Awkward! Donald Trump gaffe prompts Israeli Ambassador to face-palm during meeting

Elias Hubbard
May 25, 2017

The prime minister, who had a frosty relationship with Trump's predecessor, heaped praise on the president throughout the two-day visit, declaring: "We understand each other". This was made harder because Israelis, true to the stereotype - two Israelis, three opinions - didn't agree. Two-thirds of the prime minister's governing coalition would like to see a USA initiative fail.

"America's security partnership with Israel is stronger than ever".

"I didn't expect a lot, and not a lot happened; when it comes to Trump, I'm pretty timid", said Amnon Ramon, a senior researcher with the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research.

At the same time, Abbas and the Palestinians have been pleasantly surprised by Trump. But brand Trump is simple, big picture - not detail. He built a personal brand and carried it all the way to the White House.

"At a time when UNESCO and others continue to deny Jewish history, identity and rights in Jerusalem and Israel in general, the president's visit to the Western Wall serves as a critical reminder to the world that Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people". "We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice, peace is a choice we must make each day, and the United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christians and Muslim children all across the region".

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Both sides will face tough decisions. Fence-sitters in his party as well as influential foreign leaders will say, "That wasn't so bad". Trump seemed to accomplish all of this, most experts here agreed, with few of the missteps that have dogged him at home. As a first step, USA negotiators are trying to goad reluctant Israeli and Palestinian leaders back to the negotiating table; and they might succeed, because neither side wants to say "no" to the president.

Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, told AFP he was glad Trump's talk of peace "didn't lock us into a specific formula", referring to the two-state solution.

But I'd argue that the answer is both. "This is not something new", Pizzaballa told NCR as he exited the Israel Museum speech on Tuesday and Trump's motorcade left for the helicopter pad. "I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East, and that would be an wonderful accomplishment". "They are anxious by Trump's language because he did not mention two states", said Ghassan Khatib, a professor of political science at Birzeit University near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Trump initially expressed openness to alternatives to a two-state solution in February, during a meeting with Netanyahu at the White House.

The so-called two-state solution - meaning an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel - has always been the basis of U.S. policy but Trump suggested in February he was no longer wedded to it. Peace talks have been stalled for years, most recently breaking down in 2014 following disagreements over Israeli settlement-building and a Palestinian move to reconcile with the Islamist group Hamas. No one watching the visit believes he has that yet.

Matty Stern/ZUMA Press/NewscomFor decades American presidents have tried, with varying degrees of effort and to varying degrees of success, to negotiate a peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

As a result of deal, a large proportion of US sanctions against Iran were lifted, delivering a major blow to Iran's sectarian rivals in the Sunni camp and Israel. Trump has handed son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as longtime business lawyer Jason Greenblatt the assignment of charting the course toward a peace process.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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