Saudi Claim to Lead Muslims Gets a Trump Boost

Jul 25, 2017
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U.S President Donald Trump arrived in Israel today where was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Israel, sketch on the popular Eretz Nehederet program said the president’s plane had stopped above Mexico, in order for Trump to urinate, and finally landed in Israel, where his giant golden luggage, emblazoned with the Trump logo, was seen on a conveyor belt at Ben Gurion Airport. The Mideast leg of this trip reinforced that he values imagery over policy. The addition comes on the heels of a weekend announcement of a massive U.S. -Saudi arms deal.

But others were more pessimistic about Trump’s prospects for bringing peace – not only politicians but also religious leaders, including the Jerusalem-based representative of the Vatican, which was the next stop on the President’s itinerary.

Likewise, no one thought Trump would be kind to Iran, not after his electoral campaign banter against Teheran and its nuclear program. “Hence it’s important to keep such bilateral ties open in the future”.

Saudi King Salman presents President Donald Trump with The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. “He came to calm traditional Israeli fears.It strengthens their sense of security and that is why they welcomed him so nicely in Saudi Arabia“, he added.

“It’s not just the Saudis, its also the Emirates, also the Qataris, also the Iranians; they are all acquiring weapons, he said”.

There was much justified talk about the length and depth of the partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Trump’s short time in Saudi Arabia left the central contradiction of his approach unexplored.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is set to travel to Israel during the first week of June, although the exact dates haven’t yet been finalized with her office.

But how is that feasible when Saudi Arabia’s repressive regime, ideology and wealth have helped create the environment in which Islamist extremism thrives?

“We would like to reiterate our commitment to cooperate with you to make peace and achieve an historic peace agreement between us and the Israelis”, he added, echoing similar pledges from Netanyahu.

On his hopes for a settlement to the conflict, he said, “I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace”.

Trump landed in Tel Aviv earlier today where he was received a warm welcome from Netanyahu.

The U.S. now pays the Palestinian Authority between $400 million and $600 million annually, and Trump has discussed with President Mahmoud Abbas development aid to build the Palestinian territories’ economy.

Is it bluster or substance?

The trip also managed to produce plenty of awkward moments involving Trump and his administration – there were some unfortunate typos, a failed attempt at holding the first lady’s hand (which went viral) and two geographic flubs.

As millions of civilians are suffering from political struggle for years in the Middle East, reconciliation efforts are more in need than confrontation than ever. Either warmly embrace Saudi Arabia or comprehensively address the roots of extremism. The second affirms that the US will not support a two-state solution if either party refuses to recognize the other’s right to exist.

Saudi Claim to Lead Muslims Gets a Trump Boost

 

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