Trump has ‘every intention’ of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Source: The Guardian

By  in Jerusalem

Israeli government ministers and political figures are pushing the US president-elect, Donald Trump, to quickly fulfill his campaign promise to overturn decades of US foreign policy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

Their calls came as one of Trump’s advisers on Israel and the Middle East, David Friedman, told the Jerusalem Post that Trump would follow through on his promise.

‘It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” Friedman said. ‘We are going to see a very different relationship between America and Israelin a positive way.”

Other political figures – including Israel’s controversial far-right education minister, Naftali Bennett – went further, suggesting that Trump’s election should signal the end of the two-state solution and aspirations for a Palestinian state.

The US election campaign has been closely watched in Israel, not least Trump’s promise to scrap the Iran nuclear deal drawn up by Barack Obama and fiercely opposed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Indeed, during his campaign Trump slammed the Iran deal, describing it as “the stupidest deal of all time” vowing to tear it up.

During the campaign Trump also promised to be Israel’s “closest friend”, and has indicated that he would take a different approach to Israel’s settlement-building in the occupied territories – long condemned by successive US governments.

But although many on the right welcomed Trump’s election, other commentators in Israel have also been deeply uncomfortable over the perception that Trump – or at least members of his campaign team – were responsible for antisemitic “dog whistles” in his messaging.

Trump’s election was quickly welcomed by Netanyahu, but the Israeli prime minister steered clear of controversial issues, only congratulating Trump and calling him a “true friend” of Israel while pledging to work with him on security and peace in the region. Netanyahu later released a video on YouTube welcoming Trump’s appointment.

“President-elect Trump is a true friend of the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu in a statement. “We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the United States and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny.

“I’m certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States, and bring it to new heights,” he added.

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