CNN Implies Jerusalem Not Really Israel's Capital Unless Other Countries Accept It

November 22nd, 2016 2:42 PM

On Tuesday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, during a segment recalling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to put limits on who in the government is allowed to communicate with the Donald Trump administration, Costello and her guest, retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, repeatedly spoke as if Jerusalem were not already Israel's capital, even though it has been the capital city since the 1940s where the Jewish state's parliament and prime minister's offices are located.

At one point, Kimmitt oddly implied that the Israeli government is located in Tel Aviv, even as he almost pronounced the word "Jerusalem" but then quickly switched to saying "Tel Aviv" instead. He even suggested that other countries can decide where Israel's capital is by where they choose to locate their embassies -- which are currently located in Tel Aviv to avoid upsetting Arabs who desire East Jerusalem as part of a Palestinian state.

At 9:34 a.m. ET, Costello implied that Jerusalem is not already Israel's capital as she set up the segment and warned about President-elect Trump meeting with Israel's "right-wing politician" Naftali Bennett, who opposes the creation of a Palestinian Arab state:

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has a stern message for his government: Do not talk to Donald Trump. Netanyahu now calling on ministers to run any and all communications by his office or the Israeli Embassy in Washington. And here's why: President-elect Trump is now meeting with an Israeli right-wing politician. Naftali Bennett is calling for an end to the Palestinian state, and he wants Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.

The CNN host then brought aboard retired Brigadier General Kimmitt -- a former Bush administration member who has been a recurring guest on CNN. In his first soundbite, he almost accidentally stated the truth that the Israeli government is located in Jerusalem before backtracking to claim it is in Tel Aviv instead:

Well, I think what it really indicates is that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to speak as head of state to the new Trump administration when it comes in. He doesn't want people freelancing, particularly those people who are in a government position. He wants one voice, one policy coming out of Jeru- -- out of Tel Aviv, and not people freelancing on their own to apply policy to the Trump administration before they take the seat of power here in Washington, D.C.

But Prime Minister Netanyahu -- who doubles as both prime minister and as minister of foreign affairs -- has his office in Jerusalem. And the Israeli parliamentary body, the Knesset, is also in Jerusalem.

A bit later, Costello again suggested that Jerusalem is not already Israel's capital as she followed up: "What about putting the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or making Jerusalem Israel's capital? Would that come to pass under a Trump administration?"

Kimmitt essentially asserted that other countries get to decide where Israel's capital is located as he responded:

Well, it certainly may be an aspiration of the Trump administration. It's highly unlikely that that will happen. That's not just simply a decision of the United States, but it's a decision, but it's a decision of the world community where they want to put their embassies and where they want to imply and explicitly designate as their view on where the embassy -- excuse me, where the capital of Israel is going to be. Highly unlikely in the next few years. Too many complications. And I think everybody recognizes the violence that would ensue from that.