Trump and Netanyahu today presented a supposed peace plan that is as detatched from reality as it is eye-catching. The plan’s green light for Israel to annex the settlements in exchange for a perforated Palestinian state is unviable and would not bring stability. This is not how peace is built, and the people in the region on both sides are the ones who will suffer for this political stunt.
Any outline that does not include the establishment of a Palestinian state on the basis of the pre-1967 lines with minor land swaps, the evacuation of deep settlements and two capitals in Jerusalem will find its way into the dustbin of history.
The insistence of a small and extreme minority to cling to every piece of land is dragging our country to perpetuate this protracted conflict to the point that it is critically threatening Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state.
There are already clear principles based on the sides’ red lines for a political agreement that we can measure the plan by:
1. Actual negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians – An agreement that guarantees the future and security of Israel, the Palestinians and the entire region will only be achieved through a process of negotiation and agreement by both parties.
2. Viable, defensible borders – Border based on pre-1967 lines, with minor land swaps and safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel will have a monitoring role against security threats in the new State of Palestine in coordination with the PA.
3. Israeli and Palestinian capitals in Jerusalem – Both the Jewish and Palestinian people have national and religious claims in Jerusalem. With the right coordination and technology, both nations can enjoy capitals in Jerusalem without a Berlin Wall-style division of the city.
4. An agreed-upon resolution to the Palestinian refugee issue – Refugees and their descendants would return to a new State of Palestine established on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, among a set of other options including an agreed and symbolic (small) amount to be absorbed by Israel.
The Trump plan falls short of all of these points, in multiple ways. Presenting bad plans bears real costs of increasing disillusionment, anger, and distrust between the parties. Imposing one unilaterally on the Palestinians in the fashion the plan was announced is not a pro-Israel act. It sells a lie to the Israeli people and furthers Israel from peace.