Israel’s minister Gilad Erdan: ‘US expected recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel ‘no game changer’

BRUSSELS —A US recognition that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital ”is very important for us but it is only representing what is happening on the ground. In reality, it is no game-changer,’’ Israel’s Minister for Public Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, said Wednesday.

He was speaking to European journalists in Brussels during a briefing organized by Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA).

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and his intention to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During his electoral campaign Trump had promised to move the embassy ‘’to the eternal capital of the State of Israel.’’

Minister Erdan, who is to have political meetings in the European Parliament and the European Commission and attend an event with Jewish community leaders, said that ‘’we don’t think that this expected declaration (on Jerusalem) is an excuse for a new wave of violence.’’

‘’There is no intelligence pointing to the eruption of a wave of violence in response to President Donald Trump’s expected recognition of Jerusalem and his intention to move the US Embassy there,” he said.

“Some evaluate that this could lead to demonstrations but we don’t think they will lead to a large wave of violence,” he added.

Erdan, who is the minister responsible for coordinating the Israeli government’s response to the BDS campaign of boycott and delegitimization of Israel, criticized Europe for doing a big mistake by putting pressure only on the side of Israel.

Speaking largely on the consequences of Iran’s ambitions in Syria, he clearly stated that sees a presence of Iran on Israel’s northern border as a ‘’red line.’’ ‘’We will not allow Iran to be present in Syria,’’ he said, calling on the Eu to be more involved in Syria.’’ ‘’Whatever happens in Syria will also have consequences for Europe,’’ he said.

The Israeli Minister was due to speak in afternoon at a conference in the European Parliament organized by the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), in cooperation with the European Coalition for Israel (ECI), Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA) and the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF).

Erdan, who is a top member of Likud, said he would ask the European Parliament to take action to stop funding for boycotts of Israel. Erdan, who will meet the heads of the foreign affairs and legal committees of the European Parliament, said he would tell the MEPs that boycotts of Israel are illegitimate and distance chances for peace.

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