US President Donald Trump ended his tour of the Middle East with another call for peace between Israel and Palestine, but as it is with the current US president the entire affair was about optics. But he avoided any mention of a Palestinian state and did not address a campaign promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something Netanyahu yearns for.
Summary⎙ Print The regional visit of US President Donald Trump revealed that he supports an anti-Iran coalition of Sunni countries and that he is determined to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
White House officials said Trump avoided specifics on objective, because he had no intention of starting negotiations on Middle East peace in public. "He wants peace", he said. "And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis which has dragged on for almost half [a] century". He met multiple times with Netanyahu and said in a joint appearance with the prime minister Tuesday, "I can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace - and, from my meeting with my friend Benjamin Netanyahu, I can tell you Israelis are ready to reach for peace as well". "He did not weigh in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the USA would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory".
The White House said Trump spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May after the attack and offered his condolences and support on behalf of the United States. None of the Arab parties are willing to participate in a process whose endpoint is anything but Palestinian statehood, and the fact that they are publicly cooperating with Trump on restarting negotiations is the clearest available sign that the sucker at this poker table is not the Palestinians but Israeli supporters of annexation.
For its part, Abbas's Fatah party is at sharp odds with the Islamist group Hamas, which is in power in Gaza, leaving no unified Palestinian position on peace.
In Israel, Bloomberg's Margaret Talev shouted out a question about Trump inadvertently giving Russian officials intelligence information gleaned from Israel. On Tuesday, Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem, traveling across much of the biblical city. "But with determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal".
The importance of President Trump's visit to the Western Wall-in Hebrew, the Kotel-cannot be underestimated. Israel rightly regarded Obama's abstention as a stab in the back.
He also underlined Christian and Muslim connections, faiths that took root in the land between 1,400 and 2,000 years ago.
Still, Trump did not single out Jewish ties to the city of Jerusalem.
"This place is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people", Trump said.
Trump's speech at the Israel Museum was so friendly and considerate of Israeli emotions that one right-wing Israeli legislator described it as deeply expressive of the "Zionist narrative".
Abbas said he was keen to "keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors".
In a press conference with Abbas Tuesday morning, he reiterated, "I have committed to try to reach a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians", speaking only in general terms. One way of moving forward is the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, proposed by the then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
In his remarks, Abbas said he has no problem with Judaism.