The White House is declining to say whether or not the Western Wall is located in Israel.
“The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith. It’s clearly in Jerusalem, but there’s been — it’s an issues that’s had serious consideration,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during an off-camera briefing Tuesday.
His answer followed first a dodge and then a non-answer by National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster during a separeate press briefing earlier in the day.
After being asked by CBN News and a second media outlet whether or not President Trump believes the Western Wall is located in Israel, McMaster said that “sounds like a policy decision.”
His remarks come one day after a tense meeting between U.S. and Israeli officials working out the details of President Trump’s trip to Israel next week.
Israeli officials asked if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could accompany Trump when he visits the Western Wall.
A U.S. official reportedly responded, the Western Wall “is not your territory, but part of the West Bank.”
The diplomatic spat demonstrates the high expectations being placed on the president’s first foreign trip.
Israelis had high hopes for Trump’s presidency after his unapologetic pro-Israel talk on the campaign trail. However, their enthusiasm has been dashed a bit. Trump has shied away from his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem while continuing to say he’s considering it.
He’ll have to make a decision soon. The six month presidential waiver that allows the U.S. embassy to stay in Tel Aviv expires on June 2.
As for the Western Wall, “It will be a topic that’s going to be discussed during the president’s trip between the parties that he meets with,” Spicer continued.