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Israelis, Palestinians need European mediation

The Jerusalem proclamation by US President Donald Trump put an end to the American role as honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal - RC15BF174880
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The US State Department announced Dec. 18 that the visit of Vice President Mike Pence in Israel has been delayed until mid-January. This delay  constitutes the only ray of light in the darkness that has surrounded Jerusalem ever since President Donald Trump recognized the city as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6. So far, Pence has only contributed to the flames ignited by his boss and the poisonous Christmas gifts sent from America; senior officials in the Trump administration said Dec. 15 that the Western Wall would forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. More so, Pence has decided to visit the holy site himself. In fact, as governor of Indiana, the fervent evangelist was the first state leader to pass legislation boycotting companies that support BDS — the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. If Trump was the rosy dream of the Israeli right, Pence is the dream come true.

Were the declaration on Jerusalem a preview to an honest and logical plan by the Trump administration for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the failing Palestinian leadership might have swallowed the bitter pill. However, that was not the reason Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lost what was left of his trust in American mediation. He knows what lies behind the much-touted Trump administration peace plan, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned during his Dec. 11 visit to Brussels. As far as Abbas is concerned, this diplomatic blueprint is the final and absolute nail in the coffin of the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accord and its two-state vision.

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