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Middle East Matters

Robert Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wait for photographers to depart before beginning their meeting at the Presidential Palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters).

Reading The Trump Administration in Ramallah

Does the United States seek relations with Hamas in Gaza and to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership in the West Bank? Palestinians officials and insiders asked me this question repeatedly during a recent visit to Ramallah. At first, the question seems strange. How could well-informed insiders come to wonder if the United States prefers to deal with an Islamist terrorist organization to a leadership that avows non-violence and actively pursues security cooperation with Israel on a daily basis? Read More

May 1, 2017

Palestinian Territories
Palestinian President Abbas’ Washington Challenge

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas faces one of the greatest negotiating challenges of his political career on Wednesday when he meets President Trump at the White House: He must convince many skeptics in Washington that he is willing and able to sign the “ultimate deal” that President Trump seeks.

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February 13, 2017

Israel
President Trump: Peace Processor

President Donald Trump’s evolving views on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear to be coming into greater focus as he prepares to welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House later this week.

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February 6, 2017

Israel
President Trump’s Settlement Policy Breaks Ground

For the first dozen days of the Trump administration, it seemed to Israelis that they had a free hand to settle the West Bank. Israel announced its intention to build thousands of new houses, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the Knesset and declared that Israel would establish its first new settlement in decades. Washington said nothing.

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