possible effects on his plans to reboot the negotiating process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding…in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have.”
“As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine.”
In response, Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely said Israel expects the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv, calling such a move “natural” for the current administration and “essential” for the advancement of peace.
“Recognition of Israeli [sovereignty over] Jerusalem is essential, first of all, for the cause of Jewish justice. Jerusalem was always the capital of the Jewish people, and only under Israeli sovereignty is there freedom of worship for all religions,” noted Hotovely.
Comparing the peace deals Israel signed with its neighbors, Egypt and Jordan, and a potential future agreement with the Palestinian Authority, Hotovely dismissed the notion of a peaceful settlement via the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying the conflict was predicated on a Palestinian identity founded upon the negation of Israel’s right to exist.
“Palestinian existence is based on the negation of Israel’s existence…therefore, the two-state solution is destined to fail. We must discuss alternative solutions with the Trump administration, such as a federation with Jordan.”