Note: This is an important event given the abdication of the United States as a fair broker of a just settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. President Trump promises that he will release some or all of his so-called “peace plan” for Israel and the Palestinians before Israel’s September 17 election, or immediate following. However, no one expects it to be a balanced plan and most anticipate that it will not deal with any of the essential issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (e.g. borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees). As Trump and the American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, whittle away time, Israel’s right-wing government continues its settlement expansion project unencumbered by pressure from the US making a two-state solution (the only solution that can preserve Israel’s Jewish and democratic character) increasingly more difficult to achieve. The inspired leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is what is required of the United States. Anyone who says that Trump is a “true friend” of the State of Israel ignores the fact that his policies have fatally alienated the Palestinians from even talking to American representatives.
Trump has effectively negated America’s role in helping the parties find a peaceful, secure, and just resolution of the conflict for Israel and the Jewish people. He speaks of American liberal Jews “loyalty” to Israel. His hubris is matched by the destructive role he and his administration have played in protecting Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have held talks in Berlin. Abbas called for Europe to play a greater role in the Middle East peace process because he says the US is not neutral.
Abbas said that Palestinians are ready to negotiate a two-state solution within 1967 borders, but he criticized US President Donald Trump for taking the side of Israel on such issues as the status of Jerusalem, refugees, borders and settlements.
The Palestinians have cut off relations with the United States and no longer view Washington as a neutral arbiter.
Germany, on the other hand, has taken efforts to support a multilateral approach instead of unilateral imposition, Abbas said.
“Therefore we demand that negotiations fall under an international umbrella” composed of a quartet of European states and Arab states to guide talks between Israelis and Palestinians, Abbas said.