Trump and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. What Could Go Wrong?


USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer speaks to Joshua Keating of Slate

Palestinians are also skeptical that much will change under the new administration, says Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. “In the view from occupied Palestine, there’s not a huge difference in terms of what they expected Washington to do or not do based on the outcome of this election,” he says. “The leaders there, even those that have been invested in the Washington-led peace process, have come to the conclusion that Washington is not capable of mediating this process and have tried to find other ways to move the situation forward.”

Another possibility is that Trump could radically shift U.S. policy by abandoning the stated goal of a two-state solution altogether. …..But Trump’s phone call with Taiwan’s president last week suggests that he’s not shy about overturning decades of diplomatic practice, regardless of the risks. Miller says moving the embassy “would send a powerful signal that the Israel-Palestinian peace process, at least for the Trump administration, is closed for the season.”…..

If that happens, Munayyer says, it will be a blow to the credibility of the current Palestinian leadership. “The leadership has been saying to the people, we’re going to have a Palestinian state, that’s the goal. And it’s going to happen through negotiations with the Israelis mediated by Washington. That was the narrative that was driven by the leadership to the public. A reversal on that is going to be pretty chaotic,” he says.

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