The headline in The Jerusalem Post one morning last week was surprising “Abbas has decided to sign peace deal with Israel.” That probably means trouble for Israel, for the following reasons: 1. Abbas cannot deliver on any deals he signs, he’s too old and will be replaced soon and has very little support and control over the PA, and none of course over Gaza; 2. The Arabs don’t know the meaning of “compromise,” his deal will be the usual Arab formula, “Israel must accept…”, when they know Israel cannot accept their dictates; 3. This deal is probably designed to placate Trump, who wants any deal at any price, and therefore will mean Israel will once again be under pressure to accept a less than acceptable deal; 4. This is only a rumor, put out by Abbas’ minions to confuse the issue. So as a perennial cynic whenever I see a headline like that I automatically discount it.
But, it is not impossible that peace could break out one day, but I don’t expect it anytime soon. Meanwhile Trump is preparing for his tri-religion trip, first Islam in Saudi Arabia, second Judaism in Israel and third Christianity in Rome. Novel idea, no previous President has ever done such a trip before. In Israel next week, after meeting with the Sunni Arab leadership in Saudi Arabia, he will no doubt be primed to tell Bibi Netanyahu what Israel must do to satisfy the Arabs and give him the deal he wants. Actually it should be the other way around, both Islam and Christianity are derived from Judaism, so Israel should be the first stop. Never mind!
But, in Israel Trump is supposed to be giving his speech at Masada, a very symbolic place for Jews, As it was the last holdout in the war by the Romans that conquered Judea and led to the dispersal of the Jews. It will be very interesting to see what Trump will say there. There are reports that he has decided not to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, if so that will be very disappointing to his supporters here, and will result in a re-evaluation of Israeli/Jewish support for Trump. It would also be another campaign promise that he will not have kept. But, let’s not prejudge the event.