Israel is currently holding talks with 10 different nations over the possible relocation of their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely revealed Thursday.
Following President Donald Trump’s December 6th announcement that he had ordered the US State Department to begin work transferring the US mission to Israel from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital, just one other country, Guatemala, followed suit.
Later that month, however, Hotovely hinted that other countries may also be interested in transferring their embassies.
On Thursday, Hotovely told American Jewish leaders that Israel is currently engaged in talks with 10 different countries regarding the relocation of their embassies.
Speaking with members of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, currently visiting Israel as part of their annual leadership mission to Israel, Hotovely briefed leaders on the progress made towards securing the embassy relocations.
"We are in a dialogue with over ten countries to transfer their embassies to our capital, Jerusalem," said Hotovely.
"We want to see at least another 10 countries that will transfer their embassies to Jerusalem after the US in the coming years."
Hotovely also discussed the politicization of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the Palestinian Authority leadership’s use of what Hotovely termed “fake refugees” as a political weapon against Israel.
"For the first time, the Israeli leadership is no longer willing to accept the idea of fake Palestinian refugees. Only this week in his speech at the UN, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) spoke of ‘six million Palestinian refugees’ who were not born in Israel - six million people raised on the idea that they will ‘return’ to the State of Israel. This approach is certainly not leading us towards a peace process, but instead to perpetual conflict. The international community has for years ignored this ‘demand to return’, and it serves to eternalize the conflict. Therefore, anyone who seeks peace should stop supporting the idea of the refugees that UNRWA continues to espouse, and the demand for a return whose aim is the destruction of Israel.”
The Deputy Foreign Minister expressed optimism regarding Israel’s warming ties with nations around the world, including India and China.
"We are opening up to new markets in Latin America, we are strengthening ties in Asia with powers like China and India, and working to continue to strengthen our alliances and existing friendships, as well as new strategic partners in the Middle East.” She concluded: “We need your help, the representatives of the Jewish communities in the United States, in strengthening the unity of the Jewish people.”