Sharp Drop in Israeli Trust of Trump

Cheryl Sanders
May 27, 2017

A group of 60 influential Christian leaders has signed a letter delivered to U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, asking him to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

We wish him luck.

Controversy precedes the US president on his stop in Israel as well, following Trumps alleged disclosure of Israeli intelligence to Russian officials.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to break a campaign promise by not moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, local media reports said.

"I know that they are trying to fix that and get that taken care of, we have always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel", Haley said.

"I hope that President Trump would give us a chance", Erekat said at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa at the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh.

His goal is what he calls "the ultimate deal" that would bring an elusive peace to the Holy Land.

Trump intends to visit the Western Wall too, something past presidents have not done because of the political sensitivities.

Sunday saw a last-minute change to the planned ceremony, with the United States leader now due to receive an official welcome from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Rivlin.

In contrast, less than a week before Trump is scheduled to arrive in Israel for an official visit, Israeli government officials were either tight-lipped or hailing the relationship between the US and Israel. Although Israel annexed it along with all of Jordanian East Jerusalem, the Palestinians and most of the global community consider it part of the occupied West Bank.

"The only variable that has changed is President Trump, and the fact that President Trump wants to do a deal", said Robert Danin, a former adviser to the Middle East "Quartet" of worldwide peace backers and now a senior analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank. More than a third of Palestinians believe his administration will allow continued Israeli settlement building, escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions. "We look forward to working with the new Administration to find new ways and to think of new ideas, of how to move forward and build trust between Israelis and Palestinians".

The two administration officials who spoke to CNN stressed that while Trump has no immediate plans to announce the move, he was not ruling out the possibility in the future. The Israelis point out that during that time neither east Jerusalem nor the West Bank was annexed by Jordan or any other sovereign entity. Israel views Jerusalem as its undivided capital and such a move would be a show of support for the right-wing Israeli government's claim to the city.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Palestinians were taking Trump's efforts with "a very strong dose of healthy skepticism".

"Serving the its ambassador to the State of Israel is the greatest honor of my life, and I pledge to you to do all that I can to strengthen and enhance the relations between our two great nations that you accurately described as unbreakable and, I would add, without limits", said Friedman to Rivlin. If there is an agent, I'm sure it's the only one.

Other reports by iNewsToday