Trump's New Deal for the Middle East

(Bloomberg) Zev Chafets - Jared Kushner told the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, "Don't allow your grandfather's conflict to determine your children's future." This assumes that a new generation of Palestinians will put material self-interest before anti-Zionist dogma, and accept a peace with Israel that offers Muslim control of the holy places in Jerusalem, limited communal autonomy in the West Bank, and prosperity through massive public and private-sector investment. But for young Palestinians it requires a rejection of elders, relatives in the diaspora, and a widely believed national narrative. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States depend on the U.S. for protection against ISIS and Iran. Trump doesn't believe State Department wisdom about the need to court Arab goodwill. As far as he is concerned, it is the Arab allies who need to court him. That means helping him get the deal of the century in the Middle East. Nor is Trump likely to accept the excuse that they can't help him because of the hatred in the street for Israel. If they can't deliver, what good are they? This approach is radically different than anything the U.S. has proposed in the past. It is premised on the idea that most Palestinians want a better life more than they want revenge or another generation of dysfunction and conflict. Perhaps Trump is naive to think so. Or maybe he is right. In any case, it is what's coming next. The writer served for five years as director of the Israel Government Press Office.

2018-06-27 00:00:00

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