Trump the 'deal maker' – good for Middle East?

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chad Groening (

Trump and Abbas Sept 2017The head of messianic Jewish ministry admits being deeply troubled that Donald Trump appears ready to use his "art of the deal" persona to attempt to bring about a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem.

On Wednesday President Trump – during the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly – met on the sidelines with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority.

Abbas expressed optimism about reaching a peace deal with Israel this year, saying Trump's commitment to the issue would help create the "deal of the century" in the region.

Trump commented, in response: "I think we have a very, very good chance – and I certainly will devote everything within my heart and within my soul to get that deal made."

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says she has seen this scenario before. "It seems like when it comes to Middle East negotiations, the beat just goes on and on and on," she tells OneNewsNow.

Markell, Jan (Olive Tree Ministries)"[When] a U.S. president gets installed, [he] almost immediately wants to talk about a two-state solution, a peace effort, dividing up the land," she explains. "I believe Donald Trump wants to employ his 'art of the deal' and see if he can't pull off an art of the deal that no other president has been able to maneuver."

According to Markell, some in the pro-Israel community believe any "art of the deal" is going to involve more than just carving a Palestinian state out of God's covenant land.

"Not only will the art of the deal involve land but even perhaps, because Donald Trump is a builder, that he could somehow initiate the beginning of the construction of the third temple," she offers. "Now I'm not there – I don't believe that's going to happen, because I believe that's going to happen during the Tribulation."

Strange bedfellows

Markell also says she finds it "very, very strange" that the terrorist group Hamas is prepared to turn back control of Gaza to the rival Palestinian Authority.

Earlier this week, Hamas invited Mahmoud Abbas to send officials to Gaza to resume control of the coastal enclave seized by the Islamic terrorist group a decade ago. Hamas is in financial and political distress after years of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

"My hunch," says Markell, "is they just want the Palestinian Authority to come in and provide some needs and services. Otherwise, I can't honestly figure out why this is going on because these two groups don't like each other – and that is an understatement. They are vying with each other to try to become 'terrorists in chief' in that particular region.

"The fact that they're suddenly cooperating I find to be very, very strange."

The ministry leader finds it noteworthy that Abbas wears a suit and meets with President Trump. "The leader of Hamas is a blatant, bragging terrorist; whereas Mahmoud Abbas is trying to present himself as a moderate – sort of a Westerner ... in a suit, etcetera," she states.

Hamas also claimed it was ready to hand over all government functions to Abbas and to hold elections in Gaza and the West Bank.

Markell hosts the program "Understanding the Times" heard on American Family Radio.

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