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Israel pushes security ties while Cairo, Amman embassies sit empty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to care little about Israel’s diplomatic ties with Egypt and Jordan so long as security ties are maintained.
Jordan's King Abdullah II welcomes Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during a reception ceremony at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed - RTX336E2
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White House officials confirmed Aug. 11 that a high-ranking delegation would visit the Middle East at the end of the month to discuss “strengthening our relations with regional partners and the economic steps that can be taken both now and after a peace deal is signed to ensure security, stability and prosperity for the region.” In his seven months in office, US President Donald Trump has had time to realize that Israel cannot expect peace with its Arab neighbors without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli-Saudi ties and the preservation of Israeli-Egyptian and Israeli-Jordanian partnerships require a divorce agreement and a fair and reasonable division of assets between the Jewish state and the Palestinian one. Israel can reach peace with the Arab world only after resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. The White House also made sure to add, “The president is personally committed to achieving a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Two days earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that he did not intend to carry out the division of real estate required to break with occupied Palestine. He is trying to convince the public that he can dance at two weddings — that he can approve the construction of a new West Bank settlement in territories designated for a future Palestinian state and be accorded a warm welcome in world capitals. At the embarrassing rally organized by Likud activists in support of the Netanyahus on Aug. 9, Netanyahu declared, “We have Dimona and we have Amona.” Netanyahu was responding to Labor chair Avi Gabbay's July 10 statement about the need to first take care of Dimona residents, meaning poor Israelis, before the Amona settlers. Dimona is an impoverished city in the heart of southern Israel, and Amona is the West bank settlement evacuated last February by court order. Chastising the media, Netanyahu added, “You recall that the fake news media repeats … that if we don’t withdraw from areas of our historical homeland we will be isolated, weakened and abandoned.” Instead, he boasted, Israel is enjoying an unprecedented “political prosperity” on all continents.

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