Donald Trump, presumptive US president nominee, plans to visit Israel a few days before his Republican party convention opens in Cleveland July 18, debkafiles sources in Washington and Jerusalem report. But still under discussion are the exact dates of the visit, the Israeli public figures he will meet and the sites he will visit.
The timing of the trip is planned for Trump to reach the convention hall in Cleveland directly from Israel, while issuing statements of support for the Jewish state along the way. Just as importantly he will guarantee to terminate the secret military cooperation deal between the US and Iran if he is elected President, while warning Iran against going forward with the development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The visit and its schedule are being worked out by the candidate's legal officer for his business and his advisor on Israeli affairs, Jason Dov Greenblatt, who is an Orthodox Jew from New Jersey, and Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador in Washington.
Trump has evidently changed his mind since December 2015, when he announced: "I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the US."
At the time, there were 16 Republicans running for president and very few Israeli intelligence experts imagined the candidate would last long enough to challenge Hillary Clinton.
Had the Trump visit taken place seven months ago, it would have consisted of not much more than a photo-op of shaking hands with Netanyahu. The visit at this stage will have a more practical import.
One of Trump's important objectives would be to demonstrate the feasibility of the wall he is hard-selling between the US and Mexico, to curb the flow of illegal migrants to the US. He hopes to point to the 240km fence Israel erected along its border with Egypt as a good example for one of his key campaign slogans to build the wall. It is a fact that the Sinai barrier staunched the flow of potentially millions of migrants into Egypt and through there to Israel. The wall built in the year 2015, has proved massive enough to act as a barrier against ISIS intrusions from Egyptian Sinai.
A visit to the southern fence will be essential to Trump's visit, along with explanations from IDF high ranking officers and a photo shoot with soldiers from the Karakal battalion who are defending the fence. There will also be a visit to the northern security fence along the border with Syria and Lebanon.
These tours will give Trump an opportunity to speak about his support to Israel, and will also allow him to criticize President's Obama’s policy and that of Hillary Clinton regarding what goes on beyond that fence, in the wars in Syria and in Iraq against ISIS.
Trump will also be able to speak against Washington's support for the Iranian forces taking part in these wars and denigrate the covert US and Iranian military cooperation. He is aware that one of Obama's last goals before leaving office is to push the US-Iranian detente as one of his main achievements.
Indeed, after his visits to Kobe and Hiroshima in Japan, Obama is preparing to travel to Tehran or any other venue, to stage a meeting with Iran's president Hassan Rouhani. debkafile's Iranian sources report that the White House has already sent feelers to this end. During Trump's upcoming visit to the fence along Israel's northern border, he will declare his intentions to block such moves when he enters the White House.