At first glance it looks like there are a lot of winners from President Trump's Middle East trip including:
- The Saudis, who got what they wanted. They heard Trump confirm that the US would be close to the Gulf Arab
states and veer away from Iran. They also sealed an arms deal with the US for $110 billion. And they
never heard the words human rights from Trump's lips!
- Trump, who got what he wanted from the Saudis. President Trump was able to get an arms deal that he declared was
great for the US economy. The Saudis publicly aligned with Trump's rhetoric against terrorism - thus allowing
the President to find "moderate" US allies in the region. And Ivanka Trump got a $100 billion pledge from the
Saudis for her women's empowerment program at the World Bank.
- Benjamin Netanyahu, who breathed a sigh of relief as Trump departed Israel for the Vatican. There was no pressure
on settlements or significant concessions to the Palestinians. He heard lots of pleasantries from Trump about the
strength of the US-Israel relationship. And there was the prospect of a potentially new dynamic for Middle East
peace: The Saudis stating publicly their willingness to be partners for peace.
- Palestinian President Abbas, who was able to tell his people that the Palestinian cause is still on the
negotiating table if and when negotiations take place.
Looks like a win-win situation, right? Well, not so fast.