Trump calling for peace summit with Arab leaders only, Israeli report says

Trump plans on holding an Arab-only summit to discuss issues related to the Middle East peace process, says a report.

By World Israel News Staff

The Trump administration has announced it will hold a Middle East conference with Arab leaders at Camp David to outline his peace plan ahead of Israel’s September elections, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported on Wednesday.

The paper says that the idea for the conference was developed in consultation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s U.S. Ambassador Ron Dermer. Netanyahu will not attend, however, to make it easier for Arab leaders to participate, Yediot reports.

The Israeli daily presented the conference as an attempt to boost Netanyahu’s electoral chances. “The conference, if it will take place, will help Netanyahu’s election campaign by setting him up as a global leader, who even Arab states acknowledge. This is likely to soften the refusal of Blue and White, perhaps even the Labor party, to join his government after the elections,” the paper reports.

Blue and White is the major opposition party, which finished tied in terms of Knesset seats with the Likud party.

The paper bases its analysis on the assumption that Netanyahu wants a broad coalition that unites his party with left-wing and center-left parties.

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Netanyahu has said that he wants to build a right-wing coalition. However, based on current polling, Netanyahu will not succeed at doing so without the help of Avigdor Liberman of the Israel Beiteinu party, who has said he wants a broad unity government and not a narrower right-wing one.

Kushner’s arrival

On Thursday, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will arrive in the Middle East. He will visit Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

His visit will build on discussions that took place at the Bahrain Economic Workshop in June.  That conference promised $50 billion to the Palestinians and Arab states over 10 years. The goal is to provide the Palestinians with an avenue to economic prosperity.

The Palestinian leadership rejected the proposal out of hand, saying it wouldn’t be bought. Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas said we “will not be slaves or servants” to Kushner and other Trump officials.

However, Arab states did attend the conference, which Kushner said was a victory in itself, noting that there was a time when no Arab leader would go against Palestinian leaders.