Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

The White House "peace team" has essentially finished drafting the administration's Middle East peace plan, but White House officials told me the plan will not be presented during the month of Ramadan. Only when it ends — three weeks from now — will there be a decision regarding if, when and how to launch it.

The bottom line: That decision will be made by President Trump, and a White House official tells me they'll wait until "the time and circumstances are right." For a number of reasons, it's unclear when that might be.

  • Palestinian leadership is boycotting the White House over Trump's Jerusalem embassy move and is not willing to accept peace talks moderated by the U.S. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are campaigning against Israel and the U.S. at the United Nations.
  • The U.S. dilemma also has to do with Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu is under police investigation and more interested in dealing with the Iranian threat than the peace process. Netanyahu's right-wing coalition has very little appetite for peace plans which include concessions to the Palestinians.
  • The volatile situation in Gaza and the fear of further escalation only deepens the White House dilemma. Trump's advisers are trying to come up with a path for easing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza before or as part of launching the peace plan, but for now it is yet to be found.
  • And if that wasn't enough, the fact that Palestinian President Abbas was admitted to the hospital this week for the third time in seven days served as a reminder that that Abbas is nearing the end of his political career and might lack the willingness or legitimacy to make historic decisions regarding a peace plan.

The latest:

  • The "peace team" — Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Special envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman — discussed the peace plan last week with Netanyahu, a day before the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
  • A White House official told me: "We continue to seek ways to find  a way forward on Gaza. It is extremely challenging because of Hamas' activities, and none of our partners have any serious plans that work while Hamas continues its behavior in Gaza. Fixing the situation in Gaza is important whether the peace plan is successful or not. There is too much suffering caused in Gaza because of Hamas. We believe that the Arab world knows that Hamas is responsible for the dire situation in Gaza, and we would hope that they begin to publicly put the responsibility for the violence on Hamas." 

White House officials emphasize that regardless of the difficulties, Trump is still committed to getting a peace deal. Trump's advisers think both Israelis and Palestinians will like parts of the U.S. peace plan and hate other parts of it. White House officials think the plan is still relevant and that only after it is presented they will be able to determine whether their effort to promote Middle East peace is over or just beginning. 

Go deeper

House members and staff will be allowed to bring visitors into Capitol again

The U.S. Capitol on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Members of the House and their staff will be able to escort certain visitors into the Capitol starting Wednesday.

Why it matters: The House is slowly starting to reopen after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. The Senate already allows official visits, with a staff escort.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jury in Derek Chauvin trial heads into deliberation

The jury of Derek Chauvin's trial has gone into deliberation Monday. The judge told instructed them to "reach a just verdict regardless of what the consequence might be."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.