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Trump Says May ‘Put Out Pieces’ of Peace Plan before Israeli Elections

August 19, 2019 News, Peace Process

US President Donald Trump may publish peace plan details soon. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

The long-awaited “Deal of the Century” peace proposal from the Trump Administration may soon be unveiled—at least parts of it, anyway. United States President Donald Trump on Sunday clarified that he intends to wait on presenting his full Middle East peace plan until after the upcoming Israeli elections, but some details may get shared ahead of the September 17 vote.

“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it,” said Trump of his peace plan in comments to reporters posted to the White House website. “We have some very talented people—as you know, our great ambassador [David Friedman] and others. We have some very talented people. But that’s probably the toughest deal of all— peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians—because they’ve been decades of hate. And it’s tough to make a deal when there’s that much hate.”

The supposedly moderate government heading the Palestinian Authority (PA) has so far turned that hatred towards the Americans by repeatedly disparaging and rejecting the US plan even before seeing what’s in it. However, Trump doesn’t believe his administration’s policies towards the Palestinians—such as withholding funding—are the problem. Rather, he thinks they can be part of the solution. … Continue Reading

Trump Calls Lawmaker’s Canceled Israel Trip to Visit Grandmother ‘A Complete Setup’

August 18, 2019 News, Peace Process

On second thought, Rep. Rashida Tlaib decided not to visit her grandmother in Israel. But why did she change her mind? Rep. Tlaib. Image from tlaib.house.gov.

After Israel granted United States Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib permission to visit her 90-year-old grandmother, the US lawmaker rescinded the request due to Israel conditioning the visit that she not use it to promote anti-Israel bocyotts. In response, US President Donald Trump accused Tlaib on Twitter of using her elderly family member in an anti-Israel ruse.

“Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother. Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup,” tweeted Trump on Friday. Previously, the American leader had speculated on the situation, noting on Twitter that “Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her ‘grandmother.’ As soon as she was granted permission, she grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup? Israel acted appropriately!”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified the decision to deny Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar was based strictly on their promotion of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, not their political party. “We respect all members of Congress. Our directive is to facilitate, on a regular and automatic basis, the entry of all members of Congress, Democratic and Republican,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “…There is only one exception and it is the BDS law that obligates us to evaluate the entry of people who support BDS.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Leader Briefed by Omani Leader on Israeli PM Visit, Peace Process

October 31, 2018 Peace and Conflict, Peace Process

Abbas met with Oman for update regarding peace process. PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

In another sign the recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Arab nation of Oman could be a turning point in regional affairs, Omani leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said sent a letter addressing Netanyahu’s visit to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The letter was delivered in person on Wednesday by Oman’s Foreign Minister, Yousef bin Alawi, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

The Oman News Agency reported that the letter provided an update on efforts on pursuing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Notably, the Palestinian report said nothing about the peace process, with the Palestinians repeatedly rejecting out of hand a-yet-to-be-revealed peace plan by the Americans.

However, the Middle East region in general seems to approve of Netanyahu’s visit. Israeli Prime Minister spokesman Ofir Gendelman reposted on Twitter a poll in Arabic by RT Arabic—a Russian Arabic news group—showing noticeably positive feelings about the Israeli trip to Oman. Tweeted Gendelman, “There’s considerable Arab popular support for PM Netanyahu’s historic visit to Oman. In this online survey, 66% said the visit served ARAB interests. Over 49,000 people participated.” … Continue Reading

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital in Historic Move

December 6, 2017 Peace Process, Special Feature

President Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Illustrative. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

United States President Donald Trump kept a campaign promise and fulfilled 70 years of Jewish longing on Wednesday by officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announcing plans to move the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” said Trump in comments posted to the White House website. “This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.”

Israelis on both sides of the political aisle were supportive of the move by Trump, while Palestinians in Gaza burned the American flag ahead of the anticipated announcement.

“From every corner of the earth, our people yearned to return to Jerusalem, to touch its golden stones, to walk its hallowed streets. So it’s rare to be able to speak of new and genuine milestones in the glorious history of this city. Yet today’s pronouncement by President Trump is such an occasion,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office. “We’re profoundly grateful for the President for his courageous and just decision.” … Continue Reading

Trump Still Says ‘Good Chance’ for Middle East Peace Deal

September 18, 2017 Peace and Conflict, Peace Process

Will Trump achieve Middle East peacel? U.S. President Donald Trump (left) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Despite the lack of apparent progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and even as the Palestinians have come under pressure for paying terrorists, United States President Donald Trump still has hope. “We are giving it an absolute go,” said Trump of efforts to achieve peace in comments during Monday’s visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I think there’s a good chance that it could happen.”

Trump acknowledged in the comments, which were posted to the White House website, that “most people would say there’s no chance whatsoever,” but he believes in Netanyahu and the Palestinian leadership.

“I actually think with the capability of Bibi and, frankly, the other side, I really think we have a chance,” Trump said in his statement, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. Netanyahu, meanwhile, had an even bigger goal in mind. … Continue Reading

Israel Warns French Peace Push ‘Will Fail’

Israel Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold. Photo credit: Israel Government Press Office. Illustrative purposes only.

Israel Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold. Photo credit: Israel Government Press Office. Illustrative purposes only.

Israel has seen this before: World powers believing they have a model that will redesign Middle East borders without concern for those who live there. 100 years ago, Europe tried to divvy up the Middle East. Today, France is spearheading an effort on Israel-Palestinian peace that oddly enough didn’t invite Israel or the Palestinians to the opening meeting. Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dr. Dore Gold already knows how this plan will go, just based on what happened last time.

“It failed, as we see today in the streets of Libya and Iraq, and this newest effort will fail as well,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Dr. Gold as saying Thursday ahead of the French summit. In another comment on the Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account, Dr. Gold made it clear that “the only way to make peace is by means of direct negotiations.” This is a message that Israel has been expressing for weeks. Yet so far the Palestinians have yet to seriously take Israel up on their offer to speak face-to-face, and although they came the closest yet on Thursday, the sentiment was either shallow or insincere. … Continue Reading

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