May 25, 2017

Trump's historic visit to the Kotel

There is a lot of talk about President Trump having gone to the Kotel, the first ever such visit by a sitting US President. It is historic, and presidents who were very friendly to Israel, such as Bill Clinton and George Bush, made sure to not visit the Kotel when president. They did not want to be perceived as taking sides or hurting the US position as an honest broker of sorts.

So why Trump? Why break the longstanding US position and set a new precedent?

I think Trump just does not care about history and unwritten rules. He does things his way, and if it might possibly help him accomplish what he is trying to accomplish he'll go ahead and do whatever it might be, no matter what the previous presidents thought of it or how they acted in similar situations.

Trump does not feel beholden to the unwritten rules or to history. He thinks he can succeed by doing things his way, so no need to feel weighed down by other people's limitations and issues.

My question is what will happen in 4 or 8 years, if nothing has changed by then and peace will not yet have been achieved? Will the next US president go back to the old rules of not visiting the Kotel and other such things, or will the precedent have already been set by Trump and now future US presidents can, and even be expected to, visit the Kotel?

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