Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he believes most or all European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital, following last week’s declaration by U.S. President Donald Trump to do the same.
Speaking in Brussels alongside European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Netanyahu said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem “put facts squarely on the table” and that “peace is based on reality.”
“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. No one can deny. It doesn’t obviate peace; it makes peace possible because recognizing reality is the substance of peace. It’s the foundation of peace,” Netanyahu said.
Mogherini, however, rebuffed Netanyahu, saying the EU will not join Trump in recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
“We believe the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both the state of Israel and the state of Palestine,” Mogherini said.
She pledged to increase work with partners in the region, including Egypt and Jordan, as well as the Israelis and Palestinians themselves to relaunch the peace process, “even if it seems like difficult times.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a speech while visiting Egypt, also stressed the need for “the immediate resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks over all disputed issues, including the status of Jerusalem.”
Mogherini said the worst that can happen at this time is an escalation of violence and tension, and she condemned “in the strongest way” all attacks against Jews and Israel.
Protests against Trump’s decision continued Monday, with tens of thousands of people turning out for a Hezbollah rally in Beirut, Lebanon, and chanting, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Protesters carried banners saying, “Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of Palestine.”
In Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, demonstrators burned U.S. and Israeli flags in front of the American embassy in another day of protests against Trump’s decision.