Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Monday called US President Donald Trump the “Churchill of the 21st century” for his decision to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Shaked said that with his move Trump had “reversed Chamberlain’s policy of capitulation” and shown the world that “Israel is running the show here.”
She was speaking in Jerusalem at a breakfast organized by the Orthodox Union to celebrate the embassy move.
Previous US presidents of both parties refrained from opening embassies in Jerusalem, arguing that the city’s final status should first be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Shaked appeared to be comparing that policy to British prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis prior to World War II, suggesting Trump was like his successor, Winston Churchill, who led the war effort.
Shaked, from the right-wing Jewish Home party, bashed Europe for not learning from history. She told the invited guests Europe “closed its eyes to the strengthening of the Nazis. Today it is choosing to close its eyes to the strengthening of Iran.”
Delighting the Israeli government, but angering Palestinians who claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, Trump announced on December 6, 2017, that he was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would move the US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv.
On Monday, five months later, the move is set to take place with a celebratory ceremony in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, with the threat of Palestinian unrest both in the capital and in the West Bank, and amid ongoing bloody riots spurred by the Hamas terror group at the border with Gaza.