'PM isn't going to commit political suicide for embassy move'

Coalition chairman says US is seriously considering moving embassy, but PM Netanyahu not ready to pay the political price the US may demand.

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Nitsan Keidar,

Netanyahu and Trump
Netanyahu and Trump
Hezki Baruch

Coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud) said Monday that while the Trump administration may be prepared to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it would likely demand a concessions from Israel in return that are beyond what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be willing to accept.

Arutz Sheva columnist Jack Engelhard has written an op-ed "Amen to moving US embassy to Jerusalem – but at what price?" stating similar fears.

In an interview with Israel Radio Monday morning, Bitan said that Israel strongly supported the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, but added that there were limits to the political price Israel is willing to pay. Bitan added that in all likelihood the price the US would demand would be too steep for Israel.

“We won’t be prepared to pay the political price for moving the embassy.”

“For everything that Israel wants, there’s a political price,” said Bitan.

The Trump administration’s public statements regarding deliberations on the matter and mixed messages by unnamed US officials to the press were signals the White House is prepared to make the move, but at a price, Bitan added.

"The Americans are delaying, and the Prime Minister doesn’t want to commit [political] suicide over this right now.”

Bitan’s comments come a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told NBC’s Meet the Press that President Trump was carefully weighing the effect moving the embassy might have on future peace negotiations.

US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is expected to arrive in Israel later on Monday, and present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin.








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