CMEP Bulletin: Peace Deal vs. Peace Process?

Trump Leaves Israel With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It [The New York Times]
Journalists at the New York Times report, “In case there was any doubt, President Trump made it exceedingly clear: He wants a deal. ‘I intend to do everything I can,’ he said on Tuesday. What Mr. Trump did not do was reveal the least hint of what, if anything, was behind it: He put little public pressure on either leader. There was none of the usual talk of borders, of settlements, of incitement of terrorism or of the long and gnarled history of two peoples on the same land.He did not say anything about moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem or recognize the city as Israel’s capital. Nor was there a process for what comes next.”

Does It Matter Whether Trump Says “Two States” [Israel Policy Forum]
According to Michael Koplow, Israel Policy Forum’s Policy Director, “President Trump’s visit to Israel and the West Bank this week was full of optimism over the prospects for peace. Yet for all his talk about overseeing the ultimate deal, there has been a curious gap in Trump’s public rhetoric. Not once since becoming president, including and most glaringly during his joint press conferences with Netanyahu and Abbas during their White House visits, has Trump uttered any variant of the phrase “two-state solution,” leading to questions about his vision for what a deal would look like. It should not be controversial to endorse a position that has been adopted by the American, Israeli, and Palestinian governments, yet Trump seems to be going out of his way to purposely not do so. For some this is encouraging, for others it is alarming, but the more important question is not why Trump is doing it, but whether it actually matters.”

Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump, and the Politics of Peace [The New Yorker]
According to The New Yorker, “If the P.A. did not exist ... Palestinian civil society and the business sector would have to invent it. So would Israel’s defense establishment, which dreads the prospect of having to reimpose naked military rule. That makes any new round of peace negotiations—despite Abbas’s wobbly prestige or Trump’s uncertain impulses—irresistible. But there is urgency, too. On Sunday, a general strike in support of the hunger strikers was announced in the West Bank. ‘Ramallah is a city of ghosts—road blocks and burning tires in the main streets,’ Ammar Aker, the C.E.O. of Paltel Group, the P.A.’s preëminent telecom company, told me. ‘The status quo is a provocation. Yet violence will destroy everything we’ve built.’”

A Palestinian Point Of View On Trump's Attempt At Middle East Peace [NPR]
NPR’s “David Greene talks to Diana Buttu, former legal adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, about why she's skeptical of President Trump's ability to help Palestinians and Israelis advance toward lasting peace.” According to Buttu, “It’s very important to keep in mind that the reason that Israel has been able to maintain this occupation is because the international community has allowed it to maintain the occupation. And so all it really requires is the international community to have the will to actually stop Israel by putting into place measures to hold Israel accountable. Whether that's boycotts, whether it's putting into place sanctions, all of that is possible. Is President Trump the person to do it? On that part, I'm very skeptical.”

Click here to read the full Churches for Middle East Peace Bulletin, including links to these stories.


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