Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used the term “Palestine” in an interview about the Mideast peace talks, just days after a White House official was forced to walk back using the term that implies recognition of the Palestinians’ right to statehood.
In a discussion about President Trump’s upcoming visit to the region and possibly moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Tillerson appeared to equate the state of Israel and the Palestinians.
“As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine,” Tillerson said. “
Just last week, White House social media director Dan Scavino raised hackles by listing “Palestine” as one of the destinations on Trump’s upcoming trip to the region. After reporters and others flagged the issue, he amended the itinerary to list the “Palestinian Territories.”
But with the Secretary of State himself using the term “Palestine,” will it become widely used?
That would be a blow to far right=wingers who believe there is no such thing as a nation of Palestine, that there is no Israeli occupation and that the Jewish state should be free to rule the West Bank indefinitely as it sees fit.