Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Monday called President Donald Trump the “Churchill of the 21st Century” after the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Shaked’s remarks came while speaking at a breakfast organized by the Orthodox Union, according to the Times of Israel. The justice minister said Trump’s decision “reversed Chamberlain’s policy of capitulation” and asserted “Israel is running the show here.”
Shaked appeared to compare past U.S. presidents’ refusal to move the embassy to Jerusalem to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis prior to World War II. Winston Churchill was the British prime minister who followed Chamberlain and led the war effort against the Nazis during World War II.
Trump addressed the embassy dedication audience in Jerusalem via prerecorded remarks. In his statement, Trump reaffirmed the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Almost immediately after declaring statehood in 1948, Israel designated the city of Jerusalem as its capital–the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times,” Trump said. “Today, Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government. It is the home of the Israeli legislature and the Israeli supreme court and Israel’s prime minister and president.”
Some European allies disagree with Trump’s decision to move the embassy and have called the action a setback to the peace process for the region. Shaked told guests that Europe was repeating the mistakes of the past.
Europe “closed its eyes to the strengthening of the Nazis. Today, it is choosing to close its eyes to the strengthening of Iran,” Shaked said.
The ceremony has intensified riots along the Israel-Gaza border, where Palestinians have been protesting for several weeks. There have been reports of casualties and injuries at the protests.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan led the American delegation to Israel, which also included Trump’s envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, American Ambassador David Friedman, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Several Republicans from both the House of Representatives and the Senate were also part of the delegation.
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