It's Starting: Trump Demands Israel Transfer Land to Arabs BEFORE Deal
03 June, 2017, 01:55 | Author: Clay Erickson
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu frequently boasts of his behind-the-scenes cooperation with moderate Sunni countries that are believed to include Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Trump even suggested that the Saudi monarch agreed with him: "King Salman feels very strongly and, I can tell you, would love to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians", he said.
"I've heard it's one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we're going to get there eventually", Trump said during a meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The objective of Trump's trip, the official said, was "to do a lot of listening, build very strong relationships with all the different people, not just the parties involved. and try to create a lot of momentum and optimism around the prospect for peace". In public remarks in the West Bank town of Bethlehem and in Jerusalem, Trump avoided mention of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, and made no references to controversial Jewish settlements or to recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
He also said he's confident the alliance between Israel and the US will become greater and stronger under Trump's leadership.
It is the first time a sitting USA president has visited and prayed at the site.
David Rubin, a former mayor of the Israeli city of Shiloh, says he was struck by Trump's kind feelings for Israel and he says most Israelis sensed that kindness, too.
Trump's statement was largely interpreted in Israel as a sharp rebuke to the Palestinian Authority (PA) practice of paying salaries to jailed Palestinians and to the families of those who were killed while trying to carry out attacks against Israel.
The status of Jerusalem is ultra-sensitive and has been among the most hard issues in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stalled since April 2014.
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"The problem is not between us and Judaism, it is between us and occupation", the Palestinian leader asserted.
"The Temple Mount and Western Wall will remain forever under Israeli sovereignty", Netanyahu told lawmakers, just two days after President Donald Trump visited the wall.
He said Trump's White House meeting with Abbas earlier this month had briefly raised Palestinian expectations but wondered how long that initial optimism would last.
Indeed, it is far more probable that Mr. Trump's efforts to reignite dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership will be a one-off, an ersatz display of statesmanship that fleetingly showcases Mr. Trump's supposed deal-making skills, but that is backed by no strategy or resolve to achieve anything tangible.
Israel occupied the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, in the Six-Day War of 1967.
"Clinton tried, Bush tried, Obama tried". It later annexed East Jerusalem and declared it as part of its "eternal and indivisible capital", a move that has never been recognized by the global community.
Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia also inspired other Arab cartoonists in the region, who celebrated the Saudi-American alliance against ISIS and Iran.
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