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Is Trump Palestine’s New Hope?

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10.05.2017

RAMALLAH – On his recent visit to Washington, DC, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas surprised many by heaping praise on US President Donald Trump. Speaking through a translator, Abbas called Trump, who had promised to “get done” a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, “courageous” and wise, and lauded Trump’s “great negotiating ability.” “Now, Mr. President,” Abbas concluded in English, “with you we have hope.”

The question, of course, is whether that hope is warranted. After all, in his own public statement, Trump made no reference to the two-state solution, and his vague declarations about peace (mentioned 11 times) included not so much as a hint about the need for Israel (also mentioned 11 times) to end its illegal settlement construction. And, in fact, Trump fell back in his statements on that asymmetrical phrasing he has so often used in the past: Israel and the Palestinians.

The reality is that Trump has long been giving Palestinians reason to worry. During his election campaign, Trump spoke about moving the United States embassy to........

© Project Syndicate