The Atlantic

Could Trump Be Palestinians' Best Hope?

The search for the "ultimate deal" in the Holy Land
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Recent events have left Palestinians in an odd position: The absence of a clear strategy by a U.S. administration to resolve the conflict with Israel may have become the best bet for statehood they’ve had in years. This, at least, seems to be the thinking of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the West Bank city of Bethlehem today.

Only a few months ago, Palestinians feared being isolated by Trump, who had surrounded himself with pro-Israel advisers closely linked to the settlement enterprise, a movement that aims to block the establishment of a Palestinian state by colonizing land in the West Bank. But today, those concerns have given way to hope that the business tycoon many Palestinians regard as a diplomatic novice will actually deliver where his more experienced predecessors have failed. They are betting that Trump’s ad hoc style and much-touted negotiating skills could pave the way for a final-status deal and eventual statehood.

Palestinian leaders view Trump’s inexperience in foreign affairs and a lack of knowledge in Mideast politics as an asset. In a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min readTech
The Most Useful App Is Find My Friends
Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET on November 20, 2019. You simply can’t get around New York City without GPS. I know this is not actually true, because generations of people did it, but it is true for me: I bought my first smartphone in 2014, my first summer
The Atlantic4 min readSociety
Here’s What Should Disqualify Michael Bloomberg
New York’s stop-and-frisk policy is just one example of the former mayor’s lack of respect for civil liberties.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
If We Adjust to Trumpism, the Republic Is Lost
In a speech last Friday, Attorney General William Barr attacked opponents of President Trump who think of themselves as engaged in “resistance.” The language of resistance, Barr said, suggests that the current administration is a military occupation