A flag flutters outside the US embassy in Tel Aviv August 4, 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Three days after President Donald Trump said in a television interview that it was “too early” to talk about moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday that Israel’s position is that the embassy needs to be in the Jewish state’s capital.
Speaking at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu – after asserting that Israel’s fundamental alliance with the US was “tight and getting tighter” – said he wanted to “make it unequivocally clear that our position has always been, and will always be, that the US Embassy needs to be here, in Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem, he reiterated, “is the capital of Israel and it is proper that not only should the American Embassy be here, but all embassies should come here, and I believe that over time most of them will indeed come here, to Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu’s comments came after criticism from some quarters that he has not pushed Trump hard enough to fulfill his campaign promise and move the embassy to Jerusalem.
In an Army Radio interview before the cabinet meeting, Marc Zell, the co-chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel, said “the minute Jerusalem gives the green light, the embassy will definitely be moved to Jerusalem.”
While in his first days in office Trump acted swiftly on a number of his campaign promises – including moves toward building a wall with Mexico and overturning key elements of Barack Obama’s trade and environmental policies – he has tarried on his pledge to move the embassy.
Donald Trump at AIPAC conference in March 2016: Will veto anti-Israel moves at UN, move US embassy to Jerusalem
In a Thursday evening interview with Fox News, Trump, when asked about the issue, responded: “I don’t want to talk about it yet. It’s too early.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said last week that “we are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject.”