Israel Next Stop on Trump’s Overseas Journey


by Sharon Rondeau

The Western Wall is part of the enclosure around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

(May 21, 2017) — On Monday, President Trump will continue his eight-day overseas trip when he arrives in Israel to meet with that nation’s president, Reuven Rivlin.

Politically, Israel’s president is not as visible as its prime minister.  In February, Trump met with PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in the first of what would be 25 meetings with foreign leaders prior to his first tour abroad.

His stay in Israel follows a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia, where he signed an arms agreement with King Salman and addressed an audience of leaders from 50 Middle East and African nations whose predominant religion is Islam.

Yahoo! News and other outlets provided sparse coverage of what has been said to have been a highly-productive time in the kingdom which is the seat of Islam, instead stressing domestic “controversies” which ushered in former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as a “Special Counsel” to oversee several converging investigations involving alleged Russian interference in the election, alleged ties between Trump advisers and the Russian government, and whether or not any crimes were committed.

On May 16, The Washington Post published an editorial titled, “Trump’s overseas trip must be canceled. The risks are too great.”

Mainstream media were virtually silent on the lavish reception Trump and his entourage received on Saturday, complete with sentries on horseback carrying Saudi and American flags and a live rendition of The Star Spangled Banner by Saudi musicians.

Yahoo! News did, however, publish an article titled, “President Trump formally greeted in Saudi Arabia.”

As of this writing on Sunday evening, most of the articles appearing in a “Trump overseas trip” search were published before he left on Friday afternoon.

So where is the U.S. media?

Within hours of Trump’s departure, The New York Times and The Washington Post published unsourced articles claiming, respectively, that Trump described former FBI Director James Comey to two Russian diplomats as “crazy” and “a nut job” and that the FBI Russia investigation has now focused on one of Trump’s close advisers.

Some journalists had fretted that Trump would not be able to depart the United States without formally commenting on the allegations, but that is what he did.

An article from Newsweek dated May 18 was headlined, “Trump’s Overseas Trip: What Food Will the Picky President Eat?” and featuring a video of a monologue by late-night television host Stephen Colbert, who has made crass comments about Trump which are currently under review by the FCC.

According to the administration’s itinerary, Trump will visit several landmarks while in Israel, including the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, believed to be the site of Jesus’s burial after He was crucified.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, although present at the Arab Islamic American Summit where Trump spoke in Riyadh on Sunday, will receive a visit from Trump in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

Following his stop in Israel, Trump will meet with Pope Francis at The Vatican and tour St. Peter’s Basilica, then continue on to Italy, where he will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

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