Trump peace plan delayed due to new Israeli election, reports say

Trump administration officials, reacting to the call for new Israeli elections, have decided to put off the official presentation of its peace plan.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

Following initial U.S. frustration over the political crisis in Israel, which led to the scheduling of a new election for September 17, Trump administration officials have now adapted to the situation and decided to put off official presentation of President Donald Trump’s peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians, referred to as the “deal of the century,” media reports say.

The focus now for the U.S. president will instead be “to throw his full weight behind Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign to save his job as prime minister of Israel,” writes The New York Times.

According to the newspaper, citing analysts and former diplomats, the best way to help the incumbent prime minister’s reelection campaign will be to adjust the plan “further in Israel’s favor.”

An economic “workshop” scheduled for June 25-26 in Bahrain will go ahead as planned, reports Israeli Channel 13 TV, citing Al Khaleej, a daily Arabic-language newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This report is based on senior Palestinian Authority (PA) sources.

The Bahrain conference has been billed by the Americans as a forum to advance the economic framework that would lay the groundwork for implementation of the U.S. peace plan.

According to a number of media reports over the past several months, the peace plan was already more favorable to Israel than previous U.S. peace efforts, though it would involve transferring various Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem from Israeli to Palestinian control.

The senior PA sources told Al Khaleej that presentation of the peace plan will not take place until 2020. These sources also said that in addition to Israeli political instability, the delay is caused by the PA’s refusal to review a draft of the plan.

The Palestinians have been boycotting diplomatic contacts with American officials since Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.

In addition, say the senior Palestinian sources, the U.S. efforts have been slowed by a lack of support in the Arab world.

The American-led conference has received the backing of only the host country, Bahrain, as well as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The PA says that it will not attend.

Political observers in Washington cited in various news reports have said that Trump wanted the peace plan announced sooner to also help his own political chances as the primary season for the 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches.

A White House official told World Israel News that the “frustration of the president can be summed up in the irony of the date chosen for the Israeli election, September 17, the same date as the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, when the president had hoped to tout progress in advancing the peace plan as a major achievement in his foreign policy.”