President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with business leaders in the State Department Library on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
Evan Vucci

Trump suggests Middle East peace should be easy, too

I had to check this latest Donald Trump a few times, to make sure it’s exactly what he told Reuters, and by all appearances, it is.
“…I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians. There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians – none whatsoever.”
Well, actually, there are all kinds of reasons standing in the way of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It’s one of the most difficult diplomatic challenges on the planet.

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum joked, “Sure, Donald. You can’t even get Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon to stop squabbling, but the Middle East? Piece of cake. There’s no reason to think this is a difficult problem that requires a lot of hard work. It’s just that all the presidents before you have been really, really stupid.”

Quite right. Trump probably has some rudimentary understanding of the fact that several recent presidents have tried to broker an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, and he very likely believes that the only thing standing in the way of a breakthrough is the idiocy of his predecessors.

After all, there’s “no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Of course, it’s not hard to imagine what would happen if the amateur president took direct steps to help bring about that peace: it’d be a notable addition to Trump’s “it turns out” list.

The “it turns out” list is the growing collection of issues and policy areas in which Trump took firm positions based solely on assumptions he made out of ignorance, only to change his mind after being introduced to information the rest of us already knew.

Trump thought being president would be easy, but “it turns out” to be profoundly difficult. Trump thought the NATO alliance is obsolete, but “it turns out” to have value. Trump thought China had the power to pull North Korea’s strings, but “it turns out” to be a far more complex dynamic. Trump thought overhauling America’s health care system would be practically effortless, but “it turns out” to be “complicated.”

How long until the president declares that he expected peace between Israelis and Palestinians to be straightforward, only to discover that “it turns out” to be incredibly challenging?

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Israel and Palestine

Trump suggests Middle East peace should be easy, too