Trump Receives Standing Ovations During Speech at Israel Museum

Lauren Perry
May 24, 2017

Rounding out a 28-hour stay in Jerusalem, Trump praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas alike, saying both were ready for peace. Moving the embassy had been a campaign promise of Trump's stretching back to the Republican primary.

Donald Trump was forced into taking an awkward selfie with one of Israel's most controversial politicians as he touched down in Tel Aviv.

However, the president remained silent on the subject, though he said that he was "truly hopeful" about America's role in helping Israel and the Palestinians forge peace. "He didn't speak of the two-state solution".

That's not to say that Netanyahu and Abbas, both wary of being pegged as the unwilling party, aren't projecting an eagerness to jumpstart peace talks with a new president. "I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East".

President Donald Trump said on Monday that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of "terrorists and militias". "He's testing the proposition that making a general public embrace, while making the hard asks in private, is a better way of making progress".

Likewise, on Monday, at a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, Trump stressed that he was "deeply encouraged" by his conversations with Muslim leaders there.

'The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out from our society forever, ' Trump had said. "I like you, too", Trump said in response.

In effect, it would offer Israel recognition by the Arab world and the "normalization" of relations in exchange for a full withdrawal from the territory Israel has occupied since the June 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem.

He became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site in the Israeli-annexed east of the city. The not-so-subtle message to Abbas was: curb anti-Israeli incitement, condemn attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and stop paying allowances to the families of Palestinian terrorists.

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Trump called the State of Israel a monument to the pledge of "never again", stressing that barbarity can only be defeated if humanity refuses to be silent in the face of evil.

"Iran's leaders routinely call for Israel's destruction", Trump said. "No assertion of the principles you need to put on the table".

But in both the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians held angry protests against the US president's visit. Husam Zomlot, Abbas's ambassador to Washington, described their talks as "a constructive meeting between friends", adding that "for Palestine to be on the first worldwide trip on the American president's agenda, that has a high significance".

Speaking about the prospect of a peace deal with the Palestinians, he said: "I've heard it's one of the toughest deals of all".

But some Palestinians pointed out the glaring omission. "King Salman feels very strongly and, I can tell you, would love to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians".

Trump said: "So many young handsome innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life". Israeli news media has widely covered Trump's visit and the "mediascape" has been rich with analysis and opinion.

Trump's visit to Jerusalem has been laden with religious symbolism.

The US president had previously walked away from supporting a two-state solution. On Wednesday, Trump will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican before meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Other reports by VgToday

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