Trump tells Israeli daily Jerusalem move was a high point


An Israeli newspaper on Friday quoted President Donald Trump as saying his recognition of Jerusalem as the country's capital was one of the highlights of his presidency thus far.

Israel Hayom — a free daily that largely backs Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — carried some quotes Friday from an interview with Trump to be published next week.

When asked to name the most memorable event of his presidency, it quotes Trump as saying "I think Jerusalem was a very big point. And I think it was a very important point. The capital, having Jerusalem be your great capital, was a very important thing to a lot of people."

On Dec. 6 Trump honored a campaign promise by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate the U.S. Embassy to the city.

The Palestinians also claim east Jerusalem, home to the city's most sensitive holy sites, as the capital of their hoped-for state. The move sparked outrage among the Palestinians and across the Muslim world, and Palestinian leaders said Washington could no longer serve as a Mideast peace broker.

"I have been thanked and in some cases not thanked, to be 100% honest about it. But it was a very important pledge that I made and I fulfilled my pledge," Trump said.

"The other presidents, all of them have failed in the promise even though they made it as a campaign promise but I understand it because I will tell you, the lobbying against it was tremendous," Trump said.

Trump has promised to pursue what he called the "ultimate deal" between Israel and the Palestinians. Since taking office, Trump has distanced himself somewhat from the two-state solution to the conflict that envisions a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Trump's Jerusalem declaration upended decades of U.S. policy and countered an international consensus that the fate of the holy city should be decided in peace negotiations. He said the move was not meant to prejudge negotiations on the final borders of the city and instead merely recognizes that Jerusalem already serves as Israel's capital.

"By taking Jerusalem off the table I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as for specific boundaries would support what both sides agreed to," Trump said.

He added "I think both sides will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement."

Also Friday, U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman lashed out at the liberal Haaretz over an editorial by one of the newspaper's opinion writers that used a derogatory word play to describe a West Bank settlement home to an Israeli who was recently stabbed to death by a Palestinian.

"What has become of Haaretz?" Friedman tweeted. He wrote that four young children are "mourning their murdered father and this publication calls their community a 'mountain of curses.' Have they no decency?"

Itamar Ben Gal, 29, was killed near a bus stop close to the entrance to a West Bank settlement earlier this week. The assailant fled the scene.

Ben Gal was from a different settlement whose name in English means "mountain of blessing."

Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken in response tweeted in defense of the opinion piece. He warned that there will be more mourning "as long as the policy of Israel - that your government and yourself support - is obstructing (the) peace process, practical annexation of the (West Bank) territories."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Perilous times for historically black colleges
Perilous times for historically black colleges

Two years ago, Amelia Smith received the one thing she thought she always wanted – a blue envelope from Spelman College. She had been accepted to what many consider the finest black college in America. Her grandmother went to Spelman. So did her mother. And her aunt. And her sister, who’s a senior there now. So Smith wasn’t surprised...
School expert: How to help at-risk students and know where ‘the line’ is
School expert: How to help at-risk students and know where ‘the line’ is

Schools aiming to minimize violent incidents should teach students and staff how to reach out to at-risk students, as well identify which types of warning signs are most serious, an Ohio school psychologist says. Local schools have fortified doors, added cameras and in some cases armed staff in recent years, but Erich Merkle, past president of the...
‘Biodigester’ farm in Bath Twp. raises stink among neighbors
‘Biodigester’ farm in Bath Twp. raises stink among neighbors

Residents on Herr Road in Bath Twp. say they can’t go outside their homes on days when the smell emanating from a neighboring farm is strong. The smell they say, started around 2014, when Pitstick Farms started trucking in biosolids and other materials from nearby wastewater treatment plants and turning it into energy and useable fertilizer....
Troy groups disagree on historical significance of 1800s church
Troy groups disagree on historical significance of 1800s church

Miami County Family Abuse Shelter leaders are ready to move forward with expansion of the Franklin House in downtown Troy despite continuing opposition to the agency’s plans to demolish an 1830s church for the project. TRENDING: MAP: Here are all the new businesses that came to downtown Dayton last year The debate on the future of the former...
Red Cross says 21 staffers paid for sexual service in past 3 years
Red Cross says 21 staffers paid for sexual service in past 3 years

A member of the International Committee of the Red Cross said that in the past three years, 21 staff members have resigned or were fired for “paying for sexual services,” CNN reported. Two other staff members suspected of sexual misconduct also did not have their contracts renewed, according to Yves Daccord, director general of the...
More Stories