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Despite Promise, Trump Won't Be Moving US Embassy To Jerusalem

21 May 2017

The situation on the ground, however, is quite a bit messier ahead of his visit Monday. The president's decision to share Israeli intelligence with Russian Federation has added a level of distrust, as has the apparent backtracking on a campaign promise to move the us embassy to Jerusalem. On Thursday, however, Trump ruled out the move.

Earlier this week, a senior USA official reportedly said the Western Wall is in the West Bank - not Israel - during a heated exchange with the Israeli delegation helping to plan the president's visit. "While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal", the White House said in a statement.

When it seemed that matters could not get worse, they did.

Trump will be visiting Israel on May 22 to 23, just after his stop in Saudi Arabia and his trip to the Vatican. The intelligence, related to Islamic State's plans to get bombs aboard planes inside laptops, was apparently procured by an Israeli spy embedded in the militant Islamic group. And ABC News reports that, according to several former and current USA officials, it may have endangered the life of an Israel spy inside ISIS. Israeli officials will be watching closely to see if Trump attempts to reconcile these conflicting signals in his public remarks.

"Something will go wrong". He is also planning to visit the Western Wall - but that's not the headline.

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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.

Every US president since 1967 has more or less sought to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but each has failed - not for lack of effort, but due largely to Palestinian rejectionism and intransigence.

"These comments were not authorized by the White House".

But for the sake of discussion, let's try to put a pro-Trump spin on this development. The Israelis point out that during that time neither east Jerusalem nor the West Bank was annexed by Jordan or any other sovereign entity.

By contrast, the USA has no security interest in brokering a deal between Israel and the PA. If the annexation then proceeds, any hope for Palestinian national sovereignty will be gone. As Caroline Glick says: "The notion that it is necessary to empower the PLO to win Arab allies when the Arabs are beating a path to Israel's door begging for help in defeating Sunni jihadists and Iran is ridiculous".

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And the Dutchman added: "If we can do our business this summer, the team for next season will be really strong". They played with pace and creativity, which saw them walk away from the Olympic Stadium with a 4-0 win.

The US has been legally committed to relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed in 1995.

Matters could unfold in a variety of directions, of course, but such a chain of developments is not implausible. Trump should use this visit to "project statesmanship and humility".

Back in February, Trump indicated that he would be willing to explore all avenues to strike what he has described as the "ultimate deal" for peace in the region.

"One of the Israeli civilians whose vehicle was damaged from Palestinian rock-throwing fired into the air", the spokesperson said.

When asked about this on "Meet the Press", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson showed signs that the administration may be going wobbly on the president's promise.

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In a short statement, Mueller says, "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability". As for the conversation with the Russians about Comey, Spicer essentially put the onus on the ex-FBI director.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.