TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem had nothing to do with the peace process that he is still hoping to resume in the coming months, White House officials said on Thursday, adding that the Palestinians’ “short-term pain” is outweighed by hard facts that need to be accepted.
Speaking to the Jerusalem Post on the condition of anonymity, one administration official said Israel’s presence in Jerusalem was fully legitimate and just, but that fact had no bearing on the city’s final status in future negotiations.
“This was not designed,” the White House official said.
“He reiterated his commitment to peace, and nothing in his speech prevents a peace process from happening– and we made very clear that we’re not prejudging any final status negotiations,” the Post quoted the source as saying.
Another senior official said Trump’s peace team, led by son-in-law Jared Kushner, was “in the loop” regarding Trump’s deliberations involving Jerusalem “even if they were not primarily advocating for the move or proposing it as a part of their broader strategy to reconstitute a peace process,” the report cited a senior official as saying.