By Jason Taylor
Trump’s deal-making skills will indeed be challenged by Netanyahu, who is an expert at obfuscating his real purpose. He’s given lip-service to the world for years in favor of a two-state solution, to reducing settlement activity, and so on. Yet he’s firmly committed to maintaining the status quo in which Israel holds all the cards.
The expansion of settlements, instead of the reduction, speaks volumes as to his real intentions. Perhaps Trump, another who is good at double-dealing, will establish a better rapport with him. Somehow, I think this is going to be another one of those “who-knew-it-could-be-so-complicated” moments.
When Abbas recently visited the White House, Trump said that a peace deal would not be so complicated as others have made it. Um, no. Trump talks about doing deals when it comes to real estate, which is hardly applicable to this situation. Trump can’t negotiate this with his usual superficial knowledge. And no, Jared Kushner is not up to this task, either.
The unfolding spectacle is mortifying. Both the Saudi princes and Israel’s right wing know that the way to play Trump is to shower him with trinkets, pomp, and phony adulation. Our national ignoramus, who couldn’t find the West Bank on a map, falls for it hard. Expect a superficial flurry of diplomacy as the ultimate trinket, masking a back-sliding on real progress. The canny deal-maker will sign onto any scheme that benefits his hosts and will return to the US basking in self-praise.
Trump has a long haul if he wants to broker peace with the Palestinians after he’s already said that he backs Israel on the West Bank settlements, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and a one party agreement. He will be one hell of a negotiator to bring the Palestinians to the table if there’s nothing to offer them. Better men than him have tried and failed. For any agreement to work, both sides have to be willing to compromise.
An ignoramus with no knowledge of history is going to magically fix this 100+ year conflict. We can only pray he doesn’t make the situation worse. Each group wants ownership and control of the same lands and feels they have the historical case on their side, plus the grievances and bitterness generated by many wars. And we send a con artist known for mendacity, multiple bankruptcies, defrauding investors, etc … to accomplish what no one else has come close to accomplishing for centuries.
Trump’s a phony who will fail as usual. Only if the Israelis and Palestinians are willing to totally abandon demands they’ve held for as far back in time one wishes to go can there be any progress. Trump doesn’t have a clue to what is involved here. The only certainty is he’ll have a scapegoat ready to tweet out when he inevitably looks like an idiot.
The Israelis will not give up one square inch of the land so there will be no peace. The best we can hope for is Trump just takes his hands off the problem. He would only make it worse. So now he is in bed with the Saudis, what about tomorrow?
The best we can hope for is that nothing happens; it all will be forgotten with the next scandal just around the corner.