Anti-Palestinian Jewish attorney arrives in Israel as new United States envoy

Posted May 18, 2017

A row erupted Tuesday over USA policy toward Israel days ahead of a visit by President Donald Trump, with fresh questions raised over the White House's approach to the ultra-sensitive status of Jerusalem.

The Western Wall - also known as the Wailing Wall - was occupied along with rest of east Jerusalem in the 1967 war in a move not recognised by the global community.

A ceremony was held at the President's Residency in Jerusalem, a day after Friedman arrived in Israel and days before President Donald Trump's regional visit.

Since Trump took office last month, Israel has announced plans to build over 6,000 settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem - occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians.

The questions posed to NSA Gen. McMaster today were prompted by press reports yesterday that US officials (working in Israel to prepare the President's trip) stated the Western Wall is "not part of [Israel's] territory, it is the West Bank".

McMaster said Trump would not be accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the American leader's visit to the Western Wall.

However, the global community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.

"They do not reflect the USA position, and certainly not the President's position", a White House spokesman said.

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"We are convinced that this remark is in contradiction to the policy of President Trump", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

In Saudi Arabia, Trump will address a gathering of representatives of 50 Muslim nations in what McMaster said would be an "inspiring yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and the president's hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam".

"The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith".

However, Trump has indicated he is disposed toward recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The wall is in Israel! The sensitivity about Jerusalem, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, stems from the role the city plays in the age-old debate about who has a legitimate historical claim to disputed territory. However, Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.

"For violence to occur there could be any reason or no reason and if we, God forbid, because of fear of violence wouldn't do the right things, there would never be Israel, there would never be a reunited city", Barkat said. As a major supporter of right-wing Israeli-based causes for many years, Friedman finds himself defending to the right the failure of President Trump to implement the campaign promises he - and surrogate spokesmen like Friedman - made during the campaign such as moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and allowing Israel to develop its communities built on land Israel conquered in the 1967 war that the Palestinians claim as their state.

"We will get it done", Trump said, flaunting what he has described as his deal-making prowess. Trump, however, has vowed to break with that policy by moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

If Trump does go to the wall, he will be the first sitting U.S. president to do so.