Since its founding in 1948, only five U.S. presidents have visited Israel. The first was Richard Nixon in 1974 and Donald Trump will be the sixth. The infrequency of these events alone guarantees that the Trump trip will garner high publicity and will be enthusiastically received by Israelis.
The image of an American president at the Western Wall — directly rebuking UNESCO’s rejection of a Jewish tie to the site — and his message of unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security will also be deeply appreciated. Beyond optics and messaging, though, fateful issues will also be addressed during the President Trump’s stay.
One of these is the question of reanimating peace talks with the Palestinians. President Barack Obama tried for eight years, unsuccessfully, to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Israel’s position was and remains: we want direct talks now with no preconditions. In addition, Israel looks forward to the support and participation of our Arab neighbours, Jordan and Egypt, in the peace process as well as Sunni states in the Gulf.