Trump tests waters for achieving Middle East peace

As he concluded his visit to the Middle East on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump championed the Gulf states and pitted himself as the world's chief antagonist against Shiite Iran and its proxies, ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas.

"I've heard it's one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we're going to get there eventually", Trump said during a meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The pair are now on a nine-day foreign trip, but it looks like the First Lady is keen on publicly rejecting her husband at every stop off point.

In a similar statement, Husam Zomlot, chief Palestinian representative to the United States, said, "There is a very solid bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Palestine based on many years of working together".

"For several years the Jewish people in America and Messianic Jewish communities have been pleading with our government to bring back the relationship that we once had with Israel and the Jewish people", said Ric Worshill, president of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship.

Addressing parliament, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem's Temple Mount and Western Wall will remain under Israel's control "forever".

"There is no regional peace process or anything like it", he said, adding "No one is talking about it with us, or with anyone".

"Never before has the first foreign trip of a president of the United States included a visit to Israel".

The president and his family also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and embraced the Israeli ethos that the Jewish state rose out of the ashes of World War II.

The trip also managed to produce plenty of awkward moments involving Trump and his administration - there were some unfortunate typos, a failed attempt at holding the first lady's hand (which went viral) and two geographic flubs.

"I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal", Trump said after meeting Abbas, speaking with the 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of territories that Palestinians seek for their own state approaching early next month.

Such a move would be controversial because the United Nations and many countries regard portions of Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.

Though the visit to Israel and the West Bank was supposed to restart the peace process for the first time since negotiations broke down in April 2014, the Trump administration left without declaring what the definitive next step would be. The plan - and one of the guiding ideas behind this trip - is that together they form a structure of ideas and presidential principles that bureaucrats, and the few political appointees Trump has in place, can use to run a coherent Middle East policy while Trump exists as more of a figurehead than a day-to-day decision maker.

"As you have witnessed during your historic visit of holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem, and today in Bethlehem, the conflict is not between religions, for respecting religions and prophets is an integral part of our religion and faith".

The President also notably avoided all of the thorny issues that have stymied peace efforts for decades.

Trump initially sparked deep concern among Palestinians when he backed away from the long-established U.S. commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict.

Without naming anyone in particular, Rubin tells OneNewsNow that Trump is getting "bad advice" from his advisers about moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - a campaign promise that has yet to be realized. He said Israel and the Palestinians do not expect Trump to be around for long given the investigations into potential collusion between his associates and Russian Federation.

KEITH: He was really there to talk about peace.

  • Larry Hoffman