Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Israel and Trump

Trump senior aide: Moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a ‘very big priority’

Trump senior aide: Moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a ‘very big priority’
Jerusalem (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images) 

Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, said Monday that moving the United Stated embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the country’s capital — Jerusalem — will be a top priority for the Trump administration.
Conway explained to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that not only did Trump make it clear that would be a goal of his as president before the election, but he has talked about it several times since being elected president.
“That is very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump,” she said. “He made it very clear during the campaign, Hugh, and as president-elect I’ve heard him repeat it several times privately, if not publicly.”
Most nations do not have their Israeli embassies in Jerusalem. Rather, most countries currently have their embassies in or around the city of Tel Aviv, as most countries still do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel declared Jerusalem to be their capital city in 1949 after Britain finally left the area. Still, much of the land in Eastern Jerusalem, including many holy sites, remains under contention between Israel and the Palestinians.
Many past U.S. presidents, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, expressed a desire to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, but never quite followed through on their promises — something Conway said she doesn’t quite understand.
“It is something that our friend in Israel, a great friend in the Middle East, would appreciate and something that a lot of Jewish-Americans have expressed their preference for,” she told Hewitt. “It is a great move. It is an easy move to do based on how much he talked about that in the debates and in the sound bites.”
While the Trump transition team has high praise for Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear on Sunday that the praise goes both ways.
During an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Netanyahu said that he knows Trump “very well” and has high hopes of a very close and successful relationship with the U.S. under Trump’s administration — something he hasn’t had under President Barack Obama.
You can listen to audio of Conway’s comments with Hewitt here.

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