President Trump is no stranger to making history and becoming ‘First’ in many things.  Shortly after arrival, he visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall in Jerusalem both considered the two holiest sites in the Christian and Jewish faiths. Trump becomes the first incumbent U.S. President in history to visit the holy sites which his predecessors have avoided on political grounds.

Trump is also the first to come to Israel as part of his first foreign trip abroad.  Air Force One carrying President Trump also made history by being the first direct flight from Riyadh to Israel.  The two countries have no direct flights with each.

Air Force One flew direct from Riyadh to Tel Aviv, the first time ever this has happened. Israel and Saudi Arabia have no direct fights. Credit: Reuters

Accompanying him on the trip to some of the world’s holiest sites was First Lady Melania Trump, First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor General McMaster and other White House officials.

President Trump visited the Western Wall and Church of The Holy Sepulchre making him the first U.S. President in history to visit these holy sites. Credit: Reuters

President Trump visited the Western Wall which is considered the holiest site for the Jewish faith.  Following tradition, he offered a silent prayer and then slipped a prayer note into the sacred Wall.  Trump then took a moment of silent reflection, with his right hand rested on sacred the Wall.

The Western Wall is the holiest site in Judaism where only people of Jewish faith are allowed to pray

President Trump takes a silent prayer and a moment to reflect on the sacred Western Wall in Jerusalem – 22 May 2017. Credit: Associated Press

The bold decision by President Trump to visit the two historic sites breaks away from the political tradition of Washington which see such trips trips as political minefields that have to be avoided.  Trump, unlike any other politician in history has managed to nagivate the political landmine his predecessors have avoided.

President Trump’s first foreign trip will see him visit all three key areas that are of significance to the world’s major religions  – Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  His trips to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome are themselves historic in nature and makes him the first President and Head of State in the world to break bread with the world’s major religions in a singe international trip.

The Trumps, First Lady Melanie (Front-L) and First Daughter Ivanka (Back-L) leaving the Western Wall, women’s side after doing their own prayers – 22 May 2017. Credit: Reuters

“It’s just been an honour to be here.  The Western Wall, was just incredible being there,” said the President.

The Trumps also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is considered to be one of Christianity’s holiest sites. The Churchis believed to be at the original site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

President Trump becomes the first seating U.S. President to visit the Western Wall – 22 May 2017. Credit: Associated Press

They were welcomed by three religious leaders from three different faiths – Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic – each sharing equal control of the Church due to historical ties and claim to the place.

President Trump and First Lady Melania visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem are flanked by Catholic, Orthodox and Armenian clergy, Monday, May 22, 2017. Trump had just arrived from  Saudi Arabia where he had addressed Arab Muslim leaders. Credit: Ronen Zvolun, Reuters Pool via AP

President Trump is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday on what he called the “ultimate deal” in another effort to bring about peace and stability, an elusive topic in that region.


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