The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, has written to US President-elect Donald Trump, urging the triumphant Republican candidate to fulfil his promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Sharing his letter on Twitter, Barkat congratulates Trump, adding: “I am certain you will lead the American people with dignity.”
The mayor hails Trump as a “dedicated friend of Jerusalem”, then writes: “In your term as President, I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”
During the presidential election campaign, Trump repeatedly affirmed that, once in the White House, he would move his country’s embassy to occupied Jerusalem, which Israelis call their capital. No country in the world recognises Israel’s illegal annexation of the Holy City.
Israeli government minister Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud) also “expressed hope” that Trump will “move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and change American policy toward Iran.”
Meanwhile, Jewish Home chairman and Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said “the era of a Palestinian state is over”, following the news of Trump’s election win.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause. This is the position of the President-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple.”
His party member, Bezalel Smotrich, urged the Israeli government to capitalise on Trump’s ambivalence towards the two-state solution (“not a priority” said his top advisor), and build heavily in West Bank settlements. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.