Wait, What? State Department Won't Say Jerusalem is in Israel

Posted: Dec 08, 2017 4:15 PM
Wait, What? State Department Won't Say Jerusalem is in Israel

Just two days after President Trump officially announced the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, the State Department will not say what country in which the city exists. 

Watch this exchange with two separate State Department spokesmen: 

During his speech on Wednesday, President Trump called Israel a sovereign nation entitled to determining it's own capital.

"Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace," Trump said. "It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel.  Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem -- the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.  Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government.  It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court.  It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President.  It is the headquarters of many government ministries."

A few points: How can the United States recognize a capital city if it doesn't have a country? The U.S. says Israel is a nation-state, aka, a country. This means either Trump was bluffing on full recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or the State Department is pushing back on Trump’s declaration by refusing to acknowledge Jerusalem is in fact in Israel. 

"We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders.  Those questions are up to the parties involved," Trump said Wednesday, which is similar to the State Department talking points currently being used to discuss the issue. 

In the meantime, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Israel next week. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has declared the U.S. irrelevant as a broker for future peace talks as Palestinians in Gaza riot and burn American flags in the streets.