Oct. 19, 2018
This is the English version of an article that appeared originally in Italian as “Con sguardo lucido e disincantato.” The interview was conducted by Niram Ferretti.
Question: The Trump administration seems to be following the logic of MEF’s Israel Victory Project launched in January 2017: it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, closed the PLO office in Washington, and cut funds to UNRWA and other Palestinians entities. With this, has your initial skepticism about President Trump’s attitude towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict changed?
Answer: I remain skeptical. I see Trump’s grand Middle East goal to weaken the Iranian regime. Toward this end, he has rewarded the Saudis with arms sales and the Israelis with Jerusalem. The steps against the Palestinian Authority serve as pressure on it to come to the table and receive what I expect to be its reward, namely recognition of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. If I am right, things will not turn out well.
Q: Do you mean that you think he will be willing to concede East Jerusalem to the Palestinians?