Trump has much to gain and little to lose; the reverse is true of Netanyahu.
By J. J. Goldberg / Forward
May 2, 2017
Israelis with ties to the Trump administration are reporting, according to political correspondent Tal Shalev of the widely read Walla news site, that the president wants to convene a “regional summit” of Middle East leaders this summer in Washington. Participants would include Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, along with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The agenda would be based on the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative.
When Donald Trump visits Israel later this month, as he reportedly will do, he faces much to potentially gain and little to lose. The reverse is true of his host, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
For Trump, it’s an opportunity to show some statesmanship and gravitas — qualities he’s not widely associated with — in a friendly environment. It’s an opportunity to solidify his shaky relationship with the ardently pro-Israel Republicans in Congress, who’ve been repeatedly undermined or plain flummoxed by Trump’s unpredictable antics. And — who knows? — he just might make some progress where so many have failed: getting the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock unstuck. Strange things happen when Trump’s around.
Besides, if he tries and fails, it will simply end up being another implausible promise he’s made and then airily dismissed. We’re used to it.