Murder Of Saudi Journalist Threatens To Derail President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Effort
Senior Trump administration officials reportedly are reconsidering the timeline for the roll-out of their much-anticipated nearly-two-years-in-the-making Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, following the murder last month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The White House’s proposal purportedly was crafted based on two assumptions: namely, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is uniquely positioned to make tough concessions to the Palestinians; and that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has the clout to pressure the Palestinians to accept a deal while spearheading the strenghtening of ties between the Sunni Arab world and the Jewish state. While Netanyahu appears to have saved his government, growing international pressure on Washington to punish the House of Saud for its involvement in the Khashoggi killing threatens to upend one of the central pillars of the prospective paradigm. The White House initiative was shrouded in doubt before the latest developments, given the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing boycott of American officials imposed after President Donald Trump in December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Previously, members of the American peace team suggested that their plan would be published shortly after the U.S. mid-term elections.