“The government expects [US] President [Donald] Trump will meet his obligations to his voters and move the embassy to Jerusalem,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Monday.
“We are not worried about the hysterical message the Palestinians are trying to spread” against the embassy move, she said. “I definitely think the embassy should move to Jerusalem and hope he [Trump] will keep his promise.”
Palestinians protest against Trump’s statement on moving embassy to Jerusalem
Every US president in recent memory has committed during electoral campaigns to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, only to relent on the promise upon taking office.
Trump had made even more noise about moving the embassy, but like past presidents, appears to have become more cautious now that he is in office and confronting international opposition.
Shaked also addressed two phenomena in the US: the drop in support for Israel among Democrats and the rise of antisemitism following Trump’s election.
“I am concerned about… decreasing support for Israel in the Democratic party. I couldn’t sleep after I saw a poll two weeks ago [of dropping support],” she said, calling the drop “a strategic issue for Israel.”
Addressing Shaked’s comments on antisemitism, North American JCC Association chair Stephen Seiden said that there have been 56 JCC bomb threats in the last three weeks, and asked Shaked to press Trump “to address the issue head-on.”
Some Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, have accused Trump of ducking the issue of antisemitism among some of his supporters.
In an afternoon panel at the conference, the subject turned to evaluating the dangers posed to Israel and the Middle East by Iran, ISIS and Hezbollah.
Retired general and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs expert Yossi Kuperwasser said that in some ways Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood present far greater challenges than ISIS and al-Qaida as they exhibit stronger long-term planning in fighting against the West.
Other JCPA experts, including retired Lt.-Col.
Micky Segall, retired Col. Jacques Neriah and former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold also participated in the discussion.
Gold concurred with Kuperwasser, citing a 2015 interview with retired US general David Petraeus in which he called Iran, its affiliated militias and Hezbollah the greatest long-term threats.
Segall said that, “Iran is coming back to the axis of evil and we should confront this axis as quickly as we can.”
Neriah said that even though ISIS is falling apart, it will inflict heavy casualties on the Iraqi army, with hundreds of suicide bombers and plans to kill adversaries by inundating certain areas with drones.
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