Well the story is that the diplomats stationed at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem refused to hold talks with Israeli officials about arrangements for U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned visit to the Western Wall during his trip to Israel next week. The diplomats claimed that the site is in the West Bank, and therefore the Israeli government has no authority over it, as Haaretz noted.
Oh boy, you can imagine what a storm that was. The Israeli officials found the position simply “unacceptable”, and the Israeli Prime Minister Office was “astonished”. Israel quickly demanded an explanation from the White House, which hastened to say that
“These comments, if true, were not authorized by the White House. They do not reflect the U.S. position, and certainly not the President’s position.”
But US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley, the “new Sheriff in town”, whom Gideon Levy regards as the “Habayit Hayehudi [Jewish Home party] representative in the United Nations”, she went much further. Now she’s not only saying that she believes the “Western Wall is part of Israel” and that “we’ve always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel”, but also that the Israeli capital “should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem”.
She obviously means the united, Jewish, Israeli Jerusalem. Eternally perhaps. From time immemorial. Of course there’s that little other thing, which is that East Jerusalem is simply not recognized as Israeli territory by any country in the world besides Israel, really. As well as the fact that it’s meant to be a capital of Palestine. But for Haley, this is not a huge issue. It’s just a “touchy”, “tricky” issue, as she says: