Since the 1978 Israel-Egypt Camp David accords, it has been a sine qua non of Middle East diplomatic wisdom that US leadership is essential to Israeli-Arab peacemaking. Neither Europe’s central role in the 1991 Madrid Conference nor America’s conspicuous absence from the talks that gave birth to the 1993 Oslo Accords altered this understanding. Indeed, a defining characteristic of the post-Oslo era was the emergence of America not merely as the leader of peace efforts, but with a de facto monopoly over them.
Fifty years after the start of the Occupation and twenty-four years after Oslo, the historical record suggests that this American leadership has been a failure. Irrespective of intentions, US led efforts have done more to enable the entrenchment, expansion, and permanence of occupation than to end it. And nine months into his presidency, Donald Trump has not proven to be the breath of fresh air that many had hoped that he would be, despite his brash confidence in his ability to achieve the “ultimate deal”.
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