The U.S. embassy opening ceremony in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
US President Donald Trump’s statement that Israel will pay a “higher price” in its negotiations with the Palestinians because it won something “very big” with America’s relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem won praise from the Left Wednesday.
Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz said that “when dealing with a president who thinks like a businessman, it was clear it would only be a matter of time until he asked for something in return” for the embassy move.
“No one can claim that this is a hostile president with demands that are not legitimate,” Peretz said in reference to statements made about Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama. “Netanyahu cannot deny the need to make [courageous] decisions. Solving the dispute and dividing the land into two states for two peoples is not a deal with the US, but an Israeli interest that will allow our state to remain both Jewish and democratic.”
Jewish protesters in Washington D.C. condemn US embassy move, May 14, 2018 (Reuters)
His Zionist Union colleague, MK Eitan Cabel, said it was “time for the Right to wake up from its misconception that if Israel will merely keep waiting, the diplomatic issue will resolve itself.”
He said Israel should preempt Trump’s plan with steps to save the two-state solution, like freezing construction in isolated settlements and compensating those willing to leave them.
On the Right, Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev said Israel must tell Trump that just like he realized Jerusalem belonged to Israel, the rest of the Land of Israel also belongs to the Jewish state and must remain under Israeli sovereignty.
He said reasons Trump should be told for Israel keeping all the land include a promise from God, the history of Jewish control of the land, strategic and security reasons, and that the Arabs are treated better under Jewish, rather than Arab, sovereignty.
Zehut Party leader Moshe Feiglin accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of persuading Trump to support the creation of a Palestinian state after it initially appeared the US president would be open to other alternatives.
“Netanyahu led Trump to the views he expressed in his Bar-Ilan speech, his terrible two-state idea, and the continuation of the Oslo process,” Feiglin said. “The result will be that in return for moving the embassy sign from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, our capital will be divided and there will be an additional US Embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.”
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