Top Trump aide won't say if Western Wall is part of Israel
Top Trump aide won't say if Western Wall is part of Israel
Trump blew it, big-league
18 May, 2017, 01:10
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House.
President Donald Trump's plan to become the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall is likely to be the most dramatic moment of his 26-hour trip to Israel, said two USA experts on Israeli diplomacy convened Tuesday, May 16, by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
President Trump's upcoming visit to Israel is coinciding with Israeli celebration of the 50th anniversary of the military capture of East Jerusalem, which they present as having "unified" their eternal capital city.
A ceremony was held at the President's Residency in Jerusalem, a day after Friedman arrived in Israel and days before President Donald Trump's regional visit.
A senior Israeli official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed to ABC News that Israel has asked the United States to clarify its position on the Western Wall after a "senior member of the USA delegation" prepping for Trump's upcoming visit told his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is "not your territory".
"The Western Wall is indeed the holiest site that Jews can visit today for prayer and reflection as it is the only accessible remnant of the Holy Temple that once stood in Jerusalem", OU President Mark Bane said.
But the worldwide community does not recognize Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.
The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the Trump administration does not want to complicate attempts to nurture a resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by announcing the embassy move.
"The comments about the Western Wall were not authorized communication and they do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the president", the White House told the Israeli paper. That distinction Jerusalem, not Israel reflects the US position that the city's fate is an issue for Israelis and Palestinians to work out through future peace negotiations.
On Monday, Fox News correspondent Conor Powell tweeted that "Everyone I've spoken to in DC that has been briefed on #Jerusalem embassy move says #Netanyahu told #Trump not to move embassy at this time". As the JerusalemPost, which is in Israel, reports.
He also called on Israel not to fear such a scenario, saying, "I don't think any one of us should be concerned about the potential threat of violence". The sensitivity about Jerusalem, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, stems from the role the city plays in the age-old debate about who has a legitimate historical claim to disputed territory.
But even before Trump sets foot in the Holy Land, he appears to have been tripped-up by his advance team.
It is time for the whole world to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of the State of Israel. The clash erupted over preparations for President Trump's visit to the Kotel, which Netanyahu had asked to join.
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