Trump to become 6th U.S. president to visit Israel

Israeli policemen arrest as Palestinian youth outside Jerusalem's old city as Palestinians protest against the flags march

Yet there are signs of uncertainty: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered all of his Cabinet ministers to attend the airport welcome for Trump after he learned some planned to skip it, according to Army Radio.

In 1974, Richard Nixon became the first USA president to visit Israel since its establishment.

The controversy arose from discussions about whether the United States could agree to let Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany President Trump when he visits the Western or "Wailing" Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Monday. I said then, and I say now, that this captures the difference between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The man with the bullhorn had already been knocked to the ground, and repeatedly kicked and beaten. National Security Advisor HR McMaster said Trump will "express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians". "I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we've always seen it and that's how we should pursue it", Haley said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). It's because this week was also, by any standard, an extraordinary one for USA politics in general. On Monday and Tuesday, Trump is to visit Israel and the West Bank, for meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The cumulative effect of all this for the Trump administration is awful, on fronts both foreign and domestic.

This is not the message that Trump should be sending to a continent where public distaste for military action is already widespread and entrenched, particularly when he is simultaneously asking North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states to increase their budgetary contributions.

Concerns have also been raised over Trump's sharing of intelligence with Russian Federation said to have originally come from Israel. The official who had asked not to be identified told Bloomberg News that the new decision was aimed at avoiding any and all provocations that could jeopardize peace talks with the Palestinians.

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There is a natural tendency among political journalists to concentrate on the policy flips and hyperbolic statements that make politics so compelling, rather than upon the duller consistencies that make our democratic system more or less reliable.

The legal and diplomatic status of Jerusalem is one of the key points in the Middle East conflict. But Jewish Jerusalem isn't 50 years old. Nearly every week over the past three months, stories have surfaced detailing Mr. Trump's indecision regarding the move.

The speech will be especially sensitive given tensions sparked by the Trump administration's attempted travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority nations and accusations of anti-Islamic rhetoric on the campaign trail. They might not have been as shocked by this week's events had they not suffered from these delusions in the first place.

But reality has set in as all Trump's earlier talk - of moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem, of not worrying about Jewish settlements in Arab land and of dropping insistence on the pesky two-state solution - appears to have been just that: talk. Indeed, just two days after Trump's inauguration, as if in celebration of Mr. Trump's presidency, the Jerusalem municipality and the Netanyahu government announced one of the biggest blanket approvals for West Bank and East Jerusalem construction in years.

During his visit, Trump is scheduled to meet with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem, and will "urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace, " the text accompanying the video reads.

The U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 stating, as a matter of U.S. policy, that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city, that it should be recognized as Israel's capital city, and that the American embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than 1999.

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