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Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Weekly Commentary: We Have Pride - Trump Shouldn't Visit Wall Alone

Weekly Commentary: We Have Pride - Trump Shouldn't Visit Wall Alone
Dr. Aaron Lerner 17 May, 2017

We also have pride.

An American official preparing President Trump's visit to Israel broke
protocol when he explained that the reason our Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu can't accompany President Trump when he visits the Western Wall is
that it is located in the "West Bank."

I'll be clear about this: If the American official had simply said "it's a
private visit to the Western Wall - no Israeli officials to be involved " we
might have looked the other way.

But once this was said there is no turning back.

No alternative explanation for Mr. Netanyahu's absence from the photo op
will matter.

The White House has only added salt to the wound.

The visit sans Israelis to the Western Wall is being billed as being in the
context of visiting holy places of the three monotheistic religions.

So is Mr. Trump visiting the Western Wall or the Buraq Wall?

According to the Palestinians the Jewish presence at their Buraq Wall
offends their pride.

There is a long history to this.

During the time of the British Mandate, there were strict limitations on
Jewish activities adjacent to the Western Wall so as not to offend the
Arabs. We were even barred from blowing a shofar.

Mr. Trump has a simple explanation for the Arabs:

"An American official who is a carry over from the Obama administration
screwed up big time. Now I am left with damage control. And if the choice
is between profoundly offending and embarrassing our ally Israel on my first
visit or annoying the Arabs for including Netanyahu in a visit to a location
that will most definitely be accessible to Israelis under any conceivable
deal - I visit with Netanyahu.

If you want to be angry be annoyed that an American who clearly embraces
your positions was responsible for this screw up."
________________________________________
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on
Arab-Israeli relations

Website: www.imra.org.il

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