Trump Leaves for Vatican After 27 Hours in Israel and the Palestinian Authority

Trump backed out of Knesset speech, fearing hecklers, Knesset speaker says ■ Trump: With compromise, Israel and Palestinians can make a deal ■ Abbas: Palestinians oppose occupation, not Judaism

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One to travel to Rome from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 23, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One to travel to Rome from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 23, 2017. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

>> Click for day one of Trump's Israel visit >> 

U.S. President Donald Trump spent his second and final day in Israel with a slightly less busy schedule. On his first day, Trump visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Trump later held a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and delivered remarks in a joint press conference.

Trump started his second day by meeting Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday. He then visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and delivered an address at the Israel Museum, both in Jerusalem, before departing for the Vatican. 

24/05/2017: Trump Tells Pope Francis After Private Meeting: 'I Won't Forget What You Said' >> Pope Francis Asks Melania What She Feeds the Donald. Her Answer: Pizza >> Despite Father's Rhetoric, Ivanka Trump to Meet With Pro-refugee Group in Rome

23/05/2017 8:30 P.M. Hamas responds to Trump's Jerusalem speech, calls the gamble on Trump a failure

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called Trump’s speech racist, and said it strengthens the apartheid regime and encourages hatred of the Palestinian people.

Trump’s statements on the Jewish history of Jerusalem are a distortion of the historical truth and a lie that proves the United States is completely biased in favor of Israel, said Barhoum.

Trump’s speech proves the gamble on the United States and Trump is a failure, he added. 

7:20 P.M. Analysis: Donald Trump in Israel: He Came! He Spoke! He Conquered!

After defeating Pharnaces II in the battle of Zela in 47 B.C., Julius Caesar wrote a famously terse letter to the Roman Senate with the immortal three words veni, vidi, vici. At the end of his brief but triumphant visit to Israel on Tuesday, Trump can legitimately tweet the same message to his 30,245,571 followers, garnished with his customary exclamations: “I came! I spoke! I conquered!” He’ll even have enough spare characters to add: “I am the greatest!” (Chemi Shalev)

7:15 P.M. Analysis: The One Thing Missing From Trump's Visit to Israel 

On his first visit to Israel as president of the United States, Donald Trump offered Israelis a diet that isn’t necessarily healthy, but one that most people would find irresistible. It was consisted almost entirely of sugar and sweets, with very little “protein” in the form of actual substance. (Amir Tibon)

"Not With Donald J. Trump". U.S. President giving his main address in Israel, May 23rd 2017
JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

6:45 P.M. Trump gave up on Knesset speech, fearing hecklers, Knesset speaker says

U.S. President Donald Trump gave up on addressing the Knesset because he was concerned that lawmakers would heckle him, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein revealed on Tuesday.

Instead of speaking at the Israeli parliament, Trump gave his main speech in Israel at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

"You should take into account that because of five, six, seven members, who care more about 20 seconds of mock fame than about the honor of the Knesset, our parliament and of Israel, this didn't happen," Edelstein said, speaking at the nearly empty Knesset plenum.

According to the speaker, the plans first called for Trump to indeed address the Knesset, but once it was made clear that the Israeli hosts could not ensure that he would not be interrupted, this was taken off the table.

MK Oded Forer, one of the few lawmakers present at the plenum, suggested to give the Knesset Ethics Committee the authority to immediately remove a lawmaker who interrupts a visiting head of state from the plenum, without the need to call him to order three times before. Forer also suggested that the committee could also suspend such a lawmaker for six months and deny his pay.  

5:30 P.M. Comparison of Trumps and former president Barack Obama's Yad Vashem messages

Here is an image that compares of the handwritten messages left by President Trump when he visited Yad Vashem earlier on Tuesday, and that of former U.S. President Barack Obama when he visited in 2008.

Former president Barack Obama's message is on the left, U.S. President Donald Trump's message on the right.

4:37 P.M. Hamburgers, steak and 'beautiful chocolate cake': Israel plays it safe when feeding Donald Trump

Modern Israeli cuisine may be the hottest trend in the United States nowadays, with Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov grabbing this year’s top U.S. chef prize, for introducing Americans to the joys of Middle Eastern flavors. But those preparing the food for President Donald Trump in Israel know that the 70-year-old billionaire is fond of familiar and simple fare — and so, like the president’s Saudi hosts before him, they decided to forgo local flavors and stick to the tried and true.

4:20 P.M. Trump takes off for the Vatican after 27 hours in Israel and the Palestinian Authority

The Netanyahus were waiting when the Trumps arrived by helicopter to Ben-Gurion Airport. Donald, Melania, Ivanka and Jared Kushner arrived together and exchanged a few brief words with the Netanyahu's and posed for a final photo-op before boarding Air Force One, which took off to Rome, Italy.

2:45 P.M. Trump: Peace won't be easy, but with compromise Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal

Speaking at the Israel Museum in his main address, Trump said, "The ties of the Jewish people to this holy land are ancient and eternal – they date back thousands of years." 

"Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people," Trump said, vowing that his administration "will always stand with Israel."

Trump continued on a note of unity: "I call upon all people – Jews, Christians, Muslims and every faith, every tribe, every creed – to draw inspiration from this ancient city to overcome sectarian differences."

Touching upon the threats posed by terrorism and Iran, Trump said, "Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence. ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods and synagogues. Iran calls for the destruction of Israel. Not with Donald J. Trump." 

Trump continued by addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of Arab nations.

"Those who present a false choice say we must choose between Israel and Arab and Muslim nations – that is completely wrong. All decent people want to live in peace," Trump said.

In a reference to his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hours earlier, Trump said that "the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace." 

Trump said his "good friend Benjamin," referring to Netanyahu, "wants peace."

"Peace wont be easy," Trump concluded. "We all know that – both sides face tough decisions, but Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal."

Trump's full speech at the Israel Museum preceded by Netanyahu's opening words. Haaretz.com / YouTube

2:20 P.M. Netanyahu delivers speech at Israel Museum

Speaking ahead of Trump's address at the Israel Museum, Netanyahu thanked the U.S. president for his friendship and said that Israel "never had and will never have a better friend than America."

"Together we must defeat those who glorify death and protect those who celebrate life," Netanyahu said. "Together we must defeat terror - deliberate slaughter of innocence must be equally fought no matter where it strikes."

Responding once more to the attack that took place in Manchester, England, on Monday night, Netanyahu said: 

"Funding and rewarding terrorism must end. Abbas condemned the horrific attack in Manchester, but if the attacker had been Palestinian, the bomber's family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority - that's law and that must change."

1:35 P.M. Netanyahu to Trump at Yad Vashem: It's our job to make sure loser terrorists continue to lose

Netanyahu praised Trump and his wife, daughter and son-in-law for visiting the Western Wall before saying Israel must always be able to defend itself against any threat.

Netanyahu then said that terror must be "unflinchingly confronted," saying that terror is terror, no matter if in Manchester, San Bernardino or Jerusalem.

Netanyahu then echoed Trump's earlier "evil losers" comment, saying that "it is our job to make sure the terrorists continue to lose."

1:30 P.M. Trump says words cannot describe depths of Holocaust's evil

Trump said "words cannot describe the bottomless depths of evil of the Holocaust," adding that it's humanity's solemn duty to mourn and grieve every life lost during the Holocaust.

Trump quoted Elie Wiesel saying "for the dead and living, we must bear witness," stressing the need to forever remember the crimes of the Holocaust to prevent "such agony from ever repeating."

Trump called the State of Israel a monument to the pledge of "never again," stressing that barbarity can only be defeated if humanity refuses to be silent in the face of evil.

Read the full storyTrump Bends Over Backwards to Make Up for Past Lapses on Holocaust

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017
GPO

1:12 P.M. Donald Trump at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial's Hall of Remembrance for brief ceremony

Trump lays a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance in a brief ceremony before signing the memorial's guestbook.

Donald Trump's entry into the Yad Vashem guestbook
Ofer Aderet

12:39 P.M In Bethlehem, Trump links Israeli-Palestinian deal with defeating ISIS | Analysis

Trump stressed two interesting messages to both Palestinian and Israeli leaders during his remarks alongside Abbas. In his message to the Palestinian president, Trump stressed that a precondition for peace is zero tolerance for violence, incitement and terrorism. The not-so-subtle message to Abbas was: curb anti-Israeli incitement, condemn attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and stop paying allowances to the families of Palestinian terrorists. In his message to the Israeli prime minister, Trump articulated his view that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is key to solving the Middle East's problems. In a clear contradiction to Netanyahu's worldview, Trump established a direct linkage between ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e. getting the "ultimate deal") and eradicating ISIS to having peace in the entire region. (Barak Ravid)

11:40 A.M. Trump to make 30-minute visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on final day of Israel trip

U.S. President Donald Trump will visit Yad Vashem on Tuesday at 1:00 P.M on the second and final day of his Israel trip. The brief visit, expected to last 30 minutes, will not include a tour of the museum. The president will only attend a memorial ceremony that includes the laying of a wreath and the recitation of a prayer, after which he will make short speech and sign the guestbook. (Ofer Aderet)

11:12 A.M.: Trump condemns 'evil losers' behind Manchester attack

Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" behind the Manchester terror attack. "I won't call terrorists monsters, they would like that name. I will call them losers, because that's what they are."

"The terrorists must be driven out of our society forever and innocent lives must be protected," Trump added.

Trump praised Abbas and the Palestinian Authority's security forces for their coordination with Israel and their contribution to anti-terror efforts, but told Abbas that "peace can never take root in a situation where violence is tolerated." (Barak Ravid and Amir Tibon)

11:06 A.M: Abbas kicks off joint press conference by condemning Manchester terror attack

Mahmoud Abbas began his joint press conference with Donald Trump by condemning the Manchester terror attack. He stressed to Trump that he is committed to fighting terrorism alongside Trump, stressing that Palestinians back a two-state solution based on 1967 borders. He said that Palestinians' problem is not with the Jewish religion, but with the occupation and with settlements. (Barak Ravid)

10:54 A.M. Israeli police officer stabbed in central Israeli city; police investigating

An Israeli police officer was stabbed and lightly wounded in the central Israeli city of Netanya on Tuesday, the second day of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the country. The assailant was shot and wounded at the scene. Motivation behind the incident remains unclear. (Gili Cohen)

10:32 A.M. Trump, Abbas meet in private; Palestinian TV: We know decorum, no one tried taking a selfie

Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas are currently meeting in private, before senior advisers and officials from both sides join them. The two are expected to give a short message at the meeting's conclusion. Palestinian TV said how they proved they know how to obey protocol and hold a respectful welcoming ceremony. "No one tried to sneak in, no one tried to take a selfie and no one tried to talk himself up to the president." (Jack Khoury)

Trump visits Bethlehem, meets Palestinian President Abbas

10:00 A.M. Trump arrives in Bethlehem to meet Abbas

U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Bethlehem to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He was greeted by a Palestinian Authority honor guard and the U.S. and Palestinian national anthems.

9:43 A.M. Mahmoud Abbas' historical missed opportunity | Opinion

Trump’s visit to Israel and the region creates new expectations for progress in the peace process. Ranged against a new and determined U.S. president are two battle-proven veterans who share no intimacy or trust, both of them challenged by extremist elements within their own camps. A cold and sober analysis suggests that the chances for progress are slim, but as Churchill once said: “the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” One must remain optimistic. (Elie Podeh)

8:29 A.M. Rocket fired from Sinai at Israel

A rocket from the Sinai Peninsula was fired toward Israel on Tuesday morning, on the second day of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the country. The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that a rocket landed in Israel, but failed to cause any damages or casualties. The IDF added that a siren did not sound since the rocket was headed toward an open area.

7:40 A.M. Trump to open Tuesday in 'Palestine,' White House says

An official schedule of U.S. President Donald Trump's plans for Tuesday that was distributed by the White House referred to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whom Trump will meet first thing Tuesday morning, as the leader of "Palestine."

The United States doesn't officially recognize a Palestinian state, and usually refers in official documents only to the "Palestinian Authority." (Amir Tibon)

7:34 A.M. Palestinian families to call on Trump to help resolve prisoners' hunger strike

The families of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails expect Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to raise the issue during his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Bethlehem on Tuesday morning.

Abdullah Za’ari, of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, said the families expect Abbas to address the subject.

Haaretz has obtained a copy of a letter that has been prepared for Trump and which the families expect Abbas’ bureau to present to him. (Jack Khoury)

7:30 A.M. In Israel, Trump makes the word 'peace' great again | Analysis

Trump’s first achievement during this visit is that he has succeeded in bringing peace, which in recent years had become a dirty word, back to the center of Israeli public and political discourse. In a country where most of the population is apathetic, cynical or in despair over the issue, and despite a reality in which except for Meretz all the Knesset parties are talking about separation at best or annexation at worst, the U.S. president has made peace great again. It’s no coincidence that Netanyahu used the word “peace,” which he’s made every effort to avoid since the 2015 elections, no less than seven times during the three-minute speech he gave during the reception for Trump at Ben-Gurion Airport. (Barak Ravid)

7:25 A.M. Trump's deal is a long way off, but preserving status quo important for Palestinians | Analysis

For all the bizarre hopes now being pinned on U.S. President Donald Trump and his ostensible ability to “make a deal,” even he will quickly discover that there’s an enormous gap between Israel’s interpretation of “peace” and the principles laid down in international decisions and the 2002 Arab League initiative. And given all his flip-flopping and inconsistencies, it’s hard to see Trump trying to force Israel to obey international law and UN resolutions.

The Palestinian leadership is well aware of this. Nevertheless, it can point to some achievements from Trump’s visit. (Amira Hass)

7:15 A.M. What Trump was really doing at the Western Wall, and other Twitter favorites

Amid grandiose statements of regional peace and unprecedented levels of loving, U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to Israel that began on Monday has not been without its lighter moments. Twitter in particular has proven to be an especially busy hive for those poking fun at the president from the moment he stepped off the plane. (Haaretz)