Will Trump bring peace to the Middle East?

As Trump’s negotiation team begins to create a new peace plan it meets both praise and skepticism.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
November 12, 2017 02:31
1 minute read.
U.S. President Donald Trump looks towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while delivering an address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. . (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)

 
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US President Donald Trump and his advisors have begun formulating a new peace plan that is set to surpass in scale prior Israeli-Palestinian peace-making initiatives, the New York Times reported Saturday,

The report says Trump's main advisors currently working on the plan are special advisors Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, deputy national security adviser Dina H. Powell, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and others from the State Department and National Security Council.

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The team is said to consult with the consul general in Jerusalem, Donald Bloom.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complimented Trump and his advisors last week for “taking a fresh approach” and “thinking out of the box.”

Trump had said in the past that he is Israel’s “biggest friend” and that he was aiming for the"ultimate deal." 

However some skeptics point out that more than a few American presidents entered the Israeli-Palestinian fry with great hopes only to emerge with less success than they had hoped for.

What changed?

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Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states seem more interested than ever before in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to invest the attention and energy needed to prevent Iran from increasing its dominance in the Middle East.

Egypt had also been an important ally of those who seek stability and possibly a peace agreement by recently brokering a reconciliation deal between the Hamas government in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah.

It remains to be seen if the Palestinian Authority will assume control of Gaza and if Hamas will give up its arms.

Skeptics point out that even a strong personal commitment from a residing US President is not always enough to turn around a century of conflict and personal mistrust between the various leaders involved in the conflict.

“Ultimately, both Netanyahu and Abbas just have this long, long history and they’ve played this game really well,” said Foundation for Defense of Democracies scholar Grant Rumley.

“They don’t trust each other and I don’t think they will ever get to the point where they will trust each other.”

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