Santa Maria - North County

Trump's visit to the Western Wall sparks reactions

Locals weigh in on Trump's visit...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - President Donald Trump marked a historical moment on Monday. He is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Old City Jerusalem and go to the Western Wall. 

Palestinians and most of the international community consider East Jerusalem, which contains the Old City, as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The area has been a hot contention issue between Israel and Palestine. Israel captured the Old City in 1967 during the Six-Day War.

"This trip and this time has to be dealt with a great deal of diplomacy," says Yael Gott. 

Gott lives in Santa Maria but, knows Israel well. She lived there when she was in her 20's. 

She's watching President Trump's first trip to Israel with great interest.

"I think its an energetic first trip," she says. 

Gott says Palestinians and Israelis don't always see eye to eye, "I think we have polarized in the last 10 years and can work together in becoming neighbors and friends."

She does think the President's trip will help spark the beginning of a better relationship between the two. 

A relationship she says she witnessed while living overseas as both groups of people worked and did business together. 

"I do think initiating the possibility of us discussing, us, meaning the Israelis, discussing with the Palestinians is a hopeful step," says Gott. 

The President's 9 day trip includes stops in Saudi Arabia and a trip to the Vatican to meet with the Pope. 

White house officials say it's helping to unite major religions. 

"I can't think of anything that speaks louder to me, we have more in common than what's different," says Gott. 

She says Israel can often be a center of hostility and friction. She adds that people need to do everything they can to  bring peace to the country. 

"I think talking with people and encouraging them to talk to each other is a good step to do," she says.  

Trump had promised during his campaign that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which currently the U.S. and most of the international community does not, and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This campaign promise sparked controversy and mixed reactions from various communities. White House officials say this trip will help promote unity among faiths.

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