US Asks Israel to ‘Restrain’ Response to Jerusalem Recognition

State Dept Memo Emphasizes Jerusalem Still Up for Negotiation

President Trump’s Wednesday recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel was praised by Israel’s government, and that was fully expected. A State Department memo, however, is urging Israel to tone it down a bit.

The memo wasn’t expected to be a matter of public record, but says Israel should “restrain” its public response to the recognition, and urges talking points for Israeli officials defending the move to European officials, given EU opposition to the declaration.

Those talking points were to center on the idea that the US recognition didn’t mean that the status of Jerusalem was settled, and that “final status” issues were to be resolved in direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.

That’s unlikely to be a talking point that the Israelis are going to want, however, at least under the current government, as they’ve repeatedly insisted that Jerusalem is to be “eternal and undivided capital” of Israel, and that definition spreads Jerusalem deeply into occupied territory.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.