Donald Trump’s “peace plan” isn’t a plan for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. It’s a plan for scuttling them.
…More insidiously, it is a plan to legitimize Israel’s ongoing effort to seize additional Palestinian land.
…It was put together primarily by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, in consultation with the Israeli government.
…It divides up the Palestinian territories and surrounds them by Israel, and gives Israel total control over Palestinian security — allowing a future Palestinian government to exercise full control over its own land only when Israel deems it acceptable. It’s a kind of state-minus: a Palestine without much of its land and subservient to Israel for basic functions.
…The plan states that “Jerusalem will remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and it should remain an undivided city.” The Palestinians will be granted only a tiny fraction of the heavily Palestinian-populated part of the city known as East Jerusalem that excludes the religious holy sites.
…Not only would the future state of Palestine not be permitted to develop its own “military or paramilitary” forces — ever — but Israel would also maintain full security control over Palestinian territory until it decides not to. And if at any time Israel changes its mind, it is within its rights under the deal to retake military control.
…A peace plan is supposed to end Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank. By giving Israel full control, the Trump plan makes such a withdrawal nearly impossible to envision.
“If you put it in Israel’s hands it will never happen,” writes Ilan Goldenberg, the Middle East security director at the Center for a New American Security. “It’s a recipe for permanent occupation.”
…As soon as the Palestinians have rejected the plan — and it took only minutes for them to do so — the Israelis can say, “Well, we tried, but they wouldn’t deal.” And they can proceed with settlement expansion and land grabs, moving Israel toward “not peace, but apartheid,” as B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human rights group, put it in a press release on the proposal.
The Trump vision is, in short, a truly Orwellian creation: a “peace plan” that actually is a plan to destroy the prospects for peace.
…It doesn’t seem like an accident that the plan was released on the same day that Israel’s attorney general formally indicted Netanyahu on bribery and corruption charges.
Orwell would be proud.