The heads of the State Department, defense and CIA all opposed Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
By: World Israel News Staff
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo all argued against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or the moving of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the absence of a peace deal, CNN reported Wednesday.
According to the report, when President Donald Trump made clear his determination to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, they argued for him to sign a waiver delaying the embassy move by another six months, which he did. However, Trump did announce the US has commenced with preparations to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump’s Mideast peace envoys, Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and White House senior policy adviser Jared Kushner, reportedly supported the move, but advised him to delay relocating the embassy .
During his historic announcement at the White House on Wednesday, the president said the US was “finally acknowledge[ing] the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”
While Trump’s statement was infused with history, religion and sentiment, Tillerson’s comment on the issue was very matter-of-fact.
Tillerson stated after Trump’s announcement that the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “aligns US presence with the reality that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, Supreme Court, President’s office, and Prime Minister‘s office.” He underscored the US commitment to a diplomatic process in the Middle East, saying Washington “firmly believes there is an opportunity for a lasting peace.”