Trump’s Middle East plan enshrines the status quo

The United States doesn't need the Middle East the way it used to. As American energy production surges, the US has begun to disengage from the region (see Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya). And without the need to keep the broader Middle East peace for the sake of its energy interests, the US now has the luxury of choosing which battles it wants to wage. Most recently, that has meant pushing forward a Middle East peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians that's much more pro-Israel than any US administration has put forward before.

There are plenty of critics of the deal, which is understandable. If peace was the immediate goal of the proposal, US President Donald Trump's team would have engaged both sides, instead of only the Israelis. The administration's decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem dealt a fatal blow to any Palestinian participation. But that's the point -...

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