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Evangelicals Give Hosannas to Trump Mideast Trip

KEITH: Trump was sharing the stage with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reported back about his earlier meeting with the Palestinian leader, Abbas.

Religious leaders sang the praises of President Donald Trump for visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel, saying it showed "the great religions of the world" he is committed to a "lasting peace" in the Middle East.

What a fascinating time to observe President Donald Trump's first trip overseas.

But in his public remarks, Trump steered clear of any such language, and did not mention what has been the goal of U.S. diplomacy for two decades: a state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state co-existing side-by-side.

"The United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christian and Muslim children across the region", Trump said Tuesday as he stood alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"I think it's a choice to not create political difficulties for Netanyahu early in this process because of the strong opinions against a two-state solution in his cabinet", said former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who met recently with Trump's advisers. "But with determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal". And could he succeed where others have failed?

PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS, Palestinian Authority (through interpreter): Our fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements, and failure of Israel to recognize the state of Palestine, in the same way we recognize it.




Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech during the state memorial ceremony marking the 50 anniversary of the Six Day War and stressed the importance of the defense aid that Israel receives from America.

It also said the Palestinian cabinet called for more popular support for the prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 38 days. He's in the Middle East on his first overseas trip.

Trump "has made clear he's not interested in the two-state solution: He didn't mention it in Jerusalem or Bethlehem, and his national security adviser talks about self-determination", said Mkhaimar Abusada, a political scientist at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City. "I like you too", Trump said when the audience quieted.

The status of Jerusalem is the subject of a longstanding US policy debate - and it showed during Trump's trip.

It is fine to want Israel to have peace, but what about the Palestinians? While Trump benefits from growing Arab interest in working with Israel to counter Iran and the Islamic State group, Shapiro said, not much could be inferred from Israeli and Palestinian acquiescence to talks.

Herzog, meanwhile, implored Netanyahu to seize a "historic" opportunity for peace and downplayed the importance of moving the U.S. embassy to the city, which was a campaign promise made by Trump.

The drama didn't stop after the Trumps left Israel, either: A second video surfaced of Melania seeming to reject her husband's hand Tuesday after landing in Rome.

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