Has Trump brought a peace deal any closer?

28/05/2017 (Arab News – KSA by Yossi Mekelberg*): In tenuous Israeli-Palestinian relations, the only thing worse than not reaching a peace deal is prompting false expectations of bringing about a peaceful end to this never-ending conflict. Palestinians and Israelis are so accustomed to failures in peace efforts that they are almost immune to expectations. At best they are ready to be nicely surprised, while resigning themselves to the fact that in the absence of courageous and capable leadership or genuine drive by the international community, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza will continue. Enter US President Donald Trump, and the confusion is reaching epic proportions. Before he took office, it was anticipated that the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be low on his agenda. After all, what would convince him that he could succeed where so many before him failed miserably? But for whatever reason, in his unique and over-simplistic way, he convinces himself that his alleged business acumen of deal-making can do the trick on this occasion too…


*Yossi Mekelberg is professor of international relations at Regent’s University London




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