Trump to Palestinians, Israelis: Compromise for peace

Nick Mcbride
May 28, 2017

Trump also discussed the attack during an appearance at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kushner's special status as both a Trump family member and a top adviser was evident during the trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

But the irony of Trump's visit is that if the president gets his way, the grip will have to be loosened.

But the two leaders disagreed on some key points. Trump called for a coalition of partners of the nations of the world "who share the aim of stamping out extremists", and said diverse nations can unite around such a goal.

He did not specifically mention the two-state solution, long the focus of global peace efforts and US Middle East diplomacy. Allowing them to do so could have led to accusations that Washington was implicitly recognizing Israel's unilateral claim of sovereignty over the site, which would break with years of USA and worldwide precedent. "There is no other way".

A scandal-plagued member of Parliament from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party, Oren Hazan, managed to gain access to the red carpet and greet Trump upon his arrival. The US does not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Nevertheless, Israeli officials are skeptical.

Mr Trump's comments came after a flying visit to Israel and the West Bank. "The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty", he later added.

Indeed, that lack of reflection seems to be Trump's particular theme of the day. Trump is a Presbyterian. The compound is the holiest site to Jews and the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. In the "Encyclopedia of Religion", professor Reuven Firestone relates the legend that it was the Muslim caliph Umar who, after vanquishing the Christians, ascended to the desecrated area, rolled up the sleeves of his robe and began cleaning up the soiled Muslim and Jewish holy place himself.

Israel was restored as a nation in 1948, which provoked an immediate invasion by some of its Arab neighbors.

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Israel annexed east Jerusalem and the contested Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The holy city is contested by both sides as their capital.

Trump spent two days in Saudi Arabia, where he announced massive weapons deals with an absolute monarchy that has been leading a devastating US-backed bombing campaign against Yemen, killing thousands of civilians over the last two years.

"We'll talk about it in dinner", Sara Netanyahu told Trump. But U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued that the Israelis have nothing to fear from the Saudi arms deal.

On the relationship between the Arab states and Israel, Trump offered no recipe as to how they can reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

President Donald Trump: "Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name 'Israel, ' never mentioned it during that conversation".

Tillerson also said, "We solve the Israeli-Palestinian peace dilemma, we start solving a lot of the peace throughout the Middle East region", a linkage that Netanyahu, who has said peace with other states is achievable before Israeli-Palestinian issues are resolved, has in the past forcefully rejected. "There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran, and it is indeed a threat, there's no question about that".

Trump has repeatedly underscored USA support for Israel during his first global trip as president. "Today we reaffirm the unbreakable bond of friendship between Israel and the United States".

"Our hand is stretched out for peace", he said. "I think the White House and the president needs to be careful that in an effort to make things better, we end up making things worse", Rubio said. For the first time in many years, and for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change.

Haley is also expected to visit the Palestinian Authority, Israel's Ynet news reported Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Trump returned to the occupied West Bank for a cursory meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. "I truly do, but I'm not very optimistic", Rubio told CNN's "New Day".

Other reports by VgToday

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