Senior U.S. Officials Reportedly Warn Trump Against Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

Senior officials in a number of government agencies all contacted the White House to say that such recognition would hurt Trump's peace efforts and could ignite violence in the Middle East

File photo: An aerial view of Jerusalem's Old City.
Emilio Morenatti / AP

WASHINGTON - Senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community, the State Department and the Pentagon have reportedly warned U.S. President Donald Trump against recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. According to a report published on Monday by CNN, senior officials in a number of government agencies all contacted the White House to say that such recognition would hurt Trump's peace efforts and could ignite violence in the Middle East.

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The report comes amidst a campaign by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in Israel, pressuring the Trump administration to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as Trump promised to do during the election, or alternatively, to announce during his upcoming visit to Israel that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital - something that no American administration has done since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. 

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu's office took a highly unusual step and published transcripts from Netanyahu's meeting with Trump last month, in order to dispel accusations by other right-wing politicians in Israel, as well as a Fox News report, that the Israeli prime minister asked the Trump administration not to follow through with its campaign promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem. 

Netanyahu also said that the proposed move would "help the peace process" - a direct reply to a statement made on Sunday by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said that the administration was treating the move cautiously because Trump is deliberating whether it will help the peace process or harm it.