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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.

Said Trump, “I think I’ve helped it very much by saying, ‘Look, until there’s a deal, we’re not going to pay you anymore.’ And other people should have done that long before me.”

US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Twitter recently rebuffed criticism that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are sputtering under Trump. “Disingenuous to suggest negotiations stalled under this admin—there were no negotiations happening! It’s time for the PA to realize their tired arguments won’t achieve peace. Israel has agreed to keep an open mind; so far the PA has done the opposite,” tweeted Greenblatt on August 13.

On Monday, that Palestinian approach was reinforced as the political faction leading the PA teamed up with other political forces to pressure a hotel into cancelling an event for Palestinian youth put on by the US embassy. The WAFA Palestinian news agency noted that the program had been a positive for Palestinian youth and given them the opportunity for training in leadership, but Fatah and National Forces called for a boycott of the event.

The WAFA report said the boycott push was due to allegedly anti-Palestinian activities by the US. The US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) event had been planned for Wednesday.

The MEPI website said that the US government organization “fosters meaningful and effective partnerships between citizens, civil society, the private sector, and governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to resolve local challenges and promote shared interests in the areas of participatory governance and economic opportunity and reform.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 19, 2019)

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