Late-night TV hosts in the USA and Israel took aim at President Trump’s visit to Israel, highlighting some of the less delicate moments and off-the-cuff remarks of the president, who is in Rome visiting the Vatican today.
Mr. Trump’s whirlwind tour of one of the Middle East’s most intractable problems ended with a departure ceremony.
From its earliest days, the fundamental premise behind the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was finally ready to put down its guns, give up its dream of destroying Israel, and compromise.
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, on May 22, 2017. Taken by the Israelis in the 1967 Six-Day War, the wall sits in disputed land.
Trump has said that achieving a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians is possible.
In what may concern peace advocates, he did not specifically mention the two-state solution, long the focus of worldwide efforts and US Middle East diplomacy.
Still, White House officials had downplayed the prospects for a breakthrough on this trip, saying it was important to manage their ambitions as they wade into terrain that has tripped up more experienced diplomats. He also did not mention a future with an Israeli and Palestinian state side by side, nor did he bring up the status of Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, ahead of Trump’s meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday, a live-streamed White House schedule stated that Trump would deliver remarks in “Jerusalem, Israel”.
“Head spinning: Never has a USA president expressed so much confidence in a conflict-ending peace agreement with so little prospect of success”, tweeted Aaron David Miller who was a US negotiator on the Middle East in both Republican and Democratic administrations. And Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same.
The Palestinian leadership has pledged to work with Trump, hoping his unorthodox approach can lead to progress previously lacking. The U.S. president also omitted a key phrase. On Tuesday morning, Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem, traveling across the barrier surrounding much of the biblical city.
Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, said that while Trump might have appeared warm in public, in private he probably made some hard asks of both sides.
The so-called two-state solution – meaning an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel – has always been the basis of U.S. policy but Trump suggested in February he was no longer wedded to it. In a speech on Tuesday at the Israel Museum, Mr. Trump proclaimed that the “Palestinians are ready to reach for peace”, adding that Mr. Netanyahu also “wants peace”. More than 20 people were killed by an apparent suicide bomber.
“I think this trip was a big success because it was unexpected”, the official said.
During the meeting, Mr. Trump discussed United States ties with Saudi Arabia as being important, participated in the national sword dance with King Salman, and praised Saudi Arabia for working to combat terrorism.
Trump and Abbas stood side-by-side in Bethlehem as the American president condemned the terrorists as “evil losers in life” – “radical Islamic terrorism” having evidently been retired from Trump’s repertoire while he meets with regimes that support radical Islamic terrorism.
“I talk every place about how great she is and how great you are”, Sara told him, according to The Daily Caller.