At the outset, Zell was asked whether it is appropriate to be disappointed with President Trump after Zell had previously called moving the embassy '"simple," as all the president had to do was not sign the bi-annual waiver on the law mandating the embassy be moved. The US consulate in Jerusalem could then have become the embassy with a simple change written on the sign in front of the consulate.
"The process of transferring the embassy is very simple, but what happened in the meantime is a clash between two promises that the president gave during the presidential race," Zell said. "The first was his promise to move the embassy, and that was very simple and a promise which he still wants to keep. But the second promise was to deal with the Iranian threat, and the clash stems from there."
"In order to deal with Iran, we have to build a coalition that will include the Sunni states, and in order to bring them into the coalition, it was important to convey a message to their populations that serious progress was being made by Israel on the Palestinian track," he added.
Zell said that no one seriously believes that peace with the Palestinian Authority is possible under the current circumstances, and that all that the administration was attempting to do was to minimize friction between the two sides.
"Making peace with the Palestinians is out of the question. It will not happen during my lifetime, but moving forward with contacts and reducing the friction with the Palestinians is possible, and the fact is that there are signs of progress on this front - there are contacts between Fatah and Hamas under Egyptian sponsorship. There is also the meeting of President Trump in Riyadh and the expected announcements on the Iranian track next week." READ MORE