New US ambassador to Israel sworn in amid diplomatic row
- Author: Wendy Palmer May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 13:40
H.R. McMaster said Tuesday that Trump will say a prayer at the Western Wall, which is revered as the holiest site where Jews can pray.
It was the latest sign of the Israeli right's growing disenchantment with Trump after having rejoiced in his election.
Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Isreal requested to accompany Mr. Trump to the wall but was rebuffed by a Trump officials who said the site is "not your territory", according to Israeli news reports.
In an unusual move, Netanyahu also partially released the minutes of a meeting he had with Trump in Washington in February, showing he had pressed the new president to move the embassy. "When President Trump arrives in Israel, I don't think there will be any doubt over who has title over the Kotel", he said.
"We know the Israelis do not want to give on Jerusalem at all and we have to see how strong the Palestinians stand on that".
Israel captured the Old City, along with the rest of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in the 1967 Six Day War against the surrounding Arab nations bent on the Jewish state's destruction. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the worldwide community. "Trump has made it clear on so many occasions that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, so it would be quite a reversal for him to state differently on this occasion".
McMaster, speaking to reporters to preview Trump's first foreign swing, said questions about the location of the Western Wall - one of the holiest sites in Judaism - "sounds like a policy decision".
Separately, Israeli officials have reacted angrily to reports in local media that representatives of the American consulate had suggested the Western Wall did not belong to Israel. David Friedman was greeted by Israel's President Reuven Rivlin.
Steven Tyler, the frontman of United States rock band Aerosmith, which is set to perform in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, had his own private visit to the Western Wall on Monday and shook hands with Friedman at the ancient site. An official in Netanyahu's office expressed "astonishment" over the comment.
DeSantis believes the President should waste no time acknowledging the wall as part of Israel saying... "It is a sign of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the USA", he said, according to a statement released by the President's Residence.
The United States, like most of the worldwide community, has traditionally considered Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations.
David Friedman, the new US ambassador to Israel, gave his first interview since he landed in Israel on Monday to - where else? The Republican president will meet with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
A Jewish-American bankruptcy lawyer, Friedman has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - the basis of years of U.S. diplomatic efforts.
"Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem would not only not harm the peace process, rather the opposite".
"I prayed for the president and I wished him success, especially on his upcoming trip", Friedman said in a video posted on the U.S. embassy's Twitter feed. "His love for and commitment to the State of Israel is rock-solid and enjoys his highest priority".