JERUSALEM-It wasn't meant to be this way. The latter, who had heaped praise on Trump's pro-Israel stands even before his historic election a year ago, will find it politically perilous to rebuff the president's overtures. Jerusalem's municipal services extend to all parts of the city, including the Arab sectors. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did so on the campaign trail only to have the diplomatic realities of the move prevent any follow-through. The reason is simple: By the time Mr.
That President Trump will be the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall, assuming it happens, is profoundly significant.
As Mr. Trump prepares to board Air Force One, the atmosphere is entirely different.
"Mr. President, we look forward to your visit".
In the poll of 500 Jewish-Israeli adults conducted this week for The Jerusalem Post, 56 percent said they considered the Trump administration more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian. To the rapturous applause of the Jewish audience, Trump denounced the current administration's policy of distancing America from Israel and putting daylight between the two.
"Of course, the Palestinians also have to be willing to recognize Israel as a nation living side by side with them in peace", the elder statesman added.
He promised that when he became president, things would be different.
The following day, Trump will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, and then stop in occupied East Jerusalem, to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall - reportedly to become the first sitting United States president to visit the contested holy site that stands adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. That the European Union, never late to condemn any Israel move in what it considers settlements - including all of West Jerusalem - said nothing? Somebody who understands the settlements.
Tillerson said Trump "has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have". Among those on hand were Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House minority whip.More news: Israeli minister expresses concern over US-Saudi arms deal
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The cumulative effect was clear: Israel would not get the pass they originally thought regarding settlement construction.
Initially hailed as hero by Israel's right wing, Trump campaigned on a promise of moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moves that were certain to anger the Palestinians and the wider Arab world. For Donald Trump, several of those await in Jerusalem and Bethlehem next week.
Will the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem?
And yet here again, Mr. Trump has wavered. However, a detailed plan is not expected only four months after taking office.
Now President Trump holds the cards.
It is safe to say that the time is not right for peace with Palestinians, said Elkin. She continues to call for the embassy move. However, those issues alone wouldn't necessarily worry Israel. It is widely assumed that Israel would retain control over the site under a potential peace deal.
President Donald Trump's popularity among Israeli Jews has fallen 23 percent since January, an alarming statistic as he prepares to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders next week in a bid to revive a peace process frozen since 2014. The Palestinians see it as the capital of a future independent state. So now, buoyed by that seeming progress, Mr. Trump makes his way to Israel to test the waters. Israeli authorities deliberately scheduled celebrations this year on the eve of Trump's arrival on May 20.
According to Brigadier General (Res.) Michael Herzog, a Senior Visiting Fellow at pro-Israel British advocacy BICOM, and an global fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, launching a Mideas peace process is a high priority for the Trump administration notwithstanding other pressing issues in the region and globally.
At which point will the president's vanity for a deal at any cost trump his reason? That so-called Arab NATO might even have room for Israel at a later stage.