It is an issue that American presidents have dealt with since the Harry Truman administration, a long ago day before the Dems went anti-semitic.
Presidents since Richard Nixon have tried to cut the twisted knot that is peace in the Middle East, some more successfully than others. One must give Jimmy Carter credit for the Camp David Accords that brought peace between Israel and Egypt. One must also fault Barack Obama for his coziness with radical Islamist forces and his obvious hatred of Israel.
Now President Donald Trump, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joining him, gambles that this time a land for peace deal will be amenable to the Palestinians. Though they’ve never bought it before. The possible breakthrough was announced by both national leaders Tuesday at the White House.
What makes this deal different is that for the first time the Israelis have signed on to the Two State Solution of giving the Palestinians their own nation.
That’s the biggest gamble.
If the Arabs agree Israel would then have a potentially hostile nation on their eastern and southern border, as the deal gives the West Bank of the Jordan and Gaza to the Palestinians. The two would be connected by a tunnel. The capitol would be in parts of East Jerusalem. The disconnected state would be spread out all over the area, doubling current Palestinian territory.
Israel would supposedly get peace and a recognition of their right to exist. The Jewish state would halt construction of West Bank settlements for four years. The Palestinians would have to give up terrorism and stop paying those who commit suicide terrorist acts against Israel. The new Palestine would be demilitarized. With another round of Israeli elections coming up in March, both major political parties are on board for the agreement.
Some of this will be a very hard sell, as the Palestinians think Trump is biased against them. But they are also reliant on funds from other area powers, such as the Saudis, to continue to operate as a semi-state.
Those Gulf regimes are tired of funding the Palestinians and have grown close to the Trump administration. Some of them even work closely with the Israeli security services.
Prospect for success?
As always in the Middle East, the devil will be in the details.