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Bruce

Will you keep the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem?

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All questions are asked to both candidates, so you should give their answer in addition to rebutting their opponents. You may speak as many times as you feel is necessary.

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President Trump's decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem sent shock waves around the world. Did you support the move? Will you keep the embassy in Jerusalem?

 

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At the end of the day what we need in the Middle East is stability, do I agree with President Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem? No, I didn't at the time and I still think it was a premature decision with little thought about the broader consequences for the 2 State Solution. However, what would we achieve now by reversing the decision besides making the Israelis feel less compelled to come to the table and negotiate? When Israel is settling illegally on Palestinian land left, right, and centre, when Israel maintains a blockade on Palestinian land in the Gaza strip, and when millions of Palestinians are still unable to return to their homes after over half a century of conflict we need to start leaning more on Israel to start making things better.

As President I would make perfectly clear to the Israelis that the illegal settlements must stop and that steps must be taken with the Palestinians to find a safe way to lift the blockade. To foster goodwill with the Palestinians I would send non-violent aid in the form of food and medical supplies with the proviso that such aid will stop if there is no meaningful progress in negotiations towards the two state solution both bilaterally and through the United Nations. To be able to foster peace in this part of the Middle East that lasts we must recognise that we cannot be seen to favour one side over the other, as President I will make that reality crystal clear to both sides so we can get around the table and start thrashing out a solution that lasts and works for both sides.

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Yes I will keep the US embassy in Jerusalem. It's merely recognizing a reality that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel without taking a stance of the city's final status. For decades we've said we were going to do it and finally we did it. U.S. officials have clearly stated that the move of the embassy does not negate Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem or rule out the creation of a Palestinian state. President Trump’s embassy move may complicate peace negotiations in the short run, but it could have a positive impact in the long run if it shocks Palestinian and other Arab leaders into recognizing that the longer they wait to genuinely accept Israel’s existence and sign a peace treaty, the less they can expect to gain from such a treaty.

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