I expected Europe to follow the US in recognising Jerusalem says Netanyahu

Vastavam web: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he expected Europe to follow the US in recognising Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital, but the EU’s diplomatic chief said there was no change to its stance on the holy city.Netanyahu said the controversial announcement by US President Donald Trump – which prompted diplomatic alarm and street protests across the Islamic world – had “put facts squarely on the table”.The EU expressed alarm last week at the US decision, but Netanyahu said Trump had simply stated facts by acknowledging that Jerusalem had been the capital of the Israeli state for 70 years and of the Jewish people for 3,000 years.

“It doesn’t obviate peace, it makes peace possible, because recognising reality is the substance of peace, it’s the foundation of peace,” he said in a statement alongside Mogherini ahead of a breakfast meeting with EU foreign ministers.The Jerusalem decision upended decades of US diplomacy and broke with international consensus. Mogherini last week warned it could take the situation “backwards to even darker times”.

Mogherini said the EU the Palestinians’ largest donor would stick to the “international consensus” on Jerusalem.She reiterated the EU’s stance that “the only realistic solution” for peace is two states Israel and Palestine with Jerusalem as the capital of both and the borders returned to their status before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital and previous peace plans have stumbled over debates on whether and how to divide sovereignty or oversee holy sites.

Mogherini also condemned attacks on Israel after Netanyahu took aim over the weekend at what he called Europe’s “hypocrisy” for condemning Trump’s statement, but not “the rockets fired at Israel or the terrible incitement against it”.Netanyahu pointed to a new US peace initiative as a possible way forward.”There is now an effort under way to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration. I think we should give peace a chance. I think we should see what is presented and see if we can advance this peace,” he said.