US President Donald Trump said yesterday that Israel will have to pay “a higher price” in talks with the Palestinians as a result of his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy.
Addressing crowds at a campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Trump said the Palestinians will “get something very good” in return for the embassy move, “because it’s their turn next”. Trump didn’t offer any details on what that might be.
“And if there’s ever going to be peace… with the Palestinians it was a good thing to have done because we took [Jerusalem] off the table because every time there were peace talks, they never got past Jerusalem becoming their capital, so I said let’s take it off the table,” Trump added.
Trump also said he understands now why previous presidents did not follow through on their promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, saying he received endless phone calls from world leaders urging him not do it.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has boycotted talks with the US since Trump’s announcement last December. A spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas said at the time that “if Jerusalem is off he table, America will be off the table as well” and the PA said that they no longer saw the US as an honest peace broker.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has just concluded his first visit to Israel since his appointment, told Reuters on Wednesday that the resumption of the peace process ultimately depends on the parties’ willingness to return to the negotiating table.
Last week Trump’s Special Envoy for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, posted a tweet about the US plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks, saying that neither side will be satisfied with the proposal.