Tel Aviv, Israel. The US President Donald Trump ended his trip to Israel Tuesday afternoon extolling the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace but leaving no clear indication of how he plans to help bring it closer and not having addressed questions about settlements or the US embassy being moved to Jerusalem.
Trump, who left Israel from Tel Aviv to Rome on the next part of his first trip abroad as president, made no mention in seven public appearances in Israel of a Palestinian state, a two-state solution or settlements, something one senior government official said was a refreshing break from Trump’s predecessor.
In front of several hundred people invited by the Prime Minister’s Office and the US Embassy, Trump delivered a strongly pro-Israel speech. In it, he framed his stops here and in Saudi Arabia,not in terms of searching for a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict but as “bringing nations together around the goal of defeating the terrorism that threatens the world and crushing the hateful ideology that drives it so hard and seems to be driving it so fast.”
The President arrived in Israel on Monday after he visited Saudi Arabia and met with Arab and Muslim leaders there. He called that meeting historic, and said it “represents a new chance for people throughout the Middle East to overcome sectarian and religious divisions, to extinguish the fires of extremism.
“My message to that summit was the same message I have for you: We must build a coalition of partners who share the aim of stamping out extremists and violence and providing our children a peaceful and hopeful future. But a hopeful future for children in the Middle East requires the world to fully recognize the vital role of the State of Israel,” Trump stated.
Trump made no mention of his oft-repeated election pledge to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he did extol the city, saying its “beauty, splendor and heritage are like no other place on earth.”
Donald Trump singled out Hamas and Hezbollah for condemnation for launching rockets into Muslim communities; Islamic State for targeting Jewish neighborhoods and synagogues; and Iran for routinely calling for Israel’s destruction.“All decent people want to live in peace, and all humanity is threatened by the evils of terrorism,” Trump said.
But while seeking peace, Trump said, both Israel and the US will “build strength to defend our nations.” He reiterated that the US is “firmly committed” to preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon. “We are telling you right now that Iran will not have nuclear weapons,” he stated unequivocally.