August 22, 2018.
Yesterday, Donald Trump made another statement about his plan for the Middle East.
He said that Israel will pay “a higher price” in the peace talks with the Palestinians now that Jerusalem is “off the table”.
Trump may believe himself to be a statesman but he is a total novice when it comes to the Middle East. If his statements about Jerusalem and the negotiations were sincere, then there are no prospects of making any progress towards an agreement during his term. These will be lost years in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Even if we put aside that the Palestinians have already made it clear that they would never accept Jerusalem being off the table in any agreement, the idea that other stake holders in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Eygpt and the other Gulf countries will agree to a solution that does not include Jerusalem is absurd.
The 37% of Jerusalemites who are Palestinians, who live in a part of Jerusalem that most Israeli and American politicians will never see, deserve the same level of recognition, and the same independence, as Jews and Israelis. There will be no ‘ultimate deal’ between Israelis and Palestinians without both Israeli and Palestinian capitals in Jerusalem.