“We’re ready for derailment — short-term, I hope. Fairly positive it is going to be short-term,” stated a senior White Home official, who acknowledged that the President’s peace staff has not spoken with livid Palestinian officers because the Trump’s announcement.
That “derailment” was a price the White Home was ready to just accept to meet Trump’s marketing campaign promise. And two senior White Home officers stated they felt making the announcement now — earlier than Israelis and Palestinians have reached the negotiating desk — would assist mitigate the harm to the peace course of.
“Lots of people put their heads into this choice to see how can we make this occur with out on the identical time throwing the peace course of out of the window,” one of many officers stated.
“By way of a second the place it might occur, the place it might be the least disruptive at a second in time, that is the second,” the second official stated. “We all know there shall be some brief time period ache, however assume it is going to assist in the long term.”
Trump’s choice Wednesday to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and direct the State Division to start shifting the embassy there comes after months throughout which Trump’s peace staff has targeted on assembly with Israelis and Palestinians, gathering concepts and constructing relationships. Now, the officers stated, they’re within the midst of drafting a tentative peace accord, however have but to hunt to attract either side again to the negotiating desk.
However the transfer left Palestinian officers fuming, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his chief negotiator Saeb Erakat blasting the US choice and claiming Trump’s transfer “disqualified” the US from mediating the peace course of.
The White Home officers expressed hope that the Trump administration has constructed sufficient belief with the Palestinians to push by way of the present friction, however couldn’t say once they believed the connection can be patched up.
Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, which bucked seven a long time of US overseas coverage, got here amid a string of setbacks for Palestinians, together with a menace from the State Division to shut the Palestinian Liberation Group’s Washington workplace.
Whereas Trump had beforehand expressed a need to carry off on shifting the embassy to gauge the prospects for peace, the officers stated Trump determined to maneuver ahead with the announcement as a result of it is going to take months earlier than US officers know if the present course of — led by the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his Particular Consultant for Worldwide Negotiations Jason Greenblatt — is more likely to bear fruit.
And whereas senior administration officers have expressed hope that the transfer might assist facilitate the peace course of, two senior White Home officers acknowledged Wednesday that that was not a central objective.
“His choice wasn’t meant to assist (the peace staff). It was meant to do what he selected to do, nevertheless it was additionally meant to respect his different objective which is to achieve a historic peace settlement,” one senior White Home official stated.