Abbas Told Trump to Base Peace Talks on 2008 Olmert Maps – Report [Times of Israel]
The Times of Israel reports, “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly showed US President Donald Trump maps drawn up as part of a former Israeli prime minister’s 2008 peace proposal, which Abbas chose not to accept at the time, during his visit to the White House last week. Abbas told Trump that his negotiations with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, which fell apart without an agreement, should form the basis of any future peace talks."
A First Step to Peace: Calm Angers, Then Talk [The New York Times]
Israel Policy Forum's senior leadership writes, “Let’s face it: Current political realities have made a final status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians unachievable now. So Israelis need to focus instead on creating conditions, on both sides, in which an accord might be possible in the future. But even if they do, resumed negotiations now would almost certainly fail — or boomerang. Every other attempt at direct, bilateral negotiations has failed, and violence has often followed. Each disappointment, in turn, only deepens the profound mistrust and misunderstandings between the leaders on both sides, which further erodes confidence among Israelis and Palestinians that peace can ever be attained.”
There Is a Palestinian Partner [Haaretz]
According to Haaretz, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the mainstream Zionist right, which opposes annexation of the West Bank, has claimed for years that there is no one to talk to on the Palestinian side. But the reality is a bit different. … The maps Abbas showed Trump in their meeting last week in Washington – from the period of the talks with then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – prove two things: that the Palestinians are prepared for territorial compromise, and that the gaps between the two sides on borders are small. … Abbas proposed seeing the agreements achieved between the two sides as the starting point for continued negotiations. In other words, there is a Palestinian partner and he is waiting for Israel at the exact point at which Israel parted from him.”
Trump Should Seek to be the First to Broker Peace Between Israel and Palestine [The Hill]
Nadia Hijab, the Executive director of Al-Shabaka, and Zaha Hassan, a Middle East Fellow at New America, write, “The [Trump] administration faces a choice. It could try to broker a real estate deal and leave the core issues unresolved. Or it could use its special relationship with Israel to end the occupation that began in 1967 on the path to a just solution to the conflict. That’s what no administration has tried yet. Could that not be the starting point for a just and lasting peace?”