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Tapper Grills Nikki Haley: How Does Jerusalem Decision Move the Peace Process Forward?

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and America would begin the process of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision by the president has resulted in several days of protests in the Middle East. Meanwhile, US allies have criticized the announcement.

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union this morning, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was grilled by host Jake Tapper on the move, with the CNN anchor pressing her to explain how exactly this move helps the peace process between Palestinians and Israel.

Haley noted at the beginning of the interview that previous presidents didn’t have the courage to listen to the will of the American people but Trump did. She added that while people may be upset with the decision, it is only because “courage causes that” and she strongly believes this is “going to move the ball forward for the peace process.”

Tapper responded that the former presidents probably would “dispute the idea” that they didn’t do it because of courage. He then asked Haley about Trump’s reputation of being a “master negotiator” and how it seems that he’s just “cashing in a chit and getting nothing for it.”

“How does this move the peace process forward in any way?” Tapper continued.

Halley claimed that it moved it forward because “waiting didn’t help us.” She also noted that while Palestinians and Isreal can come together to talk about boundaries, they now have something that they’re not going to allow to happen in the middle of negotiations.

Tapper followed that up by playing comments from the PLO Secretary-General, who said that Trump is “turning the conflict on us.” The CNN host then pressed Haley on the concern that the move could weaken moderate Arab voices and “strengthen the zealots.”

After Haley once again said that this will “move the ball forward,” Tapper confronted her on the constant insistence that this was indeed the case.

“Madam Secretary, you keep saying that but I don’t see how the ball moves forward,” he stated. “All you have done, all the president has done is remove something from the table that could have been used to force the Israelis to concede something or force the Palestinians to concede something.”

Haley went on to say that there have been “great negotiations” and that they will continue to do that. She also wondered aloud what was wrong with just saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The two would go back and forth a bit more on the topic, which you can see above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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