Netanyahu's pledge: Jerusalem 'will not be divided again'

Daniel Douek teaches comparative politics and worldwide relations at Concordia University and McGill University.

The last talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, led by former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry, broke down in April 2014 after around a year of largely fruitless discussion.While both Netanyahu and Abbas reiterated during Trump's visit a commitment to peace, both also face domestic constraints on their ability to manoeuvre or compromise.

As ISIS insults democracy with fresh terror attacks, Trump's proposed ban on radical Muslims entering the US doesn't look so insane. Before the two leaders met they did the traditional "photo-op/some words" in which Netanyahu was effusive in praise of Trump's criticism of Iran. "And Israel's hand is extended in peace to all our neighbours, including the Palestinians".

President Trump weighed in on the attack today.

Trump's visit to Jerusalem has been laden with religious symbolism.

Indeed, East Jerusalem is in many ways a microcosm of the occupation in general, with large, heavily subsidized and fortified Jewish-only settlements scattered around Palestinian neighborhoods, whose residents are always either protesting their mistreatment or being cracked down upon for protesting their mistreatment too loudly.

The Trump administration has since backed away from this pledge, with US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley declaring that the USA government would not carry it out.

President Donald Trump and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu share a private moment at the Israel Museum, May 23.

Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt is reportedly returning to Israel on Thursday for talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah to follow-up the U.S. president's historic two-day visit in Israel.

"The ultimate solution is that the Palestinian people have to rise up and say to Hamas, 'We don't need you, '" he said.

"And I also heard from several sources that he's gotten some bad advice from the prime minister of Israel", says Rubin, "who wants that Saudi relationship so badly that he has even said that it might not be a good idea for the president to move the embassy right now".

Some argue that the Trump administration's apparent lack of a unified plan actually reflects a clever bargaining strategy: By deliberately staking out multiple policy positions, it guarantees flexibility in forthcoming negotiations.

In the eyes of cynical Israelis, Trump, like Netanyahu in the past, is awarding himself the world title of Mr. Anti-Terror, this time against Iran. This does not bode well.

In a joint news conference, Abbas stressed that the Palestinian people's attainment of freedom and independence was the key to peace and stability in the world, "so that the children of Palestine and Israel enjoy a safe, stable, and prosperous future". I'd strongly advise you never to put money on anyone being able to convince the Palestinians that peace is worthwhile (Arafat had a great deal and walked away, Olmert gave Abbas a similar deal and he said no). "This is the time, 50 years on from the Six Day War, to shake off the heavy burden of millions of Palestinians and ensure the continued existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and homeland of the Jewish people for generations", he stated, vowing his party's political support for peace talks.

Descending the steps of Air Force One with his wife, Melania - and apparently referring to the planning problems that have overshadowed a trip Israeli officials have described privately as "chaotic" - Trump asked the Israeli prime minister: "What is the protocol?"

Taken against the backdrop of a roiling investigation back home into possible collusion between Mr. Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, this opportunity for him to appear statesmanlike must be a welcome reprieve from America's domestic politics.

"The raising of Israeli flags and removal of dozens of Palestinian flags will not change reality", the ministry said in a statement.

  • Leroy Wright