The White House rejected statements made by a US official that the Kotel is not Israeli territory.
The White House rejected statements reportedly made by a US official telling Israeli officials that the Kotel, the Western Wall, is “not your territory.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told several news outlets the comments do not reflect the Trump Administration’s position.
A senior administration official told The Times of Israel that “the comments about the Western Wall were not authorized communication and they do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the President.”
Israel’s Channel 2 reported Monday that a senior White House official, working on preparations for President Donald Trump’s trip to Israel next week, told his Israeli counterparts that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not accompany Trump to the Western Wall because the site is “not your territory.”
Channel 2 said the US official dismissed the idea because it would be a “private visit” for Trump. This would be the first visit by a sitting US president to one of Judaism’s holiest sites.
The Trump official said, “What are you talking about? It’s none of your business. It’s not even part of your responsibility. It’s not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank.”
This comment led to an argument, with Israelis insisting the Western Wall was “territory holy to Israel.”
The TV report quoted Israeli officials describing Trump’s team as “boorish” and “arrogant.”
Referring to how Trump wants his Israel visit to appear to the public, Israelis involved in the discussions said, “It’s a Trump show. The rest are extras, including Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
The prime minister’s office told news outlets the comment was received with astonishment and Israel is certain it contradicts Trump’s policy.
The official, who made the offensive remarks, was later identified as a US Jerusalem consulate employee.
By: World Israel News Staff