Krauthammer: Why Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

Krauthammer: Why Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has criticised statements made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jerusalem's geographical division, saying that the remarks "disagree with the peace process and deny the Palestinian existence in the occupied city".

Franks lambasted former President Obama for his insistence on a two-state solution, while accusing the former president of "political treachery" that disgraced the USA and cemented his place as the "leader who betrayed the state of Israel".

To be sure, however, there were many photo ops.

After the G-7 summit of economically advanced countries, the president will address American troops on an Italian base before departing for home.

A brief review of the history of Western imperialism in the Middle East will remind us that Winston Churchill, British prime minister from 1940 to 1945, recognized that while Saudi Arabia's British-backed brand of Wahhabism was "bloodthirsty and intolerant", the Kingdom was a "vital prize for world domination". Gulf and Arab leaders, he said, "appreciated the effort", particularly in light of Trump's anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric. "Certainly, one of the reasons the concept of an "outside-in" approach has fallen out of favor with this White House is that Arab leaders have communicated their reticence to bring their covert relationships with Israel to light without advancement on the Palestinian front". It may be that his vision for Palestinians is more limited and hews closer to the Israeli right's vision of Palestinian autonomy or self-determination short of statehood.

In a May 24 speech at Jerusalem Day celebrations at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said "I have a deep obligation to continue to maintain a united Jerusalem, to protect the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and all the holy sites of Israel".

Netanyahu is not committed to a two-state solution, and Abbas is unable to make any concession and politically (if not physically) survive.

Local residents staged protests when Trump visited an area under control of the Palestinian Authority. Trump could have also leaned on Abbas to stop public incitements and acrimonious public narratives, and end financial aid to the families of terrorists.

Trump boarded Air Force One without having held a single news conference on the trip - a break in presidential precedent that allowed him to avoid facing tough questions about his foreign policy or the raging controversies involving the investigations into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation. They understand what any "ultimate deal" must involve, even if members of the Israeli government do not.

In the meantime, the real action is on the anti-Iranian and anti-terror fronts. Trump has said he would lift the ban on the missiles, the price of which is included in the new arms deal. Over time, such cooperation could gradually acclimate Arab peoples to a nonbelligerent stance toward Israel. Trump and his Saudi host in particular, singled out Iran as the sole sponsor of Islamist terrorism. By not creating a clash early on over the two-state issue, Trump has been able to engage Israel, the Palestinians, and the pragmatic Sunni states while managing not to elicit angry denunciations or refusals to negotiate from anyone.

Many people in the Arab world still harbor complicated feelings toward the USA president.

However, if the Trump administration performs as an honest broker and recognizes Israel's efforts and genuine desire for peace, it will conclude that in the absence of a Palestinian negotiating partner, all we can achieve is an improvement in Palestinian quality of life under their own autonomy while we maintain our security.

Wisdom dictates that the U.S. should build on the Iran deal, and work with Iran to help bring an end to the horrifying civil war in Syria and stop the senseless proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen and Iraq, from which neither side can emerge victorious.

Read full story here: TRUMP SAVIOUR OF ARABISM?

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict".

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