Next stop for Trump is Israel, in pursuit of 'ultimate deal'

Share

President Trump will stay in a hotel suite built to withstand virtually any threat, including a building collapse, during his upcoming visit to Jerusalem.

"Israelis have noticed that he's very interested in the Palestinians, too", said Philip Gordon, Obama's coordinator for the Middle East who's now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Preparations for Trump's visit have led to criticism from Israeli right-wingers after U.S. officials declined to say whether the Western Wall was part of Israel.

Those who deemed the administration to be neutral doubled to 21 percent, compared to 10 percent in January. Anytime a President comes to Israel it is significant, but we, the Christian community and all people of good will, are especially grateful that President Trump is making this visit at this time and we anticipate a stronger-than-ever relationship between the United States and Israel.

Trump is expected to become the first sitting United States president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Back at the King David, workers are preparing for Sunday when the US delegation will transform the hotel into a fortress ahead of the president's arrival the following day. Obama was greeted at the airport by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He said that the embassy move would be considered "in the context of a peace initiative".

Comments like that have many observers concluding that Trump, a businessman who sees himself as a dealmaker but has little experience in global diplomacy, is simply naïve.

More news: White House Announces US Embassy Will Not Move to Jerusalem - For Now
More news: Harry Kane wants to crack 100 Premier League goals by next season
More news: Man-Made Radio Signals Have Created A Giant Bubble Around Earth

Since Israel's founding, the US has maintained that "no state has sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem" and that it's a "final status" issue that must be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, the official said. The White House-driven effort is a sharp shift from the practice of previous US administrations that typically gave secretaries of state those responsibilities.

But reality has set in as all Trump's earlier talk - of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, of not worrying about Jewish settlements in Arab land and of dropping insistence on the pesky two-state solution - appears to have been just that: talk. The president also has been slow to officially move the USA embassy to Jerusalem, a promise he made multiple times on the campaign trail.

Still, Israeli analysts have scoffed at what they call Trump's clumsy decision to skip a visit to the fortress city of Masada, where Netanyahu had invited Trump to speak.

Trump's fierce pro-Israel stance has limits, and just like past US presidents, Trump has his own agenda, Herzog suggested. Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority claims the Temple Mount, where the Western Wall is located, and that Jerusalem is the capital of the nascent Palestinian state. "The US embassy said you can't do that".

He should take this occasion to announce that the United States will, finally, recognize Israel's capital and move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Ahead of his visit, the Government Press Office in Israel released pictures of the previous presidents' visits. "That is why there is a lot of anticipation of his visit". While Mr. Abbas seemed unwilling to make any concessions in front of the cameras, reports surfaced later that Abbas said he would come to the negotiating table without preconditions, something he has refused to do in the past.

And there certainly will be a lot going on during Trump's visit. Any accommodation of the Palestinians - including even holding talks - is likely to cause headaches for Netanyahu with the right flank of his coalition. She answered, "Like every Israeli, I want to see the American Embassy and the other embassies move to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel".

Share