Can Trump Break The Status Quo in Israeli-Palestinian Relations?

By Ambassador Gary Grappo, Former U.S. Ambassador to Oman

Grappo served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He’s currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver.

As has been the case for every one of his predecessors, Donald Trump will attempt to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some resisted for a while, i.e., George W. Bush, while others jumped into the fray fresh after inauguration, such as Barack Obama. Each eventually tried and failed, President Obama most tragically, given his commitment to the issue at the outset of his administration.

All started with the same premise – achieving a two-state solution – and all faced the same challenge of getting the two sides to negotiate on issues such as borders, settlements, refugees, and security. Yet, they all ended up well short of the goal. U.S. President Donald Trump may be wise to recall Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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