President Donald Trump’s Middle East emissaries spent this week energetically selling his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative throughout the Arab world, from Saudi Arabia and Egypt to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Then they got to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

At the end of their meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the best that Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and his special envoy, Jason D. Greenblatt, could manage was a two-line statement saying that the Palestinians had agreed not to bolt from the US-led process.

In the exhausted, jaded, disillusioned world of Middle East peacemaking, that qualified as a small victory.

“We were encouraged by the sense of optimism,” Greenblatt said in an interview Friday, of his tour of Arab capitals. “They believe the president is serious about this. They believe the president can pull this off.”

The administration’s recruitment of Arab leaders made it difficult for the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, to spurn Trump at this early stage. But the lack of progress between Israel and the Palestinians showed that Trump can line up any number of cheerleaders and still fail to break the impasse between the prime antagonists.

Read the full article at the Brisbane Times.

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