Jerusalem still suffers from divisions, 50 years after war
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 18:09
Moreover, he left after a 28-hour visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank convinced that he has partners in peace after meeting with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
Ahead of President Donald Trump's Israel visit, top Christian Zionist organizations and leaders called on the president to fulfill his election campaign promise to relocate the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite reports that Trump is unlikely to make the move in the near future.
Trump has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser on brokering an Israel-Palestinian deal, while Jason Greenblatt, formerly a lawyer in his real estate group, has taken the day-to-day role of liaising with leaders and officials in the region on the nitty-gritty of a solution.
At face value, Mr. Trump's enthusiasm for reaching a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians is commendable; the Obama administration was so pessimistic about the chances for peace that it wasn't even made a priority.
He also commended the importance of the holding of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in the Saudi capital on Sunday. Both sides have to compromise to come to an agreement, but ... the Palestinians need to come a lot further than the Israelis, and thus far the Palestinian leadership has shown little inclination to move at all.
"There were very substantive discussions in Israel with both Netanyahu as well as Abbas". "Our fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements and failure of Israel to recognize the state of Palestine in the same way we recognize, which undermines the realization of a two-state solution".
President Donald Trump placed a note in the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday, becoming the first sitting USA president to visit one of Judaism's holiest sites.
The reunification anniversary is "the right time for the U.S.to correct this historic injustice by leading the nations back up to Jerusalem", said Susan Michael, director of ICEJ's USA branch.
Imprisoned Palestinian Liberation Organisation commander Marwan Barghouti used the trip to urge the US President to save thousands of Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 37 days.
"I would like to draw the attention to the issue of our Palestinian prisoners, who have been on hunger strike for more than one month, meters away from here in the vicinity of the Church of the Nativity". And their demands are humane and just.
"We believe you have the ability and the necessary influence over the occupying power's [Israel's] government to end the suffering of our children in Israeli prisons", he said in a letter to Mr Trump.
He did make repeated references to his meetings in Riyadh with King Salman over the weekend, saying in Bethlehem that the king "could not have been kinder, and I will tell you: He's a very wise, wise man".
There was no mention of key Palestinian grievances and aspirations, namely, the expansion of Jewish settlements and the creation of a Palestinian state.
I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal. "And Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same".
Decades of US -led peacemaking have failed to produce a lasting deal with the Palestinians.
Instead, Trump told the crowd of gathered dignitaries, members of Knesset, religious leaders and others that "the ties of the Jewish people to this Holy Land are ancient and eternal". "This wicked ideology must be obliterated - and I mean completely obliterated - and innocent life must be protected".
In a much-awaited speech at the Israel Museum, Trump pledged unstinting support for Israel, vowed that he would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and asserted that Israeli and Palestinian leaders were ready to make peace.