Sharp Drop in Israeli Trust of Trump

Sharp Drop in Israeli Trust of Trump

Even as last-minute changes are being made to Trump's ambitious Middle East itinerary, the trip has been complicated by Israeli concerns about his sharing of sensitive intelligence with Russian Federation that may have compromised an Israeli agent, and by his decision to hold off on a campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Stops on the upcoming trip include Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican; places sacred to three of the worlds major religions.

“We look forward to getting this whole situation behind us, ” Trump told reporters.

Since the announcement of the president's travel plans, there has been some speculation that he would use the occasion to fulfill his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

One possible factor: the absence of a firm decision as to whether he will move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as promised. "On the contrary, it would advance it by correcting an historical injustice and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel". The city is claimed as a capital by both Jews and Palestinians, however, and relocating the embassy - and essentially declaring Jerusalem to be Israeli territory - would raise tensions. The area, captured by Israel in 1967, is not sovereign Israeli territory and Palestinians there are not Israeli citizens and do not have the right to vote. "The President will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall".

Senators: Comey to testify publicly before intelligence panel
His answer to those questions will carry significant weight with lawmakers, who have already asked for copies of that memo. Director Comey served his country with honor for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story.

"We don't think it would be wise to do it at this time", the official said.

Yet in an interview with Israel Hayom, a pro-Netanyahu paper, Trump said his plans "could still change" and suggested he might ask Netanyahu to join him, a last-minute move that would please Netanyahu but anger the Palestinians. President Trump will meet the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem and will urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace.

Hier took the former president to task, saying, "Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter is the wrong person giving President Trump advice on how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".

After negotiating that diplomatic minefield, Trump is scheduled to visit Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial.

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