Trump touts ultimate peace, but same obstacles remain

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A succession of US presidents have attempted to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians, whose modern-day conflict dates to the 1948 establishment of the Jewish state, and all have failed.

Exactly what that's going to look like is anyone's guess, as President Trump's visit to Israel involved a lot of broad statements about the concept of peace, but no details. "It went in the heart of one of the, I always say that the president is always at his best when he's doing big things that are unexpected".

President Donald Trump made a personal appeal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, calling on both sides to put aside the "pain and disagreements of the past", as he closed a four-day swing through the Middle East Tuesday.

Ahead of his visit to the Middle East, the second leg of a nine-day tour that began in Saudi Arabia and will move on to the Vatican, Italy and Belgium, administration officials indicated that Trump might talk about "Palestinian self-determination", a nod toward the ultimate objective of statehood. He made the comments while standing beside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem during his first foreign trip since being elected president.

Michael Oren, a deputy minister in Netanyahu's coalition government and a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said the vagueness with which Trump addressed the Israeli-Palestinian issue coupled with his sharp condemnation of Iran and terror dovetailed comfortably with current Israeli thinking. Just as important, Netanyahu's Likud itself contains many legislators who fiercely oppose any compromise with the Palestinians.

But while Mr Trump spoke in generalities about the goal, Mr Abbas laid out the specifics of Palestinian demands - which all have been supported by the Arabs and rejected by Israel through decades of unsuccessful peace negotiations shepherded by American presidents. Like so many US presidents before him, he wants to try his hand at it.

The Trump Administration is looking to resolve that by courting top Labor figure Isaac Herzog from the opposition to try to get him to back the peace process.

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Donald Trump abandoned plans to visit Bethlehem's Church of Nativity, today, due to the presence of a Palestinian protest outside the building.

"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, which undermines the realization of a two-state solution".

Here's a list of the most tweetable faux pas from Trump's Israel visit. Before the election, he angrily denounced the media for referring to terrorists as "masterminds", saying they should be called losers instead.

He didn't talk about a two-state solution.

Making peace, however, will not be easy.

Yet for President Trump, his friendship with Israel transcends politics - it's personal.

At the same time, Abbas and the Palestinians have been pleasantly surprised by Trump.

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