Unless President Trump adopts a new approach-one that integrates the Arab states as active participants in support of a deal, not as bystanders to another round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations-there is scant reason to believe the new US president will have any greater success in brokering a peace deal between these two Middle Eastern leaders than did the previous administration.
But in his public remarks, Trump steered clear of any such language, and did not mention what has been the goal of U.S. diplomacy for two decades: a state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state co-existing side-by-side. The Israeli government is planning to secede Shufat refugee camp and Kufr Aqab, two all Palestinian neighborhoods separated from the rest of East Jerusalem by a 5-meter high concrete wall, from the Jerusalem municipal boundaries. "I urged our friends in the Muslim world to join us in creating stability, safety and security", he also said Tuesday at the Israel Museum. "Iran's leaders routinely call for Israel's destruction".
Indeed, Trump's final speech in Jerusalem was so full of praise for Israel that Science Minister Ofir Akunis, of Netanyahu's conservative Likud Party, afterward quipped to Channel 2 television that he wanted to "welcome the new member of Likud, Donald Trump". "I look forward to working with these leaders toward a lasting peace", the US President asserted. The United States is firmly committed to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias. We are with you.
The real question is: What kind of deal will that be?
Abbas' newfound willingness to cooperate can be seen as a response to Trump's strong rhetoric regarding his commitment to make what he has called "the ultimate deal" between the two historically hostile nations.
The most noteworthy moment of Trump's Bethlehem speech was when he turned to Abbas and said, "peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded". Trump and his team carried off a complex balancing act with reassuring messages for Israelis, Palestinians, and the GOP foreign-policy establishment: "Relax, we got this".
But in Israel, Trump was not almost as direct.
Instead, he focused on stamping out terrorism.
Trump also expressed optimism that he can help facilitate peace between Israel and Palestinians.
"The word "settlements" I didn't hear once during his visit, he did not talk about a two-state solution, even after he left Bethlehem, he did not talk about the '67 borders", Oren said.