Trump and Netanyahu shake hands after Trump’s address in Jerusalem, May 2017
Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

You’ve got to hand it to the Middle East peace team of U.S. President Donald Trump. It has proposed a comprehensive and creative resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And even though Trump is quick to decry the failed efforts of past administrations, his team actually drew on the concepts, the principles, and even the wording of previous plans. Past U.S. mediators, however, tried to establish a basis for agreement by bridging the disparate positions of the two sides. The Trump team simply resolved the issues by sleight of hand: it decided each of the final status issues—borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, and mutual recognition—in Israel’s favor before the negotiations even begin.

For instance, U.S. negotiators have always paid particular attention to securing the border between Jordan and a future Palestinian state, lest that frontier become a gateway for armies or terrorists crossing into the

To read the full article

  • MARTIN INDYK is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of the forthcoming book Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy. He has served as Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
  • More By Martin Indyk