Trump faces diplomatic hurdles during 28 hours in the Holy Land

Christian leaders representing 60 million members of the faith across America have sent President Trump a letter asking him to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the country's capital, Jerusalem.

Then, the president's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer wouldn't say the Western Wall is in Israel during press briefings - adding fuel to the already fiery headlines and raising concerns about problems between the US and Israel before President Trump even steps foot in Israel.

Avraham Diskin, political science professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, blames the decrease on suspicions about Trump's moves regarding the conflict with the Palestinians.

Trump or any other "mediator" can not expect Israel to make peace with a Palestinian state that rewards the family of any Palestinian who kills or damages an Israeli.

President Trump will visit Israel on May 22 and he will visit the Western Wall and meet with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Can he expect the Israelis to return to the Palestinians West Bank land that now includes Israeli settlements?

The Israeli government demanded an explanation from the White House, which cast a shadow over the president's visit.

Donald Trump's visit to Israel should have been the smoothest leg of his upcoming trip to Europe and the Middle East: A carefully choreographed love-fest among politically aligned conservatives, waxing over shared values and their common fight against religious extremism.

Friedman says that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants peace talks with Israel without any preconditions at all, as soon as possible.

Rabbi Marvin Hier - the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles who participated in Trump's inauguration ceremony in January - told The Algemeiner earlier this week that he was displeased with the administration's plan of having Trump visit the Western Wall without Netanyahu. "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel". The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that the Israeli source Trump allegedly compromised is "described by multiple USA officials as the most valuable source of information on external plotting by Islamic State".

Right now, US policy on Israel is unchanged from that of past administrations.

He also said that the attacker, who also hit a Red Crescent ambulance with his vehicle, had opened fire on the crowd at the same time that clashes were ongoing with Israeli forces, who had deployed tear gas canisters against the demonstraters.

At the same time, he said Israel understood that Trump, as president and commander-in-chief, had the authority to divulge the information, even if in doing so he had shown that he "has no experience in how to deal with intelligence". But the USA has withheld recognition of that control until there is a deal.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, including the Old City, in the 1967 Mideast war, along with the West Bank and Gaza. Given the competing claims, the US and most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem. It considers the entire city its eternal capital and is set next week to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of what it calls Jerusalem's unification. "The one next to me was hit by a bullet in his head, and people said he was killed", he told reporters.

  • Larry Hoffman