Israel Katz speaks at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The countries around the globe must follow up on US president Donald Trump’s expected announcement Wednesday that he is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and starting the process of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz said at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.
Minister Israel Katz at the 2017 Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, December 6, 2017.
“We expect the international community to endorse Trump’s decision,” Katz said, becoming the first security cabinet minister to react to Trump’s move and disregarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request of his ministers to remain mum until after Trump’s announcement.
Katz called the day historic and said he welcomed Trump’s apparent decisions. He cautioned the Palestinians against reacting to Trump’s announcement with violence.
“The Palestinian reaction is a rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, just like the Arabs did 70 years ago,” Katz said. “The recognition of Jerusalem as our capital by the US and other countries will make it clear they must recognize Israel, which is necessary for negotiations with Israel.”
Katz suggested that Trump’s announcement could further the goal of advancing the peace process, rather than distance it. He said Israel would also take economic steps to help the Palestinians, singling out the regional railroad project the Transportation Ministry he heads is advancing.
In another message to the international community he asked the diplomats at the conference to send to their countries, Katz said Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons that would threaten Israel, other countries in the region, and the world.