Donald Trump promised he would repeal Obamacare and replace it with health care for everyone that would be better and less expensive. He also said he would make massive tax cuts without raising the national debt. It hasn’t worked out that way.
Today, after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, Trump said bringing peace to the Middle East, “frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”
Once again, Trump shows his lack of diplomatic experience, a misunderstanding of the complexity of the situation and a disregard for the deep historical roots that have spawned generations of hatred between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Abbas was happy to go along with Trump and declare there would be peace if Israel just gave back all of the lands it has taken from the Arabs over the years and agreed to make East Jerusalem the new capital of Palestine, among other things.
What Abbas didn’t mention is that he isn’t even in control of Gaza, where the terrorist group Hamas – which continues to pledge it will wipe Israel off the map – is the defacto leader of the country, wielding tremendous influence.
Abbas also didn’t mention that with the on-going Syrian civil war, there can be no peace unless an agreement includes bitter rivals in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jordan, among others, which in itself still appears to be an impossibility. So what is Trump going to do about it? He has vowed to work as a “mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator” to help broker peace between Israel and Palestinian, reported CNN.
“We will get this done,” Trump vowed, adding: “There’s such hatred, but hopefully there won’t be such hatred for very long.”
How will he do it? Trump said Israelis and Palestinians need to engage in direct negotiations. He also called on Palestinian leaders to “speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate.”
He didn’t mention that there have been direct negotiations before. Then-President Jimmy Carter appeared to have hammered out a peace agreement called the Camp David Accords in 1978. None of that stuck, because there are many factions and deep seeded animosities that won’t just go away as a result of a few signatures on a piece of paper.
If you don’t believe that, look at Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat, who signed that accord and even hugged Israel’s then-President. He was assassinated by his own people in 1981 as a result.
Would a Mar-a-Lago Accord have any different result?
Trump thinks so. But since there was no representative of Hamas or its backer Iran in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, what Abbas says isn’t a guarantee. What Abbas says is meaningless without a consensus from all the other players in the muddled Middle East.
Far-right hypernationalist Netanyahu will never cede any part of Jerusalem back to the Arabs and isn’t likely to hand back the West Bank territory, which Abbas told Trump was a condition of peace. Trump has had a hard time just getting Netanyahu to stop the occupation and construction of settlements on lands that belong to the Arabs.
Trump is once again setting himself up to fail, and his failure also, unfortunately, becomes America’s failure.
Watch the press conference here: