Published: Fri, May 26, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Awkward! Donald Trump gaffe prompts Israeli Ambassador to face-palm during meeting

Awkward! Donald Trump gaffe prompts Israeli Ambassador to face-palm during meeting

"I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Mr Trump said in a speech toward the end of his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of his maiden trip overseas as president.

"It is a great honor for me to present the Yakir Yerushalayim award to a spiritual leader whose writings have gone out from Jerusalem to the entire world and whose books are studied by millions of people, Jews and non-Jews", said Barkat.

Clashes broke out near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah involving several hundred stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving at least one wounded.

"From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region", Trump alleged during his visit to his Arabian Peninsula colleagues.

Prior to that, he traveled to Bethlehem for a one-hour meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. A banner hung in the city said "the city of peace welcomes the man of peace". But some Israeli analysts say such a warm embrace can be conducive to building the trust necessary for a meaningful process.

"I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Trump said in a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

He did not, however, elaborate on follow-up steps. "We can do it - Jerusalem deserves it", he said.

He also underscored the Jewish people's ties to Israel, saying these ties "are ancient and eternal".

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Furthermore, Trump's dealings with Israel on its own terms have all been carefully calibrated so as not to make a Palestinian state untenable or destroy the boundaries of what Palestinians will reasonably accept.

Then he added, to applause, "Not with Donald J. Trump, believe me".

Trump has said he wants to broker a deal that has proven elusive for the past two decades.

"But it will not happen because we are here", he said.

"We are here to protect Al-Aqsa".

"And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis, which has dragged on for almost half a century or more".

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot also addressed the crowd, which included veterans from the Six-Day War. "I am telling you that, that's what I do", Trump told the suddenly quiet audience in Jerusalem.

Some analysts suspected that they simply told Trump what he wanted to hear about working for peace, smiled as they showed him to the door and sent him on his way while they returned to the status quo at home. "My very good friend, [Prime Minister] Benjamin [Netanyahu], also wants peace". Speaking on Israeli television, Yuval Steineitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, praised Trump's promises but added soberly, "We will have to sit with the Americans to ensure that in any eventuality, Israel will maintain its military superiority". He reiterated that the United States is "firmly committed" to preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon.

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