Israel, the Palestinians, and the Administration's Peace Plan

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Ghaith al-Omari - Current political realities in both the Palestinian Authority and Israel make it difficult to envisage a peace plan that will meet the minimum needed substantively and politically by both parties to reengage in negotiations. Presenting a plan with a high likelihood of failure could trigger sharp deterioration. Instead, the U.S. should develop more modest objectives for the immediate term, with attention turned toward creating practical, positive developments on the ground. On the Palestinian side, Abbas' margin for maneuvering is extremely limited. Failure of the peace process, corruption, and poor governance combined have severely eroded the PA's legitimacy among its public. Recent polls show that 77% of Palestinians believe that the PA is corrupt, and 70% want Abbas to resign. Add to that the split between the West Bank and Gaza. Thus, Abbas currently lacks the political credit needed to be able to engage with a peace plan that requires significant compromise. The U.S. should impress upon the PA the need to stop threatening to sever security cooperation, as such threats delegitimize the PA security forces and demoralize its members. The writer is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute. He testified before the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa on Feb. 14, 2018.

2018-02-16 00:00:00

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