Provocative Israeli parade in occupied Jerusalem focus of dailies — Newspapers Review

Henrietta Brewer
May 26, 2017

On Thursday, special envoy of the Trump administration to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt is coming to Israel to continue the peace discussions with Netanyahu.

The Israeli diplomats and officials invited to hear the speech live in Jerusalem were delighted, rewarding Trump's remarks at the Israel Museum with frequent applause and numerous standing ovations.

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

"This is the time for leadership, not defeatism, the time to lead and not be led", he added. "Not with Donald J. Trump".

Far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Israeli settler organisations also hailed Trump's silence on two states. President Trump talked peace and Iran.

The White House struggled to answer the question. "It's not just the Saudis, its also the Emirates, also the Qataris, also the Iranians; they are all acquiring weapons".

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and its Old City, which was then under Jordanian rule, during the June 5, 1967 war, annexed it and made it its capital, a step not recognized by any country or organization. That is completely wrong. The American leader said the time is ripe for peace, but did not propose a specific plan to achieve it. He says this "wicked ideology must be obliterated".

This idea of what New Yorker contributor Nathan Thrall called an "outside-in peace process" isn't new.

The hilltop site in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem is known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and to Jews as the Temple Mount. Israel and Saudi Arabia made every effort to prevent the negotiations between Iran and six world powers from succeeding. Commercial Israeli flights aren't even allowed to fly over Saudi Arabian airspace.

Trump has now flown to Rome ahead of a meeting with Pope Francis.

Third, Trump wants to expand the sale of USA armaments to Saudi Arabia and in this vein signed a $110 billion arms deal while in the kingdom. He accused the foundation run by Bill and Hillary Clinton of corruption for accepting charitable contributions from Saudi Arabia and chastised first lady Michelle Obama for not covering her head during a visit to the Kingdom.

JOHN YANG: Missing from Mr. Trump's comments?

But there was little public evidence of prodding by Trump or his aides of either side to make more substantial concessions.

But did Donald Trump's whistlestop trip to the region actually achieve anything or was it simply a chance for him to escape the whirlwind of hostile headlines back home and bask in the adoration that a president usually expects during the honeymoon period following his inauguration? But there is always the risk Trump's strong anti-Iran position could actually exacerbate sectarianism.

On Monday, Trump said he had come to "reaffirm the unbreakable bond" between the USA and Israel and that there was a "rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace" to the region.

There was no mention of the highly controversial pledge to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.

Abbas underlined that the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis was not based on religion. "We hope this means that we have moved on from this failed policy and will now work together to build true and lasting peace from the ground up".

"So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers", Trump said. And he will not impose anything on us, and he will not patronize us. He spelled out in unambiguous terms, "No injustice has spread more bitter fruits than the absence of a Palestinian state".

He believes it is urgently important for Israel's survival that it separates from the Palestinians and figures out a two-state solution. But Israel's current hardline government has no intention of making the concessions that such a resolution would demand. At least one Palestinian was injured at the Qalandia checkpoint near Jerusalem. Ramping up pressure on Iran will inhibit its ability to combat terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region.

Still, a senior administration official traveling with the president told reporters on Air Force One that the White House was satisfied with the visit.

Other reports by iNewsToday