US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt left an encouraged Jerusalem and a resigned Ramallah after Aug. 24’s shuttle diplomacy. There was a clear gap between the United States’ rhetoric about President Donald Trump’s desire to launch peace negotiations and the passivity of the administration on the practical level. It seemed as if the Trump administration did little planning ahead of what should have been a complicated regional gathering.
A senior Palestinian minister who participates in the internal deliberations on the US peace efforts told Al-Monitor that it took Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas some time to detect this gap. Abbas had come to realize that the US policy is one of words to pacify US-Arab allies in the fight against radical Islam and Iran, but no more. For the Palestinians, Trump has become Middle Eastern; he has no foreign policy, only a domestic policy. In six months, he has not uttered what every leader in the world knows will be the outcome of negotiations: a two-state solution. According to the Palestinian minister, Trump’s policy is a photo opportunity policy that serves only the interests of the Israeli occupation.