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World of Enemies
U.S. official denies Western Wall is
NE News Now
In the wake of the denial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request
to accompany President Donald Trump to the Western Wall next week, a
United States official contended that the wall is not part of Israel.
“The Western Wall is not your territory, but part of the [Palestinian’s]
West Bank,” the American official told Israeli officials, according to
The contention was not taken well by Israelis, who reportedly shouted
back in retaliation to the claim.
"The statement that the Western Wall is in an area in the West Bank was
received with shock," an Israel official commented on the exchange,
according to Reuters.
Israel’s through and through
As Trump prepares to visit Israel in several days, tension over the
rejection of the request reported by Israel’s Channel 2 TV has taken a
back seat to the dispute over the ownership of what many call the
Wailing Wall – or Kotel – which has been considered one of the most
significant sites for Christian and Jewish people, whose holy books
speak of the sacred edifice.
“For thousands of years, Jewish people from around the world have come
to pray at the wall,” CBN News’ Julie Stahl explained. “It's the closest
they have to praying at the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism.”
Israel’s claim to the Western Wall does not just reach back millennia,
but more recently, when its military declared victory over the area.
“Israel captured the Old City, along with the rest of east Jerusalem, in
the 1967 Mideast war,” Fox News informed. “It considers the entire city
to be its eternal capital, and next week is set to celebrate the 50-year
anniversary of what it calls the unification of Jerusalem. However, the
international community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east
Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future
During the eight years of former President Barack Obama’s
pro-Palestinian foreign policy, Israelis had to defend their right to
access or build settlements in the disputed West Bank – contesting an
anti-Israel stance that many pro-Israel conservatives in America hoped
was a thing of the past with the onset of the Trump administration.
“In December, the Obama administration failed to veto a U.N. resolution
that said Israel had ‘no validity’ in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria)
in the eastern sector of Jerusalem,” Stahl recounted. “But Trump's
ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has stood firm against
anti-Israel sentiments at the U.N.”
Contrary to the U.S. official’s claim about the Western Wall, David
Friedman, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Israel, is heading
straight to the holy site from the airport in order to pray, asserting
that the wall is undisputedly Israel’s.
"The Western Wall is the holiest place in the entire Jewish world,"
Friedman impressed, according to CBN News.
This week’s spat over the Western Wall has somewhat dampened the
optimism that emanated around Trump’s highly anticipated visit to Israel
“Israeli officials appear to be growing increasingly nervous over
Trump's visit, when he is expected to make an attempt at re-launching
long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians,” Fox New announced.
However, all of the pro-Israel priorities Trump has tallied up over the
past several months are apparently still on the agenda.
“On the campaign trail, Trump voiced solidly pro-Israel positions,” the
conservative news source added. “His campaign platform made no mention
of an independent Palestinian state. He showed little concern about
Israeli settlement construction on occupied lands claimed by the
Palestinians, expressed support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's
capital and vowed to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
And with the U.S. Embassy and the Western Wall apparently on the
itinerary, what Trump does in Jerusalem will be eagerly watched by many.
“One focal point of President Trump's visit next week is bound to be
Jerusalem,” CBN’s Stahl pointed out. “He's arriving as Israel prepares
to celebrate Israel's victory and a reunited Jerusalem following the
Six-Day War. Israelis hope that Trump will honor his campaign promise
either to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's united capital or announce a
move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”
With the back-and-forth, many pro-Israel Americans and Israelis are
apprehensive about what will take place next week.
“Many Israelis expected the Trump visit would bolster Israel's position
on Jerusalem and the peace talks,” Stahl continued. “Now, some are
anxious about what may happen next week.”
Adding more uncertainty as to what will happen in the upcoming days, Fox
News Foreign Correspondent Connor Powell posted a concerning tweet
earlier this week.
"Everyone, I've spoken to in DC that has been briefed on the Jerusalem
Embassy move says Netanyahu told Trump not to move the embassy at this
time," Powell posted on Twitter Monday.
However, Netanyahu’s office immediately rejected the claim as false.
In addition, the prime minister’s office offered more evidence that the
social media posting by Fox News was inaccurate.
“The firm denial coming from the prime minister's office was backed by a
rare and unusual move,” the Jerusalem Post reported. “The statement
released by the office included a transcript from Netanyahu's meeting
with Trump in Washington, which took place this February, acting as
proof that the report provided by Powell was false. “
Here is what the transcript that outlined a summary of the White House
lunch between Netanyahu and Trump stated:
“President Trump was asked about the embassy and explained that it
(moving the embassy) will not cause bloodshed in the region, like he has
been warned against (President Trump),'” the transcript reads, according
to the Post.
This account was corroborated by the Jerusalem daily.
“Netanyahu on Monday called again on Trump to move the embassy to
Jerusalem, on the same day that his controversial Israel envoy pick
David Friedman arrives in Israel to begin his tenure,” the Jerusalem
Post’s Joy Bernard announced.