Call me skeptical here considering how many Presidents and world leaders have worked toward the goal of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and failed. The differences here may be too great to overcome with an agreement on paper. After all, consider how war-torn the Middle East has been for centuries. Still though, at least the President is giving it a try.
Report from NBC News:
President Donald Trump said his visit here has shown him that Israelis and Palestinians are “ready for peace” as he reaffirmed the United States’ support for one of its top allies during a speech with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
Trump told the Israeli crowd that his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his conversations with Netanyahu, left him certain that the elusive deal is within reach.
“The Palestinians are ready to reach for peace. I know you’ve heard it before — I am telling you, that’s what I do,” Trump said during remarks at the Israel Museum.
As usual with this sort of thing, the “devil” is in the details. What does “peace” mean to the Palestinians compared to what it means to Israel? Furthermore, there are no real concrete proposals or discussions happening, it’s just been President Trump who met with both sides now believing that there is some agreement to be made.
He’s saying the right lines trying to bring the various factions of the region together:
“People of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience. And to follow their dreams, right here. Today, gathered with friends, I call upon all people, Jews, Christians, Muslims and every faith, every tribe, every creed to draw inspiration from this ancient city to set aside our sectarian differences,” Trump said.
Easier said than done. It’s not that I want to be the wet blanket here on what has been a positive trip so far for the President. He’s generally earning high marks for representing the United States’ interests and articulating his vision for the world in clear terms.
The irony here is that Trump may be finding it easier to deal with foreign leaders than dealing with leaders in his own party back in Washington when it comes to things like health care or taxes.
The other part of this issue is whether Trump fully grasps the difference between a real estate deal and a deal involving religious beliefs dating back centuries and beyond. Usually it’s said that everyone has a price, and in business dealings, that’s almost always true. That isn’t the case with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It will be interesting to watch this move forward if the President decides to make it a priority or he’s advised to spend his time elsewhere on other matters.