Friday, February 23, 2018

Covenant WIth Many

Nikki Haley says Trump Mideast peace plan is nearly finished - The Washington Post
The Washington Post reports: "The Trump administration is nearly finished drafting its Mideast peace proposal and will release it soon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Thursday. [...] The administration has not said exactly when it planned to reveal its ideas for negotiations and an eventual settlement, but had been widely expected to do so early this year. Palestinian leaders have said the Jerusalem decision means the United States can no longer be an honest broker."

Comment: It will be interesting to see what they come up with. On the one hand, Team Trump has polarized the region and forging a consensus among the parties would appear to be almost impossible at this point.  On the other hand, the Palestinians are largely without support or great power sponsors that would give them the leverage they think they have. Taking a deal, almost any deal, would ensure the survival of Fatah (the political wing of the Palestinians) and provide a fountain of international funding for them. The armed wing of the Palestinians (Hamas) will not go along with the deal, but it's clear that they won't support ANY deal, so really what does it matter if they don't want a seat at the table? An interim deal that sets a realistic road-map to final status issues is in the interest of both Israel and the Palestinians, if only to diffuse tensions as they play for time. Let's face it, both parties are really good at playing for time. All the major powers in the region would rather worry about Syria and Iran, so a small peace deal that back-burners the big issues would be a strategic move in the interest of all. I would not be at all surprised to find that Team Trump can secure a victory here.

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