Both U.S. presidential candidates infuriated the Palestinians by expressing support for Israel at meetings with Netanyahu.
The Palestinian leadership on Monday denounced Republican candidate Donald Trump for stating – in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the previous day – that if he becomes president, the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the united capital of the Jewish state.
The Trump campaign issued a statement, following the meeting Sunday morning, that “the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the longstanding congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel.”
Trump’s comments, according to PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, demonstrate “disregard for international law” and “total abandonment of the two-state solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Congress passed a law back in October 1995 calling for the recognition of a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but no U.S. government – neither Republican nor Democrat – has ever implemented that law. In fact, American citizens born in the Israeli capital, despite several legal attempts, do not have “Israel” written on their U.S. passports as their country of birth; rather, the place of birth is listed merely as “Jerusalem.”
Clinton: ‘Strong and secure Israel vital to the U.S.’
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was censured as well by the Palestinians for telling Netanyahu, in a meeting with the Israeli leader several hours after Trump’s, that “a strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States.” She also stated her “opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution” to the conflict, “including by the UN Security Council.”
In his address to the UN General Assembly last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas repeated his oft-issued demand for Israeli concessions, calling on the U.N. to declare 2017 “the international year to end the Israeli ‘occupation’ of our land and our people” and for supporting a French initiative for an international peace conference.
Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that peace can be achieved only through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah, with no preconditions.
Both candidates are friends of Israel, Netanyahu says
“The state of Palestine will not serve as a bargaining chip for gaining the Jewish vote in the United States,” the PA Foreign Ministry stated Monday.
Following his meetings with both candidates, Netanyahu told Army Radio that no matter who wins, “we will have a friend in the White House.”
Netanyahu is “more convinced than ever” that the strong Israel-U.S. alliance will continue, he tweeted on Monday.
By: World Israel News Staff