Time for America’s Arab allies to think again about the “deal of the century”

Summary: Middle East states who backed the deal that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu unveiled on 28 January may have reason to reconsider.

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1 thought on “Time for America’s Arab allies to think again about the “deal of the century””

  1. Alastair Newton

    I too find it interesting that Jared Kushner was quick to speak out against immediate annexation (although holding off only until after the 2 March election would, in theory at least, hardly constitute snail’s pace!). Notwithstanding my comment on the previous Newsletter on this topic, it is worth keeping in mind that Donald Trump probably really does fancy himself as “world’s greatest dealmaker” (and that he really does want a Nobel Peace Prize and probably sees this as an alternative route to his faltering efforts with North Korea). Is it possible that he and Mr Kushner see a possible change in the PM’s office leading to a subsequent softening of Israel’s position which would result in a deal which the Palestinians would accept?
    A second factor which is also worth keeping in mind – though it is hard to say whether it would apply in this particular case or not – is that Mr Trump does have a track record of making maximalist demands then settling for a deal which falls some way short of them. Both the USMCA and the China/US trade agreement, which have been finalised in the opening weeks of this year, are good recent examples. The lesson from the latter in particular (which Kim Jong-un may have taken on board already) is that hanging tough and waiting for Mr Trump to give ground is a ploy which yields results. And one which supports the central theme of this Newsletter that the Arabs would do well to dig in and see if Washington does start to offer concessions on the plan as it stands.
    The chances of a deal do, of course, remain very low. But once the US election is out of the way and if Mr Trump does win a second term but is no longer as beholden to his white evangelical base (assuming, that is, that he isn’t serious in his murmurings about changing the constitution to allow him to stand for a third term), who knows what he might be prepared to settle for and try to arm-twist Israel into?
    By the way, if all the above seems somewhat dismissive of Mr Kushner per se, so be it!

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