U.S. President Donald Trump is set to unveil his administration’s much-anticipated Middle East peace plan in the latest American venture to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Odds of it taking shape, though, appear long, given the Palestinians’ preemptive rejection of the plan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s shaky political standing.
For both men, the White House summit looks to be a welcome diversion.
Trump is expected to present the proposal alongside Netanyahu at noon Tuesday. The event comes the day Trump’s impeachment trial continues in the Senate and the Israeli parliament had planned a hearing to discuss Netanyahu’s request for immunity from criminal corruption charges.
Netanyahu withdrew that request hours before the parliamentary proceedings were set to begin, saying in a statement he had “decided not to let this dirty game continue.” But Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is still expected to meet even after the withdrawal. The body had been set to likely vote against immunity, dealing Netanyahu a blow.
The Mideast peace proposal is expected to be very favourable to Israel, and Netanyahu has hailed it as a chance to “make history” and define Israel’s final borders. Netanyahu’s political challenger Benny Gantz has spoken in glowing terms about Trump and his initiative. Trump insists it has a chance despite skepticism.
“It’s been worked on by everybody, and we’ll see whether or not it catches hold. If it does, that would be great, and if it doesn’t, we can live with it, too. But I think it might have a chance,” Trump said alongside Netanyahu on Monday, when he also hosted Gantz at the White House.
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