Donald Trump goes to Israel

Trump has his work cut out for him when he visits an Israeli government that is unsure of what to make of him

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 22, 2017 8:11AM (EDT)

 (AP/van Vucci)
(AP/van Vucci)

President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to Israel is likely going to be a tense one.

The same government that was concerned about sharing intelligence with the United States before Trump became president, and which had its fears subsequently realized, isn't sure what to make of the new president. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to order his ministers to attend the airport welcoming ceremony for Trump after discovering that most intended to not show up because there wouldn't be time to shake the president's hand, according to a report by The New York Times. Netanyahu also struggled to get members of the conservative coalition he leads to support pro-Palestinian measures that were intended to signal good faith for a potential peace plan to Trump, with many expressing disappointment that Trump hasn't deviated as much as they had hoped from the policy stances taken by previous administrations toward Israel.

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Israel may also be concerned because of Trump's recently-announced arms deal with Saudi Arabia, according to a report by Reuters. As Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said prior to a weekly cabinet meeting, "This is a matter that really should trouble us."

During brief remarks after arriving at the airport, Trump said that "we have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace. But we can only get there working together. There is no other way."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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