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J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people. Working in American politics and the Jewish community, we advocate policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Today's News Roundup

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Trump Comes to Israel Citing a Palestinian Deal as Crucial, The New York Times

“President Trump began a two-day visit to Israel on Monday with what amounted to a blunt assessment for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: If Israel really wants peace with its Arab neighbors, the cost will be resolving the generations-old standoff with the Palestinians. For years, Mr. Netanyahu has sought to make common cause with Sunni Arab nations to counter the Shiite-led Iran, while managing the Palestinian dispute as a subordinate issue. But as Mr. Trump arrived in Jerusalem after meetings in Saudi Arabia, the president indicated that he and those Arab states see an agreement with the Palestinians as integral to that new regional alignment. ‘On those issues, there is a strong consensus among the nations of the world — including many in the Muslim world,’ Mr. Trump said after a meeting with Reuven Rivlin, who holds the largely ceremonial position of president of Israel. ‘I was deeply encouraged by my conversations with Muslim world leaders in Saudi Arabia, including King Salman, who I spoke to at great length. King Salman feels very strongly and, I can tell you, would love to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians.’….’There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran, and it is indeed a threat, there’s no question about that,’ Mr. Trump said.”

In Israel, Trump urges new Middle East harmony but faces old suspicions, Washington Post

“Netanyahu made no mention of the Palestinians in his remarks Monday evening with Trump. He began by welcoming the president to “the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the Jewish state.” Both descriptions are rejected by the Arab world, including the Saudis, who back Palestinian demands for a Palestinian capital in this city and a two-state solution that would remove Israeli settlers from most of the West Bank territory they occupy. While a Palestinian peace deal is an obvious precursor for closer Arab-Israeli cooperation, Trump has not stated firm positions on the bedrock Arab demands of a Palestinian state and a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, although he has gently urged Israel to slow down settlement construction in the West Bank. Working in Trump’s favor are the strained relations Netanyahu and Arab leaders had with President Barack Obama at the end of his administration. Obama discomfited many in the region by signing a nuclear agreement with Iran, while holding the Israelis to account for failing to recognize Palestinian rights and the Arabs for civil and human rights abuses in their own countries.”

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