Shai Feldman

Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center


Khalil Shikaki

Goldman Senior Fellow at the Crown Center and Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) in Ramallah


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Trump's Jerusalem Declaration and "The Ultimate Deal"


Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki
Middle East Brief 114, January 2018


The recent storm created by President Donald Trump's declaration that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital drew attention away from an important interview that the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, gave at the Saban Forum a few days earlier. There, for the first time, Kushner explained the premises and the underlying logic of the Trump administration's preparations to launch negotiations leading to an “ultimate deal” for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In this Brief, Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki address the following questions: How favorable are the current regional, as well as Palestinian and Israeli domestic political conditions for launching such an initiative, and to what extent did the Jerusalem statement affect these conditions? And if the president intends to eventually unveil his “ultimate deal,” why did he risk derailing the efforts of his own team by making the Jerusalem statement in advance of, and separate from, the peace initiative to which Kushner alluded? The Brief concludes by providing a net assessment of the viability of the Trump administration's initiative to resolve the decades-long conflict.

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