In broad new doctrine, Trump asserts Israel not cause of regional problems

Trump notes that instead of being a primary irritant in the region, Israel has proven itself an asset to moderate Arab governments seeking prosperity and reform.

December 18, 2017 17:21
1 minute read.
United States President Donald Trump

United States President Donald Trump. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)


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​WASHINGTON - ​Publishing a new national security paper on Monday afternoon, US President Donald Trump asserts that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not at the core of the region's problems, administration officials say.

The policy statement is not new, either from Trump or from his predecessors, all of whom have said that peace between Israelis and Palestinians would benefit the wider Middle East whilst separating out the effects of their conflict from the problems of terrorism and extremism ailing the Arab world.

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Trump notes that instead of being a primary irritant in the region, Israel has proven itself an asset to moderate Arab governments seeking prosperity and reform.

Over the summer and throughout the fall, several senior administration officials described the president's prioritization of Israeli-Palestinian peace as a lofty goal with "many positive benefits" for the region as a whole. The administration hopes to link a Palestinian peace deal with a broader regional agreement, understanding that the former must follow the latter.
There is a 'rare opportunity' for peace in the Middle East - Trump

Presidents of both parties have cast the conflict as an agitant.

In 2013, addressing the United Nations, then-president Barack Obama echoed this sentiment on the Arab-Israeli conflict: That "while these issues are not the cause of all the region’s problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace," he asserted.

Trump's speech on Monday will not focus on Israel, the Palestinians or the Mideast region, but rather take into account the world's conflicts, and try to tie together the president's responses to them as part of an overarching national security strategy. He is expected to take a confrontational approach to China and Russia, insisting that US economic policy take a more central role in Washington's foreign policy considerations.

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