May 17, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA Praises UN Amb. Haley Declaring Western Wall Is In Israel

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised president Trump’s US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, for her forthright, clear statement, clarifying after much confusion in recent days, that Jerusalem’s Western Wall is part of Israeli territory.

Controversy flared after a US consular officer in Jerusalem, David Berns, refused to discuss with Israeli officials President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall –– which will be a first by an incumbent American president –– on the alleged basis that the Wall is part of the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and thus not recognized as Israel’s and held to be outside Israel’s jurisdiction. Mr. Berns angrily told his Israeli interlocutors that its “not your territory.” This led Israel to demand clarification from the White House, which disowned Mr. Berns’ statement, saying it was unauthorized and did not reflect President Trump’s view.

ZOA urges the Trump Administration to state clearly that, irrespective of its serious intention to reconvene Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, Jerusalem’s Western Wall is indeed part of Israel and to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

Mr. Bern’s statements compounded doubt over the issue that had already arisen when the National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster, declined to answer a direct question as to whether the US government considers the Western Wall to be within Israeli territory. This was, however, contradicted by White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, who said the Western Wall is indeed “clearly in Jerusalem” –– a city municipally united under Israeli jurisdiction following its reunification and the capture of the eastern half of the city from illegal Jordanian occupation in the 1967 Six Day War.

Ambassador Haley said, “Obviously I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look all their government is in Jerusalem. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is…I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it … We’ve always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel” (‘Nikki Haley: Western Wall part of Israel, US embassy should be moved to Jerusalem,’ Times of Israel, May 17, 20170.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud Ambassador Haley’s clear-cut statement that the Western Wall is part of Jerusalem, a city united under Israeli sovereignty. 

“It beggars belief that it would be controversial whether the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site but for the Temple Mount itself, and self-evidently a part of the city, is part of Israel. Whatever the content of any future negotiations that might emerge, this fact will have to be recognized.

“If the Western Wall is not part of Israel, then presumably nothing else is either. 

ZOA urges the Trump Administration to state clearly that, irrespective of its serious intention to reconvene Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, Jerusalem’s Western Wall is indeed part of Israel and to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is holy to Jews not to Muslims. The Koran never mentions Jerusalem, it’s mentioned 700 times in Jewish holy books. Jews mention Jerusalem 20 times a day in their prayers- Muslims do not. Even the PLO and Fatah charters don’t mention Jerusalem. 

“Far from harming peace prospects, the US publicly confirming the Western Wall is in Israel and moving the Embassy could only enhance peace. The Palestinian determination to detach Israel from its heritage and sovereignty in Jerusalem is itself an impediment to peace. A clear US statement would help compel the PA to face the reality that Jerusalem cannot be detached from Israel and the Jewish people.”