No, really, "the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace"
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 20:32
For the White House this was job done.
They were particularly pleased with Trump's visit to the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism.
Said Trump, "There are those who ... say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region". The global community doesn't recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and Palestinians regard it as the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and which rivals Abbas, said Trump aligned "himself with the politics of the (Israeli) occupier" during his visit.
Netanyahu also criticized this practice in a statement made after Abbas's joint remarks with Trump on Tuesday, seemingly calling Abbas a hypocrite for offering his condolences to those who were hurt or lost loved ones in Monday evening's terrorist attacks in Manchester - Netanyahu said that had the Manchester victims been Israeli children, the Palestinian Authority would have paid the attacker's family. Choosing Saudi Arabia and Israel for his first overseas visits was high risk.
Yet the White House sent mixed signals regarding the Trump administration's official policy on the conflict, seemingly acknowledging the existence of "Palestine" while simultaneously recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
However, many Palestinians on both sides look forward to Trump's promote action to make Israel listen to reason and promptly deliver justice to them. "Iran will never have nuclear weapons, that I can tell you", Trump told fanatic Netanyahu. The White House also referred to Abbas as president of "Palestine" in a schedule, despite the fact that the USA does not recognise a Palestinian state. Speaking on Israeli television, Yuval Steineitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, praised Trump's promises but added soberly, "We will have to sit with the Americans to ensure that in any eventuality, Israel will maintain its military superiority".
This would represent a notable gain by Trump in his bid to restart peace talks, as Abbas until now has set preconditions for a return to peace talks, including an Israeli freeze on settlement building. "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". And just after Trump makes the statement, Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, is seen running his hand through his hair - a move that some have interpreted as embarrassment on the president's behalf. We all know that.
Far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Israeli settler organisations also hailed Trump's silence on two states.
Netizens suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that there may have been a fly on Mr Trump's hand.