Israeli joy at Trump visit, but substance lacking

The Israel portion of Trump's trip is expected to take place May 22-23. On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke with Russia's ambassador to the US about setting up secret communications with Moscow. Will he go beyond merely meeting Israeli and Saudi demands for positive public images and the exchange of kind words?

It is tempting to believe that a new mediator with a fresh perspective, unwearied by previous foreign-policy experience, might succeed where previous US presidents have failed.

On the question of challenging Iran's alliances and regional leadership aspirations, Trump and Netanyahu spoke much more harshly than Obama. Iran and Saudi Arabia both aspire to be the leading power in the Middle East.

Iran, with a centralized Shiite version of Islam and Saudi Arabia, dominated by the strict religious jurisprudence of Salafi-Wahhabi policies, have entered a competition to influence the region through their sectarian policies, which has only made the people of the region suffer.

Trump's deepening of the US commitment to Saudi Arabia was most tangibly signaled by the massive arms commitment and the disinterest in both democracy and human rights questions or any public discussion of Saudi Arabia's role in the war in Yemen. Israel and the Arab states have for several years been collaborating strategically by sharing intelligence and developing clandestine security cooperation to stop Iran from realising its regional objectives.

Trump's short time in Saudi Arabia left the central contradiction of his approach unexplored. The GCC member states are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

China's Xi threatened war over South China Sea: Duterte
In July previous year , The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China and in favor of the Philippines in an arbitration case.

The deal incorporates several budget lines that have previously been negotiated and approved by the United States Congress each year, and requires Israel to abide by these terms over the course of the next decade, through 2029, without further lobbying of the USA legislature for additional funds.

Israeli leaders put the conflict at almost 100 years old, dating it to anti-Jewish riots in the 1920s, and Trump's addition "of more", which did not appear in the prepared remarks, was likely meant as a nod to them. There has always been an underlying skepticism of America in the Arab world based primarily on the US historic support of Israel, concomitant with our antagonism towards the Palestinians.

With the Israeli government, Trump changed the tone and atmospherics compared with Obama.

Trump boarded Air Force One without having held a single news conference on the trip - a break in presidential precedent that allowed him to avoid facing tough questions about his foreign policy or the raging controversies involving the investigations into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation.

Is it bluster or substance? One of the takeaways of the trip, Mr. Tillerson said, was that "we need to put a lot more effort into understanding one another better, understanding each other's cultures, understanding each other's beliefs, and I think talking more openly about those". In Israel and the West Bank, he pointedly did not back America's long-standing support for a two-state solution to the intractable peace process. Either warmly embrace Saudi Arabia or comprehensively address the roots of extremism.

Trump had urged Abbas to clamp down on anti-Israeli incitement in the Palestinian education system during their meeting in Washington and also criticized the Palestinian Authority's policy of handing out social welfare payments to the families of Palestinians imprisoned or killed perpetrating attacks against Israelis. If the administration wants to use this trip to develop actual US policy, it will need to make hard choices and offer specific details.

Related Articles