There was speculation this week that Donald Trump’s imminent visit to Israel could fall on Jerusalem Day on 23 May, when Jews celebrate the reunification of the city.
While planners are yet to finalise details, this would let Trump attend a NATO summit in Brussels two days later, with his choice of U.S. Ambassador to Israel – pro-settlement lawyer David Friedman – having commenced his posting on 15 May.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Washington, D.C. on 3 May, but the symbolic timing being muted for Trump’s Israel trip will further diminish trust among Palestinians that the U.S. can help engineer peace.
Other high-profile Trump appointees to visit Israel next month include America’s new top diplomat, former oil boss and now U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. She won praise from Jewish leaders this month for strongly criticising the UN’s anti-Israel bias.