The New Middle East Peace Process

(CNN) Aaron David Miller - This week President Trump's senior adviser on international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, held meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process - now in a virtual coma. The chances of the Trump administration waking the patient up, let alone facilitating a real road to recovery, are pretty close to zero. Even Greenblatt opined he was in a listening-only mode. The idea that the Sunni Arab states - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Emirates - can pressure the Palestinians has been tried before without much success. The new alignment between Israel and Arabs is real, premised on the mutual hostility both share toward Iran and Sunni jihadists. What is less evident is that these Arab states will reach out publicly to Israel and pressure Palestinians. And given Abbas' deep unpopularity on the Palestinian street, he's in no position to make concessions. The Arab states are eager to be in Trump's good graces and may be telling him much that he wants to hear. But is anyone really serious about the peace process? And that applies to the president, too. The writer, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was a Middle East negotiator in Democratic and Republican administrations.

2017-03-17 00:00:00

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