— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 22, 2017
Following a rather tumultuous week at home in the United States, Donald Trump embarked on his first foreign trip as president last Friday. So far, he has delivered remarks in Saudi Arabia pressing the need to “drive out” terrorists, incurred the wrath of Roger Stone and other allies for appearing peaceably with the country’s leaders, and touched a glowing orb. Yet all of these public displays of diplomacy paled in comparison to Monday’s historic photo op at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of Judaism’s holiest sites. That’s because Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to visit it.
While wearing a yarmulke, a brimless cap traditionally worn by males in Orthodox Judaism, Trump and senior advisor Jared Kushner spent a few moments speaking with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich and other Jewish leaders before approaching the wall with a pre-written note. As CNN reports, the highly publicized visit drew criticism from Israeli leaders who had requested Trump attend the Western Wall with “government officials by his side.”
What’s more, tempers were already irked by what an unidentified junior U.S. official told his Isreali counter part during a preceding discussion. According to ABC News, a heated discussion about allowing Israeli government representatives and media to attend the Western Wall visit were further enraged when the unnamed American official said the holy site was “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank.” The West Bank, of course, is a landlocked area hotly disputed by Israel and Palestine.