WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House captioned a live video feed of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking together as being broadcast from “Jerusalem, Israel,” a departure from the policies of past presidents.
The caption during Monday’s news conference at the prime minister’s residence came as Trump administration officials continue to differ over whether to describe the city as being part of Israel.
The Obama administration at least twice – in 2011 and then again last year – corrected photo captions and datelines that had read “Jerusalem, Israel” to “Jerusalem,” reflecting longstanding executive branch policy that the city should not be described as being in any country until there is a final status agreement. (Congress recognized the city as Israel’s capital in 1995.)
The George W. Bush administration also routinely captioned photos and listed the city on schedules and in news releases as simply “Jerusalem.”
Trump campaigned on a pledge of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, but has since retreated.
Trump visited the Western Wall in the Old City – in the city’s eastern sector, captured by Israel in 1967 – but would not agree to allow Netanyahu to accompany him.