Dismissing threats of violence emanating from the Palestinians and Arab nations, Israel’s former deputy national security adviser, Eran Lerman, believes that, were President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this week, as expected, it could have a positive effect on the peace proposals the administration is preparing.
In a press briefing held Monday with The Israel Project, the former official and current vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, acknowledged that productive negotiations could result from the declaration even “after a first period of turmoil.”
Lerman dismissed the threats of violence as “attempts to manipulate the American administration,” and the incitement, especially emanating from the Palestinians, as counterproductive.
Overall, he believes that the Arab world would prefer to remain on the Trump administration’s good side.
Regarding charges that Trump would forfeit his ability to be an honest broker by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Lerman said that it was a necessary step to respond to “those who think they can impose a solution on Israel that doesn’t recognize Israel’s position on Jerusalem.”
He added, “If they think there will be an imposed solution, then it is the duty of the honest broker to tell them that the sooner they let go of such illusion, the better chance there is of a decent, although painful, and maybe a little, in some places, ugly, complicated compromise that’s achievable politically on both sides.”
Lerman also characterized the Palestinian view of negotiations as being more similar to “a kind of international court of law in which Israel is always in the dock,” and said that the administration “must debunk [this] before we have any chance of a serious and successful negotiation.”
A complete recording of the press briefing is embedded below.
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