Warren says U.S. embassy should be in Israeli capital after negotiations

on the trail

2020 Democratic hopeful says the U.S. should not be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

AP Photo/John Locher

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said during a live CNN town hall on Wednesday night that the U.S. embassy in Israel should be moved to wherever the capital is agreed upon in negotiations with the Palestinians. 

Figure it out: “The parties should negotiate whether or not the capital is in Jerusalem, where the capital is, and then the United States should move its embassy to be in the capital of each of the two states in a two-state solution,” Warren said. But Warren did not say whether she would reverse President Donald Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Stop political handouts: Warren indirectly criticized Trump for taking unilateral moves to favor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Our job is to get [the Israelis and the Palestinians] to the negotiating table and stop handing out — for political reasons — just favors to one side and hurting the other,” she said. 

Read the full exchange below: 

Chris Cuomo: Senator, a key ally in the region, of course, Israel. President Trump moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Would you move the embassy back out of Jerusalem?

Warren: “I — here’s the overall approach we need to use. We need to encourage both Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate with each other. The United States should not be putting a thumb on the scale, should not be saying, in these negotiations, ‘We stand only with one party.’ We should recognize that Israel has a right to its security. The Palestinians have a right to self-determination and to be treated with respect.”

“The two-state solution has been the official policy of the United States and of Israel for nearly 70 years now. How do you make that happen? You want to be a good friend to Israel and to the Palestinians. Keep pushing them to the negotiating table. Let them negotiate, for all of the pieces they want, how they create a long-term, sustainable home for Palestinians and a safe, stable home for the Israelis. But our job is to get them to the negotiating table and stop handing out for political reasons just favors to one side and hurting the other. That does not in the long run move that region closer to peace and it does not treat the people in the region with the respect they deserve.” 

Cuomo: So the embassy?

Warren: “The embassy is what they should be negotiating. They should be negotiating the capital.” 

Cuomo: Where — where the U.S. embassy is?

Warren: “No, they should be negotiating what constitutes the capital. That’s really my point, is that that’s what the parties should decide. The parties should negotiate whether or not the capital is in Jerusalem, where the capital is, and then the United States should move its embassy to be in the capital of each of the two states in a two-state solution.”

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered daily in a must-read newsletter.