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December 5, 2017 8:56 am

Israeli Officials Respond Angrily to Turkish President’s Threat to Cut Ties Over Jerusalem; ‘The Days of the Sultan Are Over’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: File.

Israeli officials responded angrily on Tuesday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to cut his country’s ties with the Jewish state if the US recognizes Jerusalem as its capital.

“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and the capital of Israel for 70 years, whether Erdogan recognizes it as such or not,” an unnamed senior Israeli diplomatic figure stated.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said, “We are not accepting instructions or threats from the Turkish president. The days of the sultan and the Ottoman Empire have passed.” And Education Minister Naftali Bennett (HaBayit HaYehudi) tweeted, “Better a united Jerusalem than Erdogan’s sympathy.”

Similar sentiment was expressed by a top Israeli opposition leader, Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid, who tweeted, “The Israeli government must send a clear message to Erdogan: Don’t threaten us. Jerusalem is our capital, and the time has come for the world to recognize this. The US embassy and the embassies of the rest of the world should be housed in Jerusalem.”

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US President Donald Trump is expected to give a speech on Wednesday in which he could recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced that a decision had yet to be reached on whether or not to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Monday was the deadline for Trump to sign a six-month waiver to the 1995 “Jerusalem Embassy Act,” which mandates the relocation of the embassy.

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