Jerusalem mayor stresses U.S.-Israel communication


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and Israel need to improve their communication, Jerusalem’s mayor said.

"We don’t understand the current policy," Nir Barkat said last Friday when asked about the Obama administration’s Middle East policies during an address at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

Barkat said he heard the same question that morning when he met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

"I realize right now the USA has a number of higher priorities," Barkat said. Nonetheless, given the serious of the matter, "We have to better communicate."

In an interview afterward with JTA, Barkat identified as one area of U.S.-Israel miscommunication tensions this summer over Jewish settlement in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Barkat said he had not been apprised beforehand by U.S. officials of plans to criticize Israeli authorities for allowing the settlements to go ahead.


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