Haredi politicians on Wednesday offered a reserved response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) argued that Trump’s declaration could lead to a diplomatic process being forced on Israel.
"Trump's declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will cost us dearly and in the diplomatic plan that he will present, it will harm us," said Porush.
“It is preferable to build in Judea and Samaria and in neighborhoods of Jerusalem where they are crying for housing, rather than a declaration that has no substance,” he added.
Porush’s colleague, Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Yisrael Eichler, had similar sentiments.
"I welcome the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem. But I would prefer a thousand apartments for young couples in Jerusalem to one building of the American embassy. I pray that the declaration will not cost us the blood of terror attacks,” said Eichler.
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s declaration as "a historic day.”
"It's been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” said Netanyahu.
"We're profoundly grateful to the President for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the U.S. embassy here. This decision reflects the President's commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace. The President's decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
Jewish Home chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated Trump for resisting pressure not to recognize Jerusalem.