Palestinians carry tires to be burned during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel Photo: AFP/File
world

Trump admits Mideast peace tougher than he had thought

20 Comments
By MAHMUD HAMS

President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted that bringing peace to the Middle East may be harder than he had thought, in comments to Jewish leaders marking the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Trump, who said in May 2017 that forging peace between Israel and the Palestinians would perhaps be "not as difficult as people have thought over the years," said Thursday he might have been wrong.

"All my life I've heard that's the hardest deal to make, and I'm starting to believe that maybe it is," he said in a conference call with Jewish faith leaders and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to mark the Jewish new year.

"But I will say that if it can be delivered, we will deliver it," he said, insisting that his team of regional envoys -- led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner -- "have made progress, believe it or not."

Trump stirred controversy in the region when he announced he was moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, whose eastern half the Palestinians claim as their own capital.

More than 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire during protests in the Gaza Strip the day of the inauguration of the new embassy on May 14, a ceremony attended by Kushner and his wife Ivanka, the president's daughter.

The Trump administration has also cut funds to the United Nation's Palestinian refugee agency and pulled out of the world body's human rights council, accusing it of anti-Israel bias. The U.S. government has also ended some $200 million in payments by USAID to the Palestinians.

Trump said during Thursday's conference call that the aid would be suspended as long as the Palestinians -- who boycotted his administration after the embassy announcement -- did not come to the table.

"The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money. And I'd say, you'll get money, but we're not paying you until we make a deal. If we don't make a deal, we're not paying. And that's going to have a little impact," he said.

Some analysts have warned however that the recent funding cuts could further inflame regional tensions.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Nah, mate. Pretty clear he thought it was easy and now realizes not so much. Just like everything else... healthcare, international diplomacy, running a country... hopelessly out of his depth. Another loser you picked there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“It is something that I think is frankly, maybe, not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

Notice he qualified that with a "maybe." No cigar for you, gcbel. hehe

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“It is something that I think is frankly, maybe, not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

-D. Trump

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Trump has been ineffective on the Middle East"

Give it up, Super.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Trump has been ineffective on the Middle East.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Only ignorant, arrogant trust fund babies with no connection to reality would think being president or Middle East peace was easy."

Lessee, when did Trump say ME peace would be easy? Checking... no, he never did.

At least he admits it's tougher than he thought. Nobody else ever has, lol.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The man is an egotistical twat, if peace in the mid-east was so easy to complete it would have been done years ago. It's about time he woke up to the realities of the World then faff about in his own personal bubble.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"All my life I've heard that's the hardest deal to make, and I'm starting to believe that maybe it is,

Another “who knew it would be so complicated moment”. So, in over his head it isn’t even funny.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Trump, who said in May 2017 that forging peace between Israel and the Palestinians would perhaps be "not as difficult as people have thought over the years," said Thursday he might have been wrong.

"All my life I've heard that's the hardest deal to make, and I'm starting to believe that maybe it is,"

A Martian could have told Trump that bringing peace to the Middle East was going to be tough. Lots of Earthlings did tell him that opening up the US Embassy in Jerusalem wasn't the best way to go about doing it.

Duh, duh, duh. The dull sound of reality hitting home in a bonehead.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Jews and Palestinians lived in peace until the Zionists started moving in in the late 40s.

It's repugnant that Trump cut off aid to the Palestinians while doing absolutely nothing to reign in the Israeli side. The Israelis constantly violate the human rights of the Palestinians.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Making one side uncomfortable up front is a valid negotiation tactic.

For any long lasting peace, there will need to be steps to prove trust by all sides. These will be difficult for everyone.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

StrangerlandToday  08:26 am JST

This has been a major issue with the far-right (aka the Republican party) in recent years, with Trump being the king. They have boiled all the difficult issues in the world as being easy to fix, except that no one has the guts to do X. It's a binary thing for them. They look at issues in isolation, and think that those damn leftists (read: everyone not extreme right) just aren't willing to do what needs to be done.

Nailed it.

The left embraces complexity. The modern right denies its existence. Decades ago there used to be right-wing intellectuals who were willing to look at the complex, interconnected systems of the world and adapt their ideology to reality, but in the US they've long been eclipsed by simple-minded idealogues who think they can undo the reality that is too big for them to understand by chanting slogans at it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Trying to legitimize the last surviving Apartheid regime is not going to bring peace, just as trying to legitimize slavery didn't.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As for this issue specifically, Trump as usual, is a moron. He makes the move of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and thinks that after entirely alienating one side of the conflict, somehow it's going to be easy to solve it. Typical right-wing reductionist thinking, that Trump has now admitted was flawed.

Pathetic. I'm sure has hell not qualified to run a country, and even I could see that his actions were counter-productive insofar as solving the problem.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This has been a major issue with the far-right (aka the Republican party) in recent years, with Trump being the king. They have boiled all the difficult issues in the world as being easy to fix, except that no one has the guts to do X. It's a binary thing for them. They look at issues in isolation, and think that those damn leftists (read: everyone not extreme right) just aren't willing to do what needs to be done.

If Trump has done any good whatsoever, it's expose the ridiculousness of these statements. Who know health care would be so difficult? (all of us). The middle east is more difficult than we thought (you don't say...). If we start a trade war, no one will retaliate (everyone retaliated).

It's simplistic and juvenile thinking. Adults know that the world is nuanced, and the reason difficult issues haven't been solved is because there isn't the easy answer the extreme right likes to believe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"But I will say that if it can be delivered, we will deliver it," he said, insisting that his team of regional envoys -- led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner -- "have made progress, believe it or not."

Not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Perhaps President Trump can tell the truth from time to time?..Yeah I doubt that......

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Perhaps President Trump can tell the truth from time to time?

Yes, people who haven't gotten along for thousands of years won't magically start getting along in 4 yrs. Even after any agreement is made, there will be millions of unhappy people on all sides trying to derail it so they can retain some power.

But without $200M/yr in "allowance" coming from the USA, perhaps 1 side will be more eager to talk?

Nothing else has worked, so let's give this a try.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"All my life I've heard that's the hardest deal to make

Trump's made money (at least I assume he has, but given he's not released current tax info it's hard to tell how much he's worth) selling rights to his brand name.

Of course he's in over his head in EVERY aspect of the presidency. Trump's had highly paid armies of lawyers, accountants and lobbyists do the hard work for him when it comes to business so he can be out on the golf course and 'avoid getting an STD'.

Unfit for any elected position. The perfect politician for the global ultra right and the global .01%.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Only ignorant, arrogant trust fund babies with no connection to reality would think being president or Middle East peace was easy.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

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