Palestinian children look at vandalized graffiti depicting Trump and slogans against Pence on Israel’s separation wall.
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Nearly two years ago, novice presidential candidate Donald Trump was booed by a group of influential Jewish Republicans when he punted a question about whether he backed Jerusalem as Israel's capital.The decision reflects the influence of powerful allies in Trump's inner circle, including Vice President Mike Pence and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, men determined to coach Trump on the issue. Trump was drawn to the idea of breaking with that presidential precedent, seeing the chance to issue an order that both his predecessor Barack Obama, a frequent Trump target, and previous Republican presidents were reluctant to issue, according to two advisers familiar with the president's thinking.In 2016, Trump indeed vowed to recognize Israel's claim to Jerusalem and to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, aligning himself with most mainstream Republican presidential hopefuls.The person familiar with the Trump team's thinking also called David Friedman, who worked as a lawyer for Trump before becoming U.S. ambassador to Israel, an "unsung hero" in keeping the process on track.Trump's decision was praised by those who have been advocating for White House action.
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