Trump says 'ultimate deal' possible for peace in Middle East

Posted May 26, 2017

Israeli media last week reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested to join Mr. Trump at the Western Wall, but was told by US officials organizing the trip that the wall wasn't in Israeli territory.

Trump's visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory was also met with a widely observed general strike and protests in the occupied West Bank, with a combined message of support for a mass hunger strike under way in Israeli prisons, and also to voice opposition to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under U.S. sponsorship.

Commentator Chemi Shalev wrote in Haaretz that the deal will give the Saudis a "hold" on Trump, "which means he won't be quick to cross them". In many cases, Saudi citizens have participated in jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria while the Gulf monarchs have tacitly backed al-Qaida and other extremist factions amid its war on the people of Yemen.

Right-wingers said they were at least relieved that Trump made no mention of the two-state solution, which they strongly oppose.

The status of Jerusalem is ultra-sensitive and has been among the most hard issues in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stalled since April 2014.

Trump arrived in Bethlehem in a motorcade, crossing a checkpoint at Israel's controversial separation wall, and was greeted by Abbas and other dignitaries outside the presidential palace, The Washington Examiner reported.

Netizens suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that there may have been a fly on Mr Trump's hand.

Those comments echo statements made the day before in Saudi Arabia.

Member of the PFLP's politburo Kayid al-Ghoul told Ma'an that the rally reflected the group's support for the demands of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners and firm solidarity with their plight, as well as opposition to Trump's policies, which he said were "predictably in support of Israel's conditions for the so-called peace process".

Jones and Lee fail, however, to make any mention of the White House's response to the incident.

"My message to that summit was the same message I have for you: We must build a coalition of partners who share the aim of stamping out extremists and violence and providing our children a peaceful and hopeful future". But until we do, supporters of two states should not be rattled by Trump's verbal gymnastics. "But with determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal". The UN in December reiterated that position in a Security Council resolution that labeled as illegal all Israeli settlement beyond the 1967 borders, known as the Green Line, including in the eastern part of Jerusalem. None of the Arab parties are willing to participate in a process whose endpoint is anything but Palestinian statehood, and the fact that they are publicly cooperating with Trump on restarting negotiations is the clearest available sign that the sucker at this poker table is not the Palestinians but Israeli supporters of annexation. Speaking on Israeli television, Yuval Steineitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, praised Trump's promises but added soberly, "We will have to sit with the Americans to ensure that in any eventuality, Israel will maintain its military superiority".

"It was a awful, bad thing for the United States to enter that deal and, believe me, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, that I can tell you", Trump said to Netanyahu. The worldwide community doesn't recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and Palestinians regard it as the future capital of an independent Palestinian state. He also noted that Iran Air, in Tehran's first deal with a US aviation group since the 1979 Islamic revolution, finalized in December a contract worth $16.6 billion to purchase 80 Boeing planes.

The final leg may be the most challenging. Doing well. Heading to Vatican & Pope, then #G7 and #NATO.