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How artful can Trump be when dealing with Palestine-Israel conflict?

518 9 2
05.05.2017

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Washington this week to convey the utter desperation of Palestinians who see no light at the end of the Israeli occupation tunnel.

Hoping to get Trump personally engaged in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Abbas entered the White House on May 3 with a team that included his senior negotiator, Saeb Erekat; his head of intelligence, Majid Faraj; and Deputy Finance Minister Mohammad Mustafa.

Noting US President Donald Trump’s desire for personal recognition, Abbas heaped praise on the American businessman-turned-politician, calling him “courageous and wise” in his pursuit of the “ultimate deal” in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, an in-depth look at Trump’s public positions is not so encouraging to Palestinians.

An examination of the statements shows clearly that, other than flowery language about wanting peace, the US president made no substantive remarks. He didn’t speak of the two-state solution, didn’t mention any freeze on Israeli settlements and was totally silent on the issue of Jerusalem — even though Abbas called East Jerusalem the capital of the hoped-for state of Palestine.

Perhaps the best example of the absence of genuine support for Palestinian statehood is the use of the asymmetrical terms “Israel and the Palestinians,” which implies Palestine is not a........

© Al Monitor