Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Optics Matter During Trump Visit to Israel


The White House captioned a live video feed of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking together as being broadcast from "Jerusalem, Israel", a departure from the policies of past presidents.

According to Israeli media reports, Abbas will discuss with Trump the demands of Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israeli prisons. Later, Trump called British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Hossam Zomlot, an aide to Abbas, said that "if President Trump wants to mediate and leads us to a historic agreement, a major agreement, we are ready to be his partners".

To get to Bethlehem from Jerusalem, Trump's motorcade passed through streets lined with heavily armed security forces and an opening in Israel's towering separation barrier, a visual reminder of the complexities of the conflict in the region.

"We're going to have very productive discussions, in my opinion, with the leaders of other nations, also", Trump said.

Revivi says he hopes it means the US has "moved on from this failed policy and will now work together to build true and lasting peace from the ground up".

In Gaza, a coastal territory around 60 km (35 miles) west of the West Bank that is under a land and sea blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt, demonstrations were expected later on Tuesday, following protests on Monday, to oppose Trump's visit to the region. Last month scores of Palestinian security prisoners launched a hunger strike to pressure Israel into improving their conditions.

Melania Trump appears to slap away president's hand in Israel
No doubt echoing the thoughts of an untold number of viewers, the newspaper tweeted the video with a single word: "Ouch". Trump's hand as he reaches to hold it while on tarmac in Israel", Niraj Warikoo of the Detroit Free Press Tweeted.

Khaldi says that "this visit will open the way for relaunching the peace process".

President Rivlin thanked Trump for his "commitment to Israel's ability to face the threats of today and of tomorrow".

Netanyahu and Abbas were not scheduled to meet during Trump's visit.

Israeli troops shot and wounded at least 11 Palestinians over the course of the crackdown, and many more hurt when Israeli police arrived and fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrations. Thankfully, with President Trump in the White House, the relationship will be restored to its rightful place.

Ivanka Trump during her visit to the Western Wall, Judaism´s holiest prayer site.

The visit raised questions about whether the USA would indicate the site is Israeli territory.

Instead, Trump has pitched himself as a "mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator" to help both sides to reach a lasting peace settlement and has resisted stating must-have aspects of such a deal.

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