US President Donald Trump’s director of social media recognized “Palestine,” apparently accidentally, when posting online about the president’s upcoming trip to the region.
Trump is slated to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority on May 22-23 in a trip meant to jumpstart peace talks between the sides. He will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
Dan Scavino, the White House head of social media, advertised the trip on Facebook as taking the president to “Rome,” “Sicily,” “Israel,” “Saudi Arabia,” “Palestine” and “Brussels.”
After drawing criticism from conservatives, the post was amended to read “Palestinian Territories.”
While many countries have recognized the “State of Palestine” declared by the PA, many others have not, including the US.
“Even Obama didn’t say this. What the actual hell,” conservative Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro was quoted as saying by The Hill.
Conservative media outlet Washington Free Beacon first noticed the apparent slip-up.
Trump's social media director appears to think the president is traveling to "Palestine" later this month…. pic.twitter.com/P8jeC8HWq0
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) May 12, 2017
It remains unclear what Scavino’s intentions may have been. The original reference to “Palestine” comes in a mix of city, region and country names, and so may have been meant to convey simply an area under Palestinian jurisdiction.