The master negotiator strikes again. Is his latest move to marginalise Palestinians part of a clever strategy to bring justice and peace for everyone in Palestine? All will be revealed when the ‘deal of the century’ is announced.

There is a saying in the Middle East that an idea is not dead until it is dead and buried. Apparently taking this to heart, the Trump administration has decided on yet another step that accelerates the burial of an already moribund peace process: closing the American Consulate General in Jerusalem and transforming it into a “Palestinian Affairs Unit” with the U.S. Embassy. The strangest part of all this is that the administration believes it can still achieve what President Trump has called the “ultimate deal.”

The American Consulate General in Jerusalem has been an independent diplomatic mission since its establishment in 1844. Since 1948, and in particular since 1967, the Consulate has served a critical purpose of engaging with Palestinians in an effort to advance the prospects of peace with Israel. The Consulate reported directly to Washington, commenting on what its officers saw and heard, and offered recommendations on how to resolve problems both small and large.

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New York Daily News, Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer