There were those who were concerned that after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US Embassy here, and giving a thumbs-up to Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, President Donald Trump was going to require some pretty big concessions of the Jewish state in his soon-to-be-released scheme for Middle East peace.
But France’s outgoing ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud, signaled last week that the Jewish state has no need to worry on that front.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Araud acknowledged that he doesn’t know the details of Trump’s plan, rumored to be a full 50 pages long, but that he does know it will be “very close to what the Israelis want.”
Days earlier, a senior US official believed to be Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt was cited by Israel Channel 12 News as hinting that the term “two-state solution” won’t be part of Trump’s plan. This official noted that since Israelis and Palestinians understand the term differently, it was pointless to use it as the basis for a peace agreement.
Araud, who previously served as France’s ambassador to Israel, said that Trump’s “Deal of the Century” was almost certainly “doomed to fail.”
The French ambassador praised Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for thinking outside the box in coming up with their plan, but said that both men had gravely underestimated the Palestinians’ willingness to choose “suicide” over a more reasonable outcome that doesn’t meet all their demands.
Of Kushner in particular, Araud noted that “he is so pro-Israeli…that he may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that.”
Indeed, the Palestinian leadership has already rejected Trump’s offering before it’s even been released. That really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering that Yasser Arafat previously turned down a final status agreement offered by former-US President Bill Clinton and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak that met 95 percent of Palestinian demands, including control over large parts of eastern Jerusalem.
PHOTO: Trump is so popular with Israelis that some dressed up in his image to celebrate Netanyahu’s electoral victory. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)