May 14, 2018

Exit the Peacemaker

By Ilan Goldenberg

Monday, as an American delegation including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Steve Mnuchin, and top Republicans from Congress gathers for a ceremony to mark the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, they may also be marking another milestone: the end of America’s role as the central mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.*

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the United States has been the primary negotiator between Israelis and Palestinians. Bill Clinton came closest to ending the conflict during the failed Camp David summit between Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak in 2000. George Bush led the Annapolis process in 2007–08, failing to yield results. And most recently, under Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry spearheaded an effort in 2013–14, which also crashed and burned. (I was part of the State Department negotiating team in that latest round.)

In every one of these talks, other countries played an important supporting role. The Norwegians hosted the secret dialogue that led to the initial breakthrough in 1993 and set the terms for future negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians. The Arab states, especially Egypt and Jordan but also increasingly Saudi Arabia, have been brought in to give the Palestinians greater political cover while offering incentives to the Israelis in the form of full normalization with the Arab world. The international community has provided humanitarian, economic, and political support through the Middle East Quartet, which comprises the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia.


Read the Full Article at Slate

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • January 14, 2020
    Trump Has Made Sanctions a Path to Strikes

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, the architect of Iran’s political and military influence in the Middle East, and the Irani...

    By Elizabeth Rosenberg & ​Neil Bhatiya

  • Commentary
    • CNN
    • January 13, 2020
    Congress has to figure out whether Trump's four embassy claim is real

    The targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, carried with it significant potential to serve as a catalyst for a br...

    By Carrie Cordero

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Post
    • January 10, 2020
    Why did the Pentagon ever give Trump the option of killing Soleimani?

    Sending the U.S. military to use force is among the most consequential decisions presidents can make. Matters may get out of control even with the most careful and deliberate ...

    By Alice Hunt Friend, Mara Karlin & Loren DeJonge Schulman

  • Podcast
    • January 9, 2020
    How Will Iran Punch Back?

    Last week, President Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has promised rev...

    By Ilan Goldenberg

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia