Trump has reportedly punted on moving the Israeli embassy


"The President has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we can not advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine", Tillerson had said.

Despite the warnings from the all corners of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, some of Trump's aides, including the President's chief strategist Steve Bannon, urged Trump to make good on his campaign promise and make a bold announcement during his visit to Jerusalem next week.

She added, "Now is the right time to honor our friend and ally by fully recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel".

Two Florida Republicans in Congress made the case that Jerusalem is part of Israel this week.

But it is unfortunate the trip begins with a dust-up over his planned visit to the Western Wall - one of the holiest sites in Judaism - in Jerusalem's Old City.

The uproar in the USA over Trump's divulging of classified intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about Islamic State threatened to overshadow Trump's visit.

Because Trump is visiting Saudi Arabia first, where he will meet with Arab leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Gilboa explained there is a fear that the initial expectation may be flipped: instead of using the Arab leaders to pressure the Palestinians to make concessions, the Arab leaders may use Trump to pressure the Israelis to make concessions. As you know, the President has chosen Israel as the site for his first global visit this coming week.

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A nine-day tour taking in Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Palestinian territories, the Vatican and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would be a tall order for any president.

The visit has stirred expectations that Trump would unveil some sort of initiative to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations while making a gesture recognizing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem - part of which is claimed by the Palestinians as a capital of their future state.

Increased Israeli pressure on the White House to green light the embassy move is seen by many to be due in part to rising calls on Capitol Hill and across the U.S. for the strikingly unpopular president to be impeached, amid observations that Trump may not make it the full four years to January 2021. "The paper quickly gets to the heart of the matter, saying that hesitance to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, because of 'fear of Islamic backlash, ' is not policy 'based on principle, fairness and historical right - but it is based exclusively on weakness and fear'".

But upon taking office, Trump walked back his promise to move the embassy nearly immediately, saying it was still under consideration. "He has not come out and said that settlements are an obstacle to peace; he has not called for a settlement freeze; he has worked with the Israelis to come up with a common understanding about how they might proceed".

"The only variable that has changed is President Trump, and the fact that President Trump wants to do a deal", said Robert Danin, a former adviser to the Middle East "Quartet" of global peace backers and now a senior analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Trump shared "code-word" intelligence - one of the highest levels of classification - with the Russia's foreign minister and ambassador. But they come with diplomatic dangers and potential pitfalls, too.