With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing at his side in a UN hallway, President Trump said that “over the next two to three to four months” he would present a peace proposal that would call for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. He noted that while he was still with Mr. Netanyahu “100 percent,” “deals have to be good for both parties,” alluding to the recent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Given the president’s previous pledge that he would only favor a “two state solution” if both Israel and the Palestinians agreed, this comment is sure to create a ruckus. But it is way too early to be alarmed. Prime Minister Netanyahu responded, “No one has backed Israel like you do, and we appreciate it. This is the first time we meet after the American Embassy has been moved to Jerusalem. We changed history and you touched our hearts.”
Also, Mr. Trump has his own way of negotiating and we still have to await the Palestinian reaction and whether they will now agree to negotiate – something they have refused to do since the recognition of Jerusalem and the Embassy move. But past experience has shown that above all there is no profit in rewarding Palestinian recalcitrance. To the contrary, though, hanging tough works with that crowd.