T. Belman. Everyone is advising Netanyahu to cooperate with Pres Trump. No one is telling Netanyahu what’s in it for Israel. Netanyahu’s obligation is to get a deal that Israelis want rather than to cooperate for the sake of cooperating. This is BS. If Trump is aiming for a deal that is a variant of Olmert’s deal, forget it. If Trump wants Israel to cooperate than give Israel a deal that warrant’s cooperation. The deal must appeal to the government rather than to Herzog. And the government must give the people what they want rather than to give Netanyahu what he will settle for.
I don’t like this pressure to cooperate without knowing what is in it for us. Netanyahu is like a moth who flies too close to the fire.
But wait. McMaster says Trump “will express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians”. Interesting. This coming from a President who has yet to endorse a Palestinian state. Could it be that Trump will only offer the Palestinians autonomy sufficient to express their self termination. If so Netanyahu is on board. Israel would get to stay in the West Bank and perhaps build in much of Area C. Watch this carefully.
Opposition leader promises his support if Netanyahu attempts to make progress
US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt has “unequivocally” stressed that the White House is striving to achieve a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, the Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog said Saturday.
“Trump’s envoy to the Middle East told me unequivocally that the president of the United States is determined to reach an agreement between us and the Palestinians,” Herzog said during an event in the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion.
The Labor leader dubbed Trump’s upcoming visit to Israel as a “tiebreaker,” adding that at was now up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide whether to cooperate with the Trump administration to try to reach a deal.
“Netanyahu has to decide whether he is working for the people of Israel or working for [Coalition chairman David] Bitan and [Culture Minister Miri] Regev,” Herzog said, referring to two Likud MKs with a hawkish stance on matters concerning the Palestinians.
Herzog promised opposition support if Netanyahu, who heads a multi-party coalition, does attempt to make substantive progress with the Palestinians.
Trump’s incoming Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also told Israeli diplomats that is intent on reaching a peace deal, and urged them to cooperate and aid the president in his endeavor, Haaretz reported Friday. An Israeli government source told the newspaper that Friedman claimed Trump’s enthusiasm for relaunching the peace process presented a great opportunity for the Jewish state, and advised officials to avoid confrontation with the president over the matter. However, Friedman has also advised Trump that the prospects of achieving peace at present are low, two people who spoke with the envoy said.
On Friday, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters during a daily press briefing in Washington that Trump will work toward a “just and lasting peace” between Israel and the Palestinians on his upcoming trip to the region. McMaster added that that Trump will meet again with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and will “express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians.”
The White House official also said that Trump’s meetings with Israeli leaders would look to cement stronger ties between the two allies.
“With President [Reuven] Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu, he will reaffirm America’s unshakable bond to the Jewish state,” he said.
Throughout the trip, Trump will “demonstrate his hopes for a just and lasting peace,” McMaster added.
Trump’s visit to Israel, which was officially announced last week, will take place from May 22 to 23 — just before Jerusalem Day — after he stops in Saudi Arabia and before he goes on to the Vatican. He will also travel to Brussels and Sicily for NATO and G7 summits on the final leg of his first foreign trip.
There has been speculation since Trump’s travel plans were announced that he would seek to facilitate a trilateral meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas.
When McMaster was asked if such a plan was in the works, he demurred. “It will be up to the president and those leaders,” he said.
Trump has already hosted both Netanyahu and Abbas at the White House, expressing optimism in his ability to succeed in brokering a peace deal where his three immediate predecessors have failed.
“It’s something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years,” Trump told Abbas during their joint press conference. “We need two willing parties. We believe Israel is willing. We believe you’re willing. And if you are willing, we are going to make a deal.”
Abbas reportedly showed 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.