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Netanyahu’s Survivable Uncertainties

Grant Rumley
28th November 2017 - Quoted by Abe Silberstein - Matzav Blog

Over the weekend, Ha’aretz reported that the Trump administration, like the Clinton and Obama administrations before it, has grown frustrated with Benjamin Netanyahu’s ambivalence for the peace process. Washington is reportedly irked by Israel’s refusal to engage in goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians, including in the much-ballyhooed area of economic development. Although the White House strongly denied the report, it’s not hard to envision a scenario in which an American administration’s efforts to reach a two-state solution (which, despite the Trump administration’s confounding ambiguity around the matter, remains the only plausible final status conclusion) come into direct conflict with a Likud-led government’s interest in maintaining and, when possible, incrementally expanding the settlement enterprise.

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In this regard, though, there is still little for Netanyahu to worry about: he will probably receive help from both the Trump administration, which won’t be willing to risk its pro-Israel credentials, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who’s shown little enthusiasm for both past and present American efforts, which he believes are slanted heavily in favor of Israel. Grant Rumley and Amir Tibon, in their meticulous new biography of the octogenarian Palestinian Authority president and PLO chairman, write that, “Abbas and his advisers felt [former Secretary of State John] Kerry was prioritizing Israel’s needs over theirs in a way that would leave them shortchanged once Kerry presented his ‘bridging document.’ Their doubts were primarily based on the fact that Kerry devoted much more time to speaking with Netanyahu than Abbas.”

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Tags

israel, palestinian-politics