So how much confidence does Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have in President Trump’s vision of peace in the Middle East?
He has some doubts.
While speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron in a Paris meeting on Sunday, PM Netanyahu expressed those doubts.
According to Haaretz, which quoted diplomatic sources, Netanyahu told Macron that it would be complicated to move forward with Trump’s plan.
“It will be complicated to move quickly with the American plan,” the sources quoted Netanyahu as saying.
Trump has proposed developing a broad coalition of Middle Eastern nations including Israel to push back on Iran’s influence, while working to develop a plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians concurrently.
I’m going to say that our president vastly underestimates the amount of hostility in the Middle East towards Israel.
Trump would like Israel to work with Saudi Arabia and other nations that hate them just as much (or more) than Iran, in hopes that this will build up the good will to forge a path for peace with the Palestinians.
“I don’t know if Abbas can supply the goods because of his internal politics,” Netanyahu reportedly said, referring to the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
“But we will cooperate with Trump’s move. I want to see a parallel process with the Arab states alongside the process with the Palestinians. Not one at the expense of the other, or one before the other, but in tandem.”
And as always, whether fairly or unfairly, the onus of responsibility always seems to end up in Israel’s lap.
As Netanyahu attempted to explain the very complex issue of peace with Palestine, Macron turned it back at Israel.
In response, Macron said: “The problem is that you’re making it more complicated by building more and more in the settlements.”
“I also call on the reopening of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians as part of the search for a two state solution. Israel and Palestine living side by side, and recognize with secure borders Jerusalem as the capitol,” the French leader said.
It would seem that those pushing for peace in the Middle East lean on Israel harder because Israel has been more willing to actually talk about peace, in a substantive manner.
That includes Trump, who actually believes peace in the Middle East is achievable by sending one of his aides over to hash it out. He has previously stated that his son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, could achieve that long-sought after peace.
That’s not all of Trump’s thoughts on the peace process.
Trump earlier this month said “the only thing more difficult than peace between Israel and the Palestinians is healthcare.”
Many have tried to work out peace before Trump or Kushner came along, and it always ends with more rockets, more attacks, and more death.
The problem could very well be in how little effort has been given to hold both sides equally accountable.