President Trump turned down an Israeli invitation to bump his Israel visit to June to mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War out of a desire to seem nonpartisan on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Saudi newspaper Al-Hayat reported, according to Haaretz.
Moving the trip was also out of the question because Trump planned his first trip as president abroad to coincide with the NATO and G7 summits in Brussels and Sicily, Al Hayat said.
Trump will be reportedly be visiting Israel on May 22 and the Palestinian Territories on May 23 after a trip to Saudi Arabia.
Yet as the Times of Israel noted, Trump’s visit will still fall on a symbolically important day; on May 23 Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem.
Trump could use his visit to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or make good on his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. But both would be politically explosive moves that could have consequences for U.S. relationships with Arab countries.
Trump Refuses To Visit Israel On 1967 War Anniversary
Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.