Liberman: Israel will ‘pay price’ for embassy relocation

Israel will have to make concessions to the Palestinians after the US relocates its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Channel 2 Saturday night.

“There is no free lunch,” he said.

Be the first to know –

Liberman was speaking in advance of the May 14 ceremony to mark the embassy’s opening. There is some speculation that US President Donald Trump will unveil a peace plan to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict soon after the opening.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) told the Foreign Press Association on Monday that Trump was putting the “final touches” on the plan.

Liberman said there is “a price for the national ambition and the realization of a vision. There will be a price for the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and it is worth paying it.”

The embassy relocation “is important, historic and dramatic,” Liberman said.

He added, of course, that he hoped the US would not exact any concession.

Liberman also warned that there will likely be protests against the embassy relocation.

US officials reportedly presented a portion of Trump’s peace plan to Liberman when he was in Washington at the end of April. They told him that Israel would be asked to withdraw from four Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem – Jebl Mukaber, Isawiya, Shuafat and Abu Dis – which would likely become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

US officials speaking to The Jerusalem Post categorically denied the report.

Maariv contributed to this report.