At least one European leader is defending President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
Czech President Milos Zeman called his counterparts in the European Union “cowards” for “doing all they can so a pro-Palestinian terrorist movement can have supremacy over a pro-Israeli movement.”
Zeman had previously called for embassies in Tel Aviv to move to Jerusalem.
“I proposed this removal four years ago during my visit to Israel,” said Zeman.
“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu told me, if so, I will give you my own house. I hope his promise is still valid,” he joked.
Zeman said in September 2016: “Anyway, now after the same promise of Donald Trump in the election campaign I think it might be a good hint and this hint might be followed by some courageous countries, not all countries, but courageous countries. This is a concrete step toward real solidarity [with Israel] and not solidarity by words only.”
In response to Zeman’s stand for Israel, Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis called the Czech ambassador in Israel to thank him for his country’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“You are a brave people, who are not afraid to fight, on our side, for the truth,” said Akunis. “The Czech Republic is a true friend of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”
But Zeman’s position is not supported by all in the Czech government.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a statement of dissent: “The statement done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic is definitely not an act of support to the United States’ administration decision.”
Mogherini said she spoke yesterday morning with the foreign minister of the Czech Republic, Lubomír Zaorálek.
“He guaranteed to me that the Czech Republic stays firmly with the common European Union consolidated position on Jerusalem being the capital of the future state of Palestine, meaning two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both along 1967 lines,” she said. “Which is explicitly referred to in the statement by the Czech Foreign Ministry. And if I do not remember wrong, the statement also refers to the need to have negotiations.”