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President Trump in Israel "We Share an Unbreakable Bond Between Us"

News Staff : May 22, 2017  CBN News

The president has "hit the Holy Land ground running" and has a full day ahead of him. Stay tuned for news updates throughout the day and week.

(Israel)—[CBN News] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted U.S. President Donald Trump at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. (Photo via Facebook/PM Benjamin Netanyahu)

The trip marks a pivotal moment for the U.S. relationship with the Jewish state and the future of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Click here to watch a Facebook video of President Trump's arrival posted on PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Timeline.

"Your visit here, Mr. President, is truly historic," Netanyahu said. "Never before has a first trip of a president of the United States included a trip to Israel. Thank you, Mr. President."

"We love Israel. We respect Israel. And I send you the warmest greetings from your friend and ally, all of the people of the United States of America. We are with you," Trump said.

The epicenter of the 30-hour visit of President Trump is Jerusalem's historic King David Hotel. The president will be guarded by a small army of 10,000 police and soldiers. Israelis are greeting the president with a mixture of anxiety and optimism.

"President Trump's coming today and we are celebrating and honoring his visit," Mike Evans told CBN News.

Evans, with the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, posted signs and banners around Jerusalem to welcome the president. Evans believes the new alliance Trump forged in Saudi Arabia with the Sunni states will benefit Israel.

"This is going to be a game changer for the State of Israel," Evans said. "They cannot resolve anything without Sunni cooperation. Even if it's plausible deniability, the Syrian crisis, the ISIS crisis, even the Palestinian crisis, the Sunnis are critical mass for that. He has succeeded with that."

This alliance also presents a bulwark against Iran's regional ambitions. But recent statements and actions by the administration concern some Israelis.

"There's no doubt about that because it is a change from the tension of the Obama administration," CBN News Senior Editor John Waage said. "But there are concerns that the administration has not been speaking with one voice (about issues) that are very important to Israelis.

"One of them being the move of the (U.S.) embassy, which you have some members of the administration saying Tel Aviv is still the capital of Israel and others saying we believe Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," Waage explained. "The administration has to speak with one voice on this and right now they are not."  

These mixed messages are one reason a recent poll fell from 80 percent of Israelis who believed Trump was pro-Israel to 56 percent now. Yet Evans believes Trump will keep his promise. (Photo: President Trump and First Lady Melania on their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem/Ronen Zvulun, Pool via AP/via Breitbart)

"He never promised us he'd do it in six months," Evans said. "He promised us he'd do it in his presidency."
 
Jerusalem is also a key issue to evangelical Christians who voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

"Trump may ask for patience, he may get patience. But in the end they want to see that happen and right now that's at odds with U.S. policy in the State Department," Waage said. "So Trump has some sorting out within his own administration as to whether he can truly make good on that promise."   

On Monday, Trump plans to visit to major religious sites in Jerusalem. First the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where many believe Jesus rose from the dead and the Western Wall below the Temple Mount where the two Jewish Temples stood.

Trump met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and plans to meet later with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's residence. On Tuesday, he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. Trump says his goal is to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.







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