Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) responded to comments by President Donald Trump over the weekend in which he suggested that he wants to give final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority “a shot” before considering fulfilling his campaign promise of relocating the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
On Saturday, President Trump told former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in an interview on his new TBN program “Huckabee” that his current efforts to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table took precedence over his promise to move the embassy to Israel’s capital.
“I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem,” said Trump. “If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen,” he added.
A day after Trump’s comments, Hotovely spoke in Samaria with a group of pro-Israel lawmakers from around the world, arguing that the recent push for a rapprochement between the PA and the Hamas terror group made any serious progress towards peace impossible.
"We're speaking today about giving peace a chance - we can't give peace a chance when Hamas and Fatah would like to be part of a united government. This is something we can't tolerate...that on the one hand Mahmoud Abbas will be accepted around the world as a peace-seeking leader, but from the other is shaking hands with those horrible terrorists of Hamas and... is also giving the backup and horrible incitement that is [leading to] time after time terror attacks against Jews."
Hotovely added that rather than hinder peace in the region, relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem would send a strong signal to the PA that the US backs Israeli sovereignty over the whole of its capital city.
"If you would really like to give peace a chance, move your embassy to Jerusalem in order to make sure that Jerusalem will never be divided; in order to make sure that Jews and Arabs can live peacefully together. Because, unfortunately, in the Middle East... terrorism is still here is not because they gave up on the idea of the peace process... it's because they would like to to remove Israel from the map of the Middle East."
"We need to see all the embassies in Jerusalem, and we need to make sure that Jews can build their houses here, because for 4,000 years Jews have been connected to those places."
Twenty-seven lawmakers from the US, Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, South Africa, Malawi, the Ivory Coast, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, and Lativa joined in Sunday’s event. A nine-member bipartisan delegation from the South Carolina State Legislature was included in the event.