Since the unveiling of the Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan last month and the lukewarm response it has received in the region, Israeli reports suggest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is trying to broker a summit in Cairo with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before the March 2 Israeli elections. Never mind that the Palestinians and Jordanians would not be participating, or that both have already rejected the Trump plan. Such high-profile meetings, which in any case appear unlikely, could serve as a message that Israel is accepted in the region, and that those opposing the Trump plan are simply not adjusting to new realities.
The US administration often refers to the need for new thinking on this conflict and views the willingness of Gulf Arab states to engage Israel because of common concerns over Iran as a prime example of new regional realities. But in reality the plan recycles old ideas for new purposes, and its logic may be fundamentally flawed if the goal is peace.