Trump Arrives in Israel, Ready to Test Waters on Middle East Peace

His visit to Saudi Arabia, and speech to leaders from over 50 majority-Muslim countries on Sunday, is reflective of that.

Trump is scheduled to visit Italy, Vatican City and Belgium later in the week.

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" host Eugene Puryear is joined by Nadia Hassan, Executive Director of Young Leaders Institute and Board Member of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus, and Ben Norton, journalist with Alternet, to talk about Donald Trump's first trip overseas and his first stop in Saudi Arabia.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised President Trump for a trip to Saudi Arabia that was so successful it didn't draw a single protester.

Mr Netanyahu said he hoped Mr Trump's visit would be a "historic milestone" in achieving regional peace.

Trump also earned plaudits for his first day in Israel on Monday.

White House officials said they considered Trump's address to be a counterweight to Obama's debut speech to the Muslim world in 2009 in Cairo.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official close to Abbas, said Trump was a "serious president" who "seeks to have a real deal, not just managing the conflict".

Yet some Israeli officials are less certain of Trump. The president had reportedly spent much of his flight from the Saudi Arabia editing his speech.

Palestinians, who viewed Trump's victory with some trepidation, are said to have been pleasantly surprised by Trump's openness during a recent meeting with Abbas in Washington.

After his meeting with Abbas, Trump returned to Jerusalem for a solemn tribute to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. He reiterated the Palestinians' demands, including establishing a capital in East Jerusalem, territory Israel claims as well, insisting that "our problem is not with the Jewish religion, it's with the occupation and settlements, and with Israel not recognizing the state of Palestine". "This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations", Trump said, rightly focusing on rooting out the "barbaric criminals" who pervert teachings to justify their unjustifiable pursuits. Trump also said, "Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred". Trump used both terms interchangeably, CNN reports.

Meanwhile, Palestinian activists are calling for a "Day of Rage" when Trump visits the West Bank on Tuesday.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was condemned on the media for not rising at the summit and rebuking Trump for the way America had behaved in the Middle East and South Asia, siding with India and being unmoved by what New Delhi is doing to the struggling Kashmiris.

Melania Trump touches the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City Monday, May 22, 2017. He toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which by Christian tradition is where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb.

Friedman attended a celebration Sunday with Netanyahu of Israel's capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, days after the White House declined to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area. "But Trump's comments make him look like he's unwittingly incriminating himself".

The World Bank announced Sunday at an event with Ivanka Trump, the USA president's daughter and senior White House adviser, that Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have pledged a combined $100 million to a fund that will assist women entrepreneurs and small business owners.

  • Zachary Reyes