The current row between the Trump administration and the PA over the White House’s rumored closure of the controversial PLO office in DC has reached new levels as PA President Abbas now has refused phone calls with President Trump’s team. Does this mean the peace process is dead?
In one word: No.
When looking at the moves the administration is backing in Saudi Arabia by endorsing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it is obvious that the current situation involving the PA is being orchestrated by both by the US team and Israel in order to simply force the Palestinian leadership out.
Trump realized early on in his administration that as long as the PA is being led by dictators, murderers, and thieves there would be no chance to move forward towards a genuine peace. It is impossible to know the contours of the unfolding peace plan, but one thing is obvious at this point, whatever it is, it won’t be similar to the ones brought before.
Trump being a business man, seems to believe that the surest route to peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs as well as the broader Sunni world is to make the Arabs clean house first. By doing so real grassroots relations can take place. The old guard within the Sunni Arab world has been milking all sides of the conflict for a number of years and by doing so has pushed off any lasting peace and any outside of the box ideas. Sweeping them to the side is key.
By forcing the Arab world to clean house, Trump has essentially begun the process of allowing alternate ideas to be able to take shape.
How long will this take? Real peace might take longer than this generation, but forcing Abbas to say no is a great first step!