Intel spat adds to Israeli concerns about Trump visit

Posted May 19, 2017

The other basks in the adulation of a West looking for American leadership, an Israel working to make peace with Palestinians, and a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation that he is eager to cooperate with. The White House disputed the account.

And Carter, who ushered in the historic Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty - also known as the Camp David Accords - during his tenure, knows all too well the challenges Trump now faces in marshaling the Arab-Israeli peace process forward. Dean Heller is joining three other Republican senators in calling on the U.S. State Department to observe a decades-old law by recognizing the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "We're a bit exhausted, but we wanted to come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, the Kotel Hama'aravi, the Western Wall, straight from the airport", said Friedman, whose bar mitzvah took place at the Western Wall.

Dennis Ross, a veteran former Middle East negotiator who has been consulted by Trump's aides, said the president must avoid raising hopes for a quick resolution of the conflict that has eluded successive USA administrations.

Congress mandated the move in 1995 under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, but successive presidents have used a six-month waiver to perpetually stave off the relocation on national security grounds.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office quickly responded to Tillerson: "Israel's position has been stated many times to the American administration and to the world".

And Trump isn't the first US or Israeli leader to disclose intelligence in a way that made spy professionals cringe.

"As this is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel, we will ensure it is unique and special", Vijai Chauthaiwale, head of the BJP's Foreign Policy Cell, told The Hindu before leaving for Israel. Trump's stay will last just 26 hours, but that's more than enough time for a misstated word or offhand comment to change the entire tenor of the visit.

Trump is set to embark on a journey to the Middle East that will see him visit Saudi Arabia first and Israel on his second day before heading to the Vatican, CBN News reported. "The paper quickly gets to the heart of the matter, saying that hesitance to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, because of 'fear of Islamic backlash, ' is not policy 'based on principle, fairness and historical right - but it is based exclusively on weakness and fear'".

Debate over whether the United States should move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem again flared, while a separate row over whether the city's Western Wall - the holiest site where Jews can pray - belongs to Israel also caused waves.

Trump has previously said he wants to work for Middle East peace, which he has said "frankly, maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years".

Our president believes he can unlock the door to Mideast peace. He urged Netanyahu to stand firm during the visit.

The ambassador explained the current administration does not envision forcing any of the parties involved to take actions it does not wish to, as the decisions have to be made by the parties, not the United States. "This isn't how we would expect Israel to treat an ally that constantly supports it, especially in this friendly administration", an official was quoted as saying. "They are going to come up with that on their own", Friedman said.