While President Donald Trump has expressed his “personal commitment” to help reach a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, senior advisors are less than optimistic such a deal can be brokered, and have made their skepticism clear to the president.
President Trump is scheduled to arrive in Israel in 10 days, a trip that will likely kick off his much-anticipated effort to bring Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table.
A week before Trump arrives, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman will land in Israel and present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Friedman, a long-time Trump confidant and former Trump attorney, has reportedly warned the president that the chances of brokering a comprehensive deal between Israel and the PA are exceedingly slim.
Two senior officials told the Haaretz daily that Friedman and others told the president that efforts to secure a lasting peace would be unlikely to succeed.
“Trump heard this from Friedman, from other people on his team, and also from people outside the White House whom he consulted,” Haaretz quoted one official as saying.
Nevertheless, the president apparently remains optimistic.
“People whose opinion he respects told him it will be very hard, perhaps even impossible, but so far, he hasn’t changed his mind.” READ MORE