- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel brings a greater chance of peace in the region.

“The president didn’t want the Israelis to show up at the bargaining table and be forced to negotiate for something they already had,” Mr. Friedman said on Fox News.

Mr. Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital after similar promises from other presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, for decades.

“I think it reflects the popular will. After all, I think only six months ago, the Senate recognized, yet again, the centrality of Jerusalem to the state of Israel by a vote of 90-0,” Mr. Friedman explained.

“I also think it’s the best path for peace,” he added.

He did say that the Palestinian protests are concerning, but said that once emotions die down he believes there will be a better chance to negotiate between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The fight over Jerusalem goes back decades to the Six-Day War in 1967 when Israel captured the eastern half of the city from Jordan. It has been under Israel’s control ever since.

Although the U.S. Embassy, and all other embassies, have been in Tel Aviv to stay out of the political fight, the U.S. now plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

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