Palestinian officials are fuming after Mitt Romney asserted yesterday that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. The candidate also implied he'd move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as president, as Israel desires. "Such statements and policy will push the region toward extremists," said an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, calling the comments "completely unacceptable." Like most other countries, the US doesn't recognize Israel's 1967 annexation of east Jerusalem.
Romney's stance runs counter to his country's, the aide continued. "At the end of the day, the US has interests in this region," with "embassies in 57 Arab and Muslim countries. I don't think they will sacrifice everything for such statements." Until now, Palestinians had kept mostly mum about Romney's regional visit, despite his failure to meet with Abbas, the AP notes, suggesting that Palestine doesn't want to irk potentially influential figures in its negotiations with Israel.