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Israelis Stunned by Trump Warning of “Higher Price to Pay” because of Embassy Move
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with US President Donald Trump prior to the President's departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 23, 2017. (Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images)

Israelis Stunned by Trump Warning of “Higher Price to Pay” because of Embassy Move

Israelis, many of whom had remained ecstatic over the relationship between the American president and the Jewish state since the moving of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv, woke up to the sound of the other shoe dropping: President Trump’s words at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on Tuesday night. While it has become part of the Trump stump speech to include among his list of accomplishments moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the rhetoric changed in Charleston from what Israel received to what they will pay in diplomatic currency for the landmark event. Although President Trump declined to spell out what it means, he did explain that, “in the negotiation, Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing, but I took it [the issue of Jerusalem] off the table.” He continued with an apparent message to the Palestinian leadership, saying, “But they’ll get something very good because it’s their turn next. Let’s see what happens.” Observers see the comment as significant because it comes against the background of the perception of virtually stagnant relations between the US and Palestinians, a message strengthened by unequivocally angry rhetoric from Ramallah and a ban on participating in any peace talks overseen by the U.S. Among those of The Media Line’s readership who have commented, the prevailing belief is that President Trump will offer long-sought recognition of Palestinian statehood, possibly with a capital in a predominantly Arab Jerusalem neighborhood. Strengthening that belief was a remark visiting National Security Adviser John Bolton made while answering reporters’ questions at the King David Hotel on the morning after the president’s comment, when he notably referenced the “people of Palestine” rather than “the Palestinian people” — a significant distinction in diplo-speak.

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