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Association for Civil Rights in Israel denounces Trump visit

May 23, 2017 9:28 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2017 9:06 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) released a statement on Tuesday, as US President Donald Trump wrapped up his two-day visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, criticizing the president and his “diluted and inadequate human rights policy.”

The group released the statement on their official Facebook page and addressed Trump, saying “we will not be distracted by the celebrations or your lofty declarations...we will resist your attempts to limit civil society by silencing the media and disenfranchising the public that elected you.”

Trump’s two-day visit -- during which he has visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem -- came amid fierce opposition among Palestinians, who denounced the far-right leader’s strong support of Israel and its policies targeting Palestinians, as well as his notorious anti-Muslim rhetoric.

During a joint press conference with Netanyahu on Monday, Trump emphasized the “unbreakable bond of friendship between Israel and the United States -- a friendship built on our shared love of freedom, our shared belief in human dignity, and our shared hope for an Israel at lasting peace.”

The two-day diplomatic trip has been marred with diplomatic missteps, notably over the geography of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a schedule of the trip identifying Abbas as the president of Palestine instead of the US’ preferred descriptor, the “Palestinian Authority.” Trump also mistakenly implied that Israel was not part of the Middle East.

Additionally, the White House referred to the city of Jerusalem as being part of Israeldespite American diplomats days earlier telling representatives of Netanyahu's office that the Western Wall was part of the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, after the 1967 Six-Day War, and the international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. 

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