President Trump and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday vowed to work together to strike a peace deal with Israel that would bring stability to the Middle East
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Zechariah 14:4 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: President Trump’s meeting with Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas presented a rather tricky balancing act. Tricky because candidate Trump ran on a campaign promise of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and recognizing Jerusalem as “Israel’s eternal capital”. But Abbas stated today that without East Jerusalem being given to the palestinians as their capital, there will be “no peace deal”. In the end, it all comes down to one thing and one thing only – who controls Jerusalem. Exactly how the Bible said it would be in the end times.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)
“We will get it done. We will be working so hard to get it done. It’s been a long time. But we will be working diligently,” Trump said during a joint appearance with Abbas at the White House.
“I look much forward to working with you in order to come to that historical agreement, historic deal to bring about peace,” Abbas replied, speaking through a translator.
Trump called on Abbas to renounce terrorism, saying there could be no peace deal with Israel unless Palestinian leaders condemned anti-Israeli violence.
“There could be no lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate. There’s such hatred, but hopefully, there won’t be such hatred for very long. All children of God must be taught to value and respect human life and condemn all of those who target the innocent,” he said.
President Trump Meets with President Abbas:
The pair were expected to meet through most of the afternoon during the Palestinian leader’s first visit to the White House in about 24 years — since he signed an earlier peace deal with Israel.
“It was on these grounds that President Abbas stood with a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Here at the White House, President Abbas signed a declaration of principles, very important, which laid the foundation for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” Trump said.
But Abbas in his remarks set parameters for a deal that Israel would likely oppose.
“Our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state [solution], a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the border of 1967,” he said, referring to the borders before the Arab-Israeli war that year.
Israel has staunchly opposed giving up all of the land it annexed on the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.
Both Trump and Abbas said a peace deal would go a long way to ending the instability that led to the rise of radical Islamic terrorists such as ISIS, which Abbas said “has nothing to do with our noble religion.”
Donald Trump Promises To Move Embassy From Tel Aviv To Jerusalem:
The Palestinian leader also praised Trump’s reputation as a dealmaker, saying that would be a benefit in their talks with the Israelis.
“I believe that we are capable under your leadership and your stewardship and your wisdom as well your great negotiating ability, I believe with the grace of God and with all of your effort, we believe that we can be partners, true partners to you to bring about a historic peace treaty,” he said.
Trump was expected to pressure Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails, one of several actions Washington believes could lead to resumed peace talks with Israel.
Others include a Palestinian end to anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence, administration officials said.
Israel considers payments to families a reward for terrorists, but stopping them could be a non-starter for Abbas, especially at a time of broad Palestinian support for a mass hunger strike by prisoners held by Israel. US officials said such a request was raised in preparatory talks with Palestinian officials, and three Republican senators urged a halt to such payments in a letter to Trump that reflected widespread opinion in Congress.
Why Israel can’t withdraw to its pre-196 borders:
While Abbas will be challenged on the payments, Trump will also use their meeting to recommit the US to helping the Palestinians improve their economic conditions, officials said. Trump, they added, will reiterate his belief that Israeli settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians does not advance peace prospects.
The peace process has been stalled since 2014, when former Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to lead the sides into peace talks collapsed. Since then, there have been no serious attempts to get negotiations restarted.
The Obama administration spent its last months in office attempting to preserve conditions for an eventual resumption.
“We hope this will be a new beginning,” Abbas told Palestinians at a meeting in Washington on the eve of the talks.
He blamed the lack of dialogue in recent years on the Israeli government, saying its leaders “have no political vision,” and reiterated his demands for an independent Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. “Without this we will not accept any solution,” said Abbas, who touted an Arab League peace plan that offers Israel diplomatic relations with the Muslim world for a Palestinian state. “There is no alternative.”