Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

More than 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails ended a mass hunger strike against detention conditions.

I'm certain that he had a similar building epiphany upon seeing the walls that Israel has erected to separate itself from and keep the Palestinians jailed behind. Palestinians regard the detainees as political prisoners. It began on 17 April, the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day, when Palestinians remember detained friends and relatives. The focus of such an alliance should have been to free Al Aqsa Mosque and other Arab territories held by Israel since June 1967. But the first visit of President Trump to Riyadh had some interesting firsts in extravagant hosting, and a 180 degree turn by a president who would surprise if there were ever any consistency in his narrative.

The first image from the trip to light up social media was also the most surreal. They believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is missing out on an opportunity for change.

Trump's first trip overseas has highlighted the extent to which strident opposition to Iran now serves as an organizing principle in his efforts to remake America's relationship with the Middle East.

On the issue of moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Erekat had warned that doing so would "destroy the peace process and lead the region to extremism and bloodshed". George W Bush sponsored a peace conference in Annapolis in 2007, which for a while was hailed, in vain, as a major step towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Take your choice; either way President Donald Trump smells very bad!

The pinnacle of Trump's anti-Muslim sentiments shone through in 2015 when he said, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

Without doubt the Saudis and the Israelis are talking, because they view Iran as their shared enemy.

The Palestinians have demanded a full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank as part of any future peace agreement. So signs and symbols and implicit messages are being pored over for meaning.

What's more, the White House pegged the press conference as happening in "Jerusalem, Israel", a notable shift from the US practice of not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital (despite congressional action calling for the U.S.to make such a recognition). He repeated, to lots of applause, that he would never let Iran have nuclear weapons.

Similarly, the Trump administration has not publicly stated its "opposition to settlements [Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria], and has not recognized the fact that they are illegal".

Trying to thrown Trump into his basket, Netanyahu said that if the bomber in Manchester was Palestinian, and his victims were Israelis, the Palestinian Authority would be paying a stipend to his family.

A number of facilities and institutions have been named after Palestinians who carried out violent attacks against Israel.

Further, Israel's Operation Protective Edge, launched in the summer of 2014 against Hamas-supported terrorists, killed hundreds of Palestinians and destroyed their homes.

President Trump, in his speech, did not pick up the cue. Given the latest remarks by Abbas, every Israeli must ask himself why, rather than extending our hand in return to the moderate Palestinian in an effort to put an end to 50 years of controlling another people, Netanyahu and his government prefer to continue the policy of refusal, whose price continues to soar.

And therein lies the catch: The willingness of the Sunni coalition to normalize relations between Israel and the Gulf states is predicated on the resolution of the Palestinian conflict. That is an important disagreement.

Israel first invaded the West Bank and east Jurasalem from Jordan during a war that occurred in 1967, consisting of neighbouring states that lasted for six days. At one point, Pope Francis gave Mr. Trump a copy of his encyclical on combatting climate change and environmental degradation.

But the Palestine-Israel relationship needs more cultivating before an accord can be reached.

  • Leroy Wright