The pressure is on for President Donald Trump to declare Jerusalem the official capital of Israel, but Trump has reportedly decided to delay announcing his decision on the contentious matter.
As speculation and pressure continue to swirl, critics on both sides of the divide wonder whether Trump will abandon past presidential qualms about designating Jerusalem the undisputed Israeli capital. Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has created a stir of her own with a recent — and definitive — public statement on the matter.
“I don’t know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel,” Haley said in an interview with CBN News. “I think that that is how, you know, we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it.”
Haley’s comments are noteworthy for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, Jerusalem, where the Western Wall is located, is highly disputed territory, with the Israelis and Palestinians continuing to battle over which party has rightful ownership.
Watch Haley’s comments below:
And as Faithwire previously reported, the location of the U.S. embassy in Israel — which is currently in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem — has long been a point of contention. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, while Palestine also envisions the city being the capital of its own prospective future state.
While a U.S. law passed in 1995 called for the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem, the past three presidents have enacted waivers to delay such a move, citing security concerns, as CNN reported.
The central idea is that the U.S. and other countries maintain a neutral position and allow the Israelis and Palestinians to hash out the issue amid ongoing peace efforts. Since the founding if Israel, the U.S. has said that “no state has sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem” — a policy that continues.
Trump has expressed his belief that the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem and that Israel’s view on the city should be honored, though some reports indicate that he’s now stalling on making a decision on the matter.
Haley’s comments on the Western Wall emerged after Israel said U.S. officials had precluded the nation’s prime minister from joining Trump at the Western Wall over the territorial dispute, though the U.S. pushed back against that report, according to the AP.
In her interview with CBN News, Haley also decried anti-Israel bias at the U.N., expressed U.S. support for the Middle Eastern country and proclaimed “it is a new day for [Israel] in the U.N.”
It should be noted that Haley’s public comments as U.N. ambassador are generally considered to be reflective of the administration’s stance. So, while she appeared to be voicing a personal view, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
An official with the State Department later told the AP that the U.S. policy stating that “the Western Wall is in Jerusalem” — and not Israel — remains unchanged.
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