Trump's plan of the century is sham of the century
The much-vaunted peace plan unveiled by the Trump administration this week is guaranteed to exacerbate rather than resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The plan pays lip-service to a two-state solution, but, at the same time, green lights immediate Israeli annexation of the entire Jordan Valley and the extension of Israeli sovereignty to settlements in the West Bank. Indeed, hours after the Trump "vision" was unveiled, Benjamin Netanyahu's government announced that it will submit an annexation bill to the Knesset this coming Sunday.
The so-called potential Palestinian state offered in the plan is a Swiss cheese of enclaves on 70 percent of the West Bank, punctured and dissected by Israeli settlements and access roads, which are envisioned to remain in perpetuity. This future "state" would have no control of its borders or of the streets of its cities, towns and villages, which would remain under Israeli military control.
The plan's double speak calls for a four-year settlement freeze, but only in areas designated for a future Palestinian state (where no settlements currently exist). If Palestinians reject Trump's highly one-sided plan, even this limited restriction is off the table. A number of other one-sided conditions guarantee that no Palestinian leader could possibly accept it. In short, the plan appears designed to ensure Palestinian rejection and continued Israeli hegemony over the West Bank.
Dangerously, Trump's vision threatens to push the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank to terminate its agreements and cooperation with Israel, including its security cooperation, a process that might lead to the Palestinian Authority's collapse and fully shift the burden of running Palestinian daily life in the West Bank to Israel.
Other repercussions include the potential to:
* Destabilize Jordan and jeopardize Israel's peace treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom;
* Further undermine relations between Jewish and Arab citizens of the state of Israel;
* Further escalate the process of international measures against Israel, bringing it dangerously closer to international isolation;
* Undermine Palestinian moderates while spurring extremists;
* Escalate Palestinian frustration and despair, which could unite Palestinians around anti-Israeli violence.
* Heightened conflict and, eventually, a disastrous one-state "solution."
Canadian Friends of Peace Now joins other progressive Zionist organizations in calling for a genuine vision for a peace deal and negotiations towards that end.
As our sister organization Peace Now/Shalom Achshav states:
Presenting bad plans bears real costs of increasing disillusionment, anger, and distrust between the parties. Imposing a plan 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."