Because You Asked: What Can We Expect to Be Accomplished by the President’s Upcoming Trip?
An ATP Report Production – on this episode Barry Nussbaum discusses the President’s itinerary and what he will attempt to accomplish at each stop across the middle east and Rome.
Welcome to this segment of Because You Asked, I’m Barry Nussbaum.
Over the past several weeks President Trump has hosted both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. President Trump has now officially joined the club consisting of consecutive American Presidents starting with Jimmy Carter, who have believed they could help broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. While the language of each American President is always a bit different, the intention has consistently been noble: the belief that the power and prestige of the American presidency could help bring about peace between these two people. Now that President Trump has announced his plans to visit the Middle East, today on Because You Asked we will answer the question, what can we expect to be accomplished by the President’s upcoming trip?
Let’s begin with President Trump’s itinerary. Thus far there will be stops in Rome, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, in that order. The Israel stop will include a meeting with Palestinian leadership as well as Israeli leadership in Jerusalem.
There is a bit of a bizarre controversy that has erupted already in regards to the Saudi Arabia stop and the publicity surrounding it. After the Saudi visit was announced, the American embassy posted a video on its website announcing President Trump’s visit, but the video that was posted on the embassy’s web page and its Arabic-language twitter account, edited out any references to Trump’s Israel visit, even though the original video mentioned the Israel visit.
In a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, New York representative Eliot Engel said the embassy’s editing implied that the United States accepted Saudi Arabia’s refusal to recognize Israel as a state. He wrote, “at a time when the United States should be encouraging the governments of the region — and their people — to promote tolerance, respect and mutual recognition this video implies that the U.S. accepts Saudi Arabia’s public rejectionist position toward Israel.”
The edited video appeared to have been removed after Engel complained. The original version, which includes a reference to Israel, is now on the embassy’s web site, according to the report.
No explanation that makes any sense was issued by the State Department!
Here is what White House officials say will happen on the trip:
- President Trump has said a lot of things that a lot of the leaders in that region agree with and they all want to see a long-term stability [return] to the region and they want to see a way for the young Muslims in that region to have economic opportunity, and to live free and tolerant in the way that they all think could be, that they all aspire to. Sounds great. Not sure what it means!
- Following Saudi Arabia, the President will go on to Israel, where they will work to reinforce the strong alliance with the Israeli people. During the trip, officials will be talking about the peace process and the Palestinians including talk of what a good future would be for the region.
Will the President enforce his request to get the Palestinian Authority to stop paying killers of Israeli Jews? Will he enforce his request to get the P.A. to stop paying the families of the killers as well? He said he would, let’s watch together!
- From Israel, the President will fly to the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Francis. The White House expressed hope that the visit would make a big impact around the world and for people of faith.
- The White House source said, ‘America first’ is fully compatible with American leadership in the world and circumstances in the Middle East, but really that have bled over into Europe and [are] globally associated with radical Islamist terrorist groups. These Takfiri and Salafi jihadist groups are victimizing so many in the region and beyond. [The trip will also address] hose problems associated with these terrorist groups combined with Iran’s subversive and maligned behavior across the region.
I wonder if the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA) will be open for renegotiation?
- The trip will also allow the President to advance dialogue in areas like trade through ideas such as “reciprocity.” Referencing the U.S. bombing of a Syrian air base, the official said, “that wasn’t just a one-off strike, it was the opportunity for the President to emphasize what was necessary to begin to reduce the suffering of the Syrian people.”
- Is there a way to get an emboldened Iran leading other Middle East countries to come to the table in a unique way? The official said many Middle East leaders are taking a different kind of responsibility, though qualified it with the reality that there are many challenges in producing “real deliverables.”
“The president is very much about results,” said one of the officials, “tangible results in the area of countering radical Islamic ideology, as well as tangible results in isolating terrorist organizations from other sources of strength and support, including financial support.”
These various policy topics that will be discussed during the various stops are all important, however the one that will create the most controversy is the one that has not been discussed, and that is the potential move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Trump promised to do it on his first day in office, now in a second hundred days since being sworn in as the 45th President it is no longer being actively discussed. Is the President going to surprise us when he meets with BiBi in Jerusalem? Let’s stay tuned, there may be a big announcement coming.
Please keep your questions coming to American Truth Project and our social media on Facebook or twitter. If we select your question you will get a special gift! You can also write to me directly by sending me an email to: email@example.com. And go to our website where you can sign up to be on our mailing list so you never miss an important episode. We’re here to answer your urgent questions because you asked. I’m Barry Nussbaum.