White House Official: Trump Peace Plan Won’t Be Unveiled Before Israel’s Elections Next Month
The Trump administration will not unveil the political component of its Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative until after the Knesset elections next month, a top American official said on Wednesday.
“We have decided that we will not be releasing the peace vision (or parts of it) prior to the Israeli election,” US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt tweeted.
Israelis will head to the voting booths for a second time this year, on Sept. 17, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to form a coalition after April’s elections.
The longtime Israeli leader — a close Trump ally who heads the right-wing Likud party — is facing a stiff challenge from ex-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White faction.
The campaign has largely focused on the corruption allegations dogging Netanyahu, rather than war and peace or the economy.
Asked earlier this week about the timing of the publication of his plan, President Donald Trump responded incoherently, positing, “It won’t be before the election, I don’t think,” before adding, “But I think you may see what the deal is before the election.”
“I think a deal will happen,” he went on to say. “But everybody says that’s a deal that can’t be made. They always refer to that deal — Israel and the Palestinians; there’s tremendous hatred for many, many decades. And everybody says that is a deal that cannot be made. So we’ll see if we can make it.”
In June, the Trump administration held a workshop in Bahrain where the economic element of the plan was outlined.
The White House’s effort has been spearheaded by the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who was assigned the Israeli-Palestinian file shortly after Trump took office in 2017.
The last US bid to mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace — an initiative of then-President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry — broke down in 2014, and the diplomatic process has remained stalemated ever since.