Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, expressed “confidence” on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan will capitalize on thawing ties between the Jewish state and the Arab world.
Addressing guests at a Rosh Hashanah reception, including members of the peace team, Dermer said that Israel is ready for the release of Trump’s long-awaited peace proposal and believes it will “try to use the new realities taking shape in our region to help us forge a new path to peace and reconciliation.”
The administration has repeatedly denied or dodged rumors that the plan – spearheaded by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, his special envoy to the peace process – would offer Palestinians a confederation with their Arab neighbors, diminish the identifying status of Palestinians as refugees, or lower Arab League standards for a complete resolution of the conflict focused on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
“What is new is the behavior of many Arab states,” Dermer told the crowd, praising the Trump team for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year and for withdrawing from an international nuclear deal with Iran. “They are no longer reflexively dancing to the Palestinians’ tune.”
“Despite the best efforts of Palestinian leaders to whip up opposition to President Trump’s Jerusalem decision, the response in the Arab world was mostly silence,” he said. “And that silence should give us real hope for the future – the hope that after 70 years of demonizing Israel, some Arab states may finally be ready to turn the page.”