Legal Insurrection "President Donald Trump appeared to rebuke Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at least three times in their joint statement on Wednesday.
First, at the beginning of his remarks, Trump recalled the Oslo Accords:
Almost 24 years ago, it was on these grounds that President Abbas stood with a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Here at the White House, President Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles — very important — which laid the foundation for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.The President — Mr. President, you signed your name to the first Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. You remember that well, right? And I want to support you in being the Palestinian leader who signs his name to the final and most important peace agreement that brings safety, stability, and prosperity to both peoples and to the region.
"Trump is saying here, “you committed to making peace, I expect you to follow through.” Notice that he didn’t call Yasser Arafat a peacemaker either.
In the very next paragraph Trump delivered his next rebuke:
I’m committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement. But any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States, or by any other nation. The Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement that allows both peoples to live, worship, and thrive and prosper in peace. And I will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement — to mediate, to arbitrate anything they’d like to do. But I would love to be a mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator. And we will get this done.
"Trump says that he’ll act as a facilitator, but “any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States, or by any other nation.” He’s signalling that he won’t cover for Abbas’s intransigence like his predecessor did.
"In a conference call with reporters earlier this week, former negotiator Amb. Dennis Ross observed that Abbas boasted in the Palestinian media of saying “no” to President Barack Obama a dozen times. Despite this, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry consistently blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for blocking progress to making peace. (And yes we know that it was Abbas who torpedoed Kerry’s 2013-2014 peace initiative.)" . . .
. . . "Immediately after the announcement, two things occurred which guarantee the failure of any new peace initiative. First, Abbas’ empty rhetoric about seeking peace based on the “two-state solution” was immediately denounced by Hamas, the governing party in the Gaza Strip. Second, and equally predictive of failure, was the denunciation of any attempt to reopen negotiations with the Palestinians by members of Israel’s HaBayit haYehudi party. The defection of this party would topple the current governing coalition, leading to new elections in which the alignment might be quite different than it is now." . . .