Orly Azoulay
Orly Azoulay
U.S. President Donald Trump

Trump has no time for West Bank annexation

With coronavirus cases breaking daily records, president beginning to realize he is culpable for his administration's mishandling of crisis, and faced with prospect of November defeat may even drop out of the race

Orly Azoulay |
Published: 07.02.20 , 23:25
During his first year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump boasted that he alone would be able to bring about a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with what he called his "deal of the century."
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  • The president had even imagined he would be awarded the Noble Peace Prize for his efforts.
    דונלד טראמפדונלד טראמפ
    U.S. President Donald Trump
    (Photo: AP)
    When speaking about his vision for Middle East peace, Trump used terminology from the real estate world.
    For him it was about two sides of a business transaction carrying out negotiating ploys, threatening to walk away only to come back and agree on some glossy building façade that would have the Trump name pasted across it in gold lettering.
    The president's premise was simple. The Saudis and Qataris would throw money at the Palestinians, who would revel in their good fortune and agree to surrender all their demands and rush to sign on the dotted line.
    נשיא ארה"ב דונלד טראמפ עם יורש העצר של סעודיה מוחמד בן סלמאן ועידה G20 אוסקה יפןנשיא ארה"ב דונלד טראמפ עם יורש העצר של סעודיה מוחמד בן סלמאן ועידה G20 אוסקה יפן
    U.S. President Donald Trump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
    (Photo: Reuters)
    In Trump world, money can buy everything. If there is not enough of it on offer, one can always add gold bars to the pile to incentivize those who are still holding back.
    But now, as he is fighting what may be the final battle of his political life, Israel's annexation of parts of the West Bank is last thing on Trump's mind.
    With coronavirus cases breaking daily records, the president is beginning to realize he is culpable for America's lack of preparedness to contain the virus and sees not only Democrats but even members of his own party outraged at his administration's mishandling of the crisis.
    The social uprising that followed the murder of George Floyd is still growing and taking on different forms of protests – all critical of the president.
    הפגנה מחאה מפגינים וושינגטון נגד גזענות אלימות שוטרים ג'ורג' פלוידהפגנה מחאה מפגינים וושינגטון נגד גזענות אלימות שוטרים ג'ורג' פלויד
    A mass rally in Washington, D.C. following the murder of George Floyd
    (Photo: AP)
    The man who had always boasted about being a winner - a master of the art of the deal, a genius, rich beyond words and free to grab women's body parts - may perhaps for the first time be facing a resounding defeat, if the opinion polls are to be believed.
    Things may still change for the president. The election is months away, but the question of Israel's planned annexation is nothing more than a persistent bother.
    Trump is cognizant of his evangelical supporters' desire to see the annexation carried out and that some of his rich Jewish donors' generosity depends on its implementation, but his attention is limited to his re-election campaign.
    Recent reports have suggested that some of the president's closest advisers believe he will drop out of the race if convinced he is heading for defeat.
    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe BidenDemocratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
    Former vice president Joe Biden is the Democrats' de facto presidential nominee
    (Photo: AP)
    Speculation includes the possibility of Trump addressing the nation to say America does not deserve the likes of him.
    He would inform voters that he is too good for those fools who refuse to see that he alone can cure the nation's ills.
    Faced with the prospect of failure, Trump may drudge up Israel's annexation plans again.
    He may try to gain support by green-lighting Netanyahu's ambitions but only for the benefit of an election win for himself.
    Trump cares nothing about the consequences of a unilateral Israeli move; he has no regard for Israelis and is likely ignorant about the physical parameters and regional ramifications of annexation.
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