President Trump has an hour-long meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, A.K.A. Abu Mazen, the Palestinian Authority leader in Bethlehem. This is his second day of his Israel visit. Yesterday he visited Jerusalem the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City..
The president is meeting with Abbas in PA controlled Bethlehem is only for one hour and is much lower profile compared to the time spent with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin yesterday.
The meeting is taking place specifically in Bethlehem as opposed to Ramallah which the PA calls its capital in order that the Arabs don’t use pictures of the meeting out of context for their propaganda needs. Bethlehem is far more neutral as far as potential propaganda goes and it even has Christian historical significance. As it is, Christians in the Middle East are a persecuted minority and Trump’s visit to Bethlehem and to the church yesterday can be seen as support for them.
President Trump first announced he would visit the leading cities of the leading three religions. Visiting the countries of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican were the main reason for his trip.
Abbas is presenting his sacrifices for peace to Trump which he says will be 3 times more than the 1.9% of lands they were ready to concede until now. That is a very magnanimous gesture on his part almost 6% less land Israel would need to give away from the pre-67 borders.
Peace may be on its way but it’s going to take Abbas getting touch with reality instead of hoping he’ll just recognize Israel’s right to exist and get 94% of the pre-67 lands on a silver platter.