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What we know about the American peace plan

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Anticipation surrounding the Trump administration’s elusive “deal of the century” is on the rise, marked by media speculation and buzz. 

The plan is expected to be released as early as June, and suggestions are that it will include very little in terms of Palestinian autonomy and civil rights, and instead focus on “economic incentives” for the Palestinians, while emphasizing “Israeli security.”

Very few details of the proposal have actually been confirmed by officials, but if the Trump administration’s policies in the region are any indication of what’s to come, things are not looking good for the Palestinians.

As Jared Kushner boasts about his team’s “new ideas” and dedication to steering away from the “the old traditional talking points,” Palestinians’ existing fears of a disastrous proposal have only been exacerbated.

Vague comments and empty reassurances

Despite dozens of reports, leaks, and outright guesses as to the nature of the peace proposal, the administration has managed to keep most details of the plan a secret.

Over the past few weeks and months, whether in interviews or anonymous leaks to the press, Kushner has been quoted as saying things like “we will all have to look for reasonable compromises,” and “we’re never going to make progress” within previous negotiation frameworks. Then this week Kushner said the two-state solution has “failed” and “new and different ways to reach peace must be tried.”

Several news agencies have reported that the proposal will feature two major components: one political, one economic.

Reuters reported that the political component will address core issues like the status of Jerusalem, though given Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital and the American embassy move, it is unlikely that any Palestinian claims will be actualized.

Meanwhile, Kushner, special envoy Jason Greenblatt, and other authors of the proposal are expected to put a heavy focus on measures aimed at strengthening the Palestinian economy — given that the Palestinians are not expected to receive much in terms of sovereignty or basic rights. Or as Kushner put it this week, “What can you resolve to allow [Palestinian] areas to become more investable?”

In February, Kushner and Greenblatt toured the Gulf states to promote their plan, with hopes of securing financial resources from Arab leaders for the economic section of the proposal.

But their secrecy and vagueness was met with pushback from leaders who wanted “to know the details before committing resources to a Palestinian fund,” Reuters reported.

Shortly after, Kushner sat down for an interview with Sky News Arabia to make another relatively vague statement: that the political aspect of the plan would focus on “resolving the border issue.”

In previous negotiations, Palestinians have maintained that their future state would require Israel to return to the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, but there has been little to no mention of whether the plan will see anything close to the idea of Palestinian statehood and sovereignty.

While Kushner and other officials have done their best to keep an air of secrecy around the plan, one point they have remained clear and consistent on is the proposal’s dedication to “Israeli security.”

In an Op-Ed for the New York Times on Tuesday, Greenblatt blamed the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza on Hamas officials. In regards to a future peace plan, he said, “Whether or not we achieve a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, the future of Gaza cannot be addressed and the people of Gaza cannot be helped in any meaningful way until Hamas is no longer in the picture or makes the necessary choices for stability and, eventually, peace.”

Mixed bag of reactions

Regional and world leaders have responded to the rumors surrounding the peace plan with a mix of outrage, reservation, and celebration.

Palestinian leaders have announced that they, in keeping with their current policy towards the Americans, will boycott the negotiations, and likely reject any plan that the Trump administration puts forward.

Last week, the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh made statements that Trump’s peace plan will be “born dead.”

“There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump,” Shtayyeh said, as he implored world leaders to boycott American-led negotiations.

“The whole system is to try to push us to surrender,” he said. “The Palestinians are not interested in economic peace … we are interested in ending the occupation,” Shtayyeh told AP reporters.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the US proposal during the Arab League conference in Cairo over the weekend.

According to Haaretz, Abbas “demanded that Israel  fully withdraw from all occupied territories” and called on fellow Arab leaders to be “engaged actively at this critical time.”

Mohammed al-Masri, the leader of the Fatah faction in the Bethlehem governorate, responded to the rumors of the proposal, saying “the American leaders are looking to make a deal, they are not looking for a just solution for the Palestinian people.”

“We will refuse any solution they put in front of us,” al-Masri continued, in an interview with Mondoweiss. “We don’t have anything left to give to them during negotiations.”

“We accepted to recognize Israel as a country, and we have abided by all the agreements,” he said, highlighting the daily human rights violations committed by the Israeli government, along with violations of international law and the Oslo Accords.  

Al-Masri said he believes the PA will refuse the American proposal, though it will bear severe financial consequences on an already struggling Palestinian Authority.

“We cannot accept this deal as it stands. They want us to have a Catalonia like system. No power, no borders, and just give us some economic freedom,” al-Masri said.

“Their plan is to put us in a desert and offer us some drops of water so we are forced to accept it.”

Al-Masri’s comments are reflective of the general sentiment of Palestinian leaders and citizens toward US-led peace negotiations.

With the defunding of UNRWA and USAID, among several other economic sanctions affecting Palestinians, there is no shred of hope any more that the US could be a fair arbiter of the peace process.

In an interview in the Atlantic, Gerard Araud, the outgoing French ambassador, offered up a biting criticism of Kushner and his plans in the Middle East.

“Everywhere in the history of mankind, when there is a negotiation between two sides, the more powerful [party] is imposing terms on the weaker party. That’s the basis of Jared Kushner’s [peace plan]—it will be a proposal very close to what the Israelis want,” Araud said.

Araud added that he believed that the plan has a 99% chance of failing, though he did note that Trump’s popularity with the Israelis and the fact that he has “given them everything” could give the Americans some leverage.

“The problem is that the disproportion of power is such between the two sides that the strongest may conclude that they have no interest to make concessions,” he added. “If you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that.”

Israeli politicians have remained relatively quiet on the subject of peace negotiations, choosing instead to maintain their rosy relationship with the Trump administration leading up to June (i.e. thanking Trump for his support by naming an illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights after the president.)

As for the pre-election promises from Netanyahu saying he would annex major portions of the occupied West Bank, Israeli Ambassador to the US Danny Danon said, “I don’t think we will see any major action by our government before the peace plan will be presented.”

All eyes on Arab leaders

As the dust settles from a tumultuous election season in Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming his right-wing coalition, the American and Israeli administrations could not be in greater alignment.

With a Netanyahu reelection, the Trump administration has spared themselves the trouble that would have unfolded had a new Israeli PM, potentially with different views on “peace” with the Palestinians, been elected to office.

As for Netanyahu, his government is certain that whatever the American proposal has in store for them will be favorable to the Israelis. After all, Trump “gifted” the Golan Heights to Netanyahu as a pre-election benefit.

With all the stars aligned, the rollout of the plan seemingly could not come at a better time for both the Americans and Israelis.

But as Robert Satloff put it in an article for Foreign Policy magazine, if the Palestinians outright reject the plan — something Abbas has promised to do — it would give the Israelis opportunity to claim they have no willing partner in negotiations, thus “gutting a key rationale for keeping the status quo alive.” And annexation could get a boost:

“Instead, rightist politicians will argue that, with no partner, Israel should simply extend its sovereignty to key parts of the West Bank (i.e., annex them), just as it did 38 years ago on the Golan Heights—and they will point out that Trump’s recent decision to recognize the legality of the Golan annexation is a powerful hint that the White House will greenlight West Bank annexation.”

Were Israel to move forward with annexation, Satloff points out, it could trigger measures taken by surrounding Arab states against Israel on the international stage, an end to security coordination with the Palestinian Authority, and damaging effects on US political and public support for Israel.

Some have argued that the one thing that could save Kushner’s plan from completely backfiring would be garnering enough support from the surrounding Arab countries — hence the February tour of the Gulf States.

While Kushner has managed to maintain great personal and political relationships with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E, it would be in America’s best interests to get countries like Egypt and Jordan on board. Without the support of those two countries, which have publicly condemned Trump’s Jerusalem and Golan moves, it’s highly unlikely that the administration would get the full regional backing of its plan.

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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31 Responses

  1. Citizen on April 26, 2019, 1:28 pm

    RE: “While Kushner has managed to maintain great personal and political relationships with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E, it would be in America’s best interests to get countries like Egypt and Jordan on board. Without the support of those two countries, which have publicly condemned Trump’s Jerusalem and Golan moves, it’s highly unlikely that the administration would get the full regional backing of its plan.”

    So, just bribe them some more–every year US taxpayers pay billions to Egypt & Israel for their peace & same, on a lesser level with Jordan. Most US taxpayers will be oblivious, same as always.

    • Misterioso on April 27, 2019, 9:55 am

      For the record:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/opinion/letters/israel-palestinians-bds.htmlhttps://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/opinion/letters/israel-palestinians-bds.html

      “Views of a Founder of B.D.S.”
      Letter to the Editor, New York Times, April 24/19

      Omar Barghouti writes that ‘diversity would be celebrated, and collective cultural and religious rights respected.’

      To the Editor:

      Re “Anti-Zionists Deserve Free Speech” (column, April 16):

      “Michelle Goldberg eloquently shatters taboos about the B.D.S. movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) for Palestinian rights, opening space for debate. But her depiction of my opinion on Jewish rights in a democratic, one-state solution misses its nuances.

      “B.D.S. does not endorse any political solution, but I have, personally, advocated consistently for a single democratic state with equality for all, after ending ‘Zionist colonization,’ as the Zionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky described it in 1923.

      “An apartheid state legally and institutionally privileging the colonizers in historic Palestine defies international law, ethical principles and common sense.

      “As the philosopher Joseph Levine has written, ‘The very idea of a Jewish state [in Palestine] is undemocratic, a violation of the self-determination rights of its non-Jewish citizens, and therefore morally problematic.’

      “A true inclusive democracy, free from all colonial subjugation, discrimination and oppression, would enable Palestinian refugees to return and include Jewish Israelis as equal citizens and full partners in building a new shared society.

      “Diversity would be celebrated, and collective cultural and religious rights respected and protected. Coexistence would thus be ethical and sustainable.”

      Omar Barghouti
      Jerusalem
      The writer is a co-founder of the B.D.S. movement for Palestinian rights.

    • Misterioso on April 27, 2019, 1:43 pm

      @Citizen, et al

      Breaking news:

      How sweet it is!!

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/ny-times-apologizes-for-printing-netanyahu-cartoon-with-anti-semitic-tropes/?utm_source=ny-times-apologizes-for-printing-netanyahu-cartoon-with-anti-semitic-tropes&utm_medium=desktop-browser&utm_campaign=desktop-notifications

      “NY Times prints Netanyahu-Trump cartoon with ‘anti-Semitic tropes,’ apologizes”

      “Image [see link above] included in paper’s international edition shows Israeli PM as a dog guiding a skullcap-wearing US president; paper says it was ‘offensive, an error of judgment.’”

      Times of Israel, April 27/19, by Toi Staff

      “The New York Times on Saturday apologized for publishing a caricature in its international edition it said “included anti-Semitic tropes” and called its use an ‘error of judgment.’

      “The image included in Thursday’s international print edition showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Star of David on his collar, leading a blind US President Donald Trump, seen wearing a skullcap.

      “In a post to its Twitter page, the Times’ opinion section wrote that the cartoon ‘included anti-Semitic tropes… The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it.’

      “’It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it.’”

      “Hebrew media reported Saturday night that Danny Dayan, Israel’s consul-general in New York, protested to the newspaper about the cartoon.

      “Earlier this year Brazilian Jews filed a lawsuit against a cartoonist over a drawing they said was anti-Semitic.

      “The cartoon featured Netanyahu and Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro in a hug with their arms held in the shape of a swastika. The image by cartoonist Aroeira was published in the O Dia newspaper.

      “Similarly in August of 2018, Israel’s ambassador to Norway complained over a Norwegian daily’s use of a cartoon of Netanyahu, which he criticized as anti-Semitic.

      “That caricature showed Netanyahu, whose body is in the form of a swastika, punching a member of Israel’s Druze minority off a bench reading ‘whites only.’

      “The image was apparently commenting on recently passed legislation defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”

  2. HarryLaw on April 26, 2019, 4:43 pm

    Al-Masri , a bad analogy, he said “they want us to have a Catalonia like system. No power, no borders, and just give us some economic freedom”. You should be so lucky, the Catalans are fully represented in the Spanish parliament and the Borders of Catalonia are still the same. The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will never be represented in the Knesset for the simple reason that come the next election or in the near future Abbas could be forming the Government in the Knesset. Obviously that is never going to happen. The ‘Land of Israel’ means at the least the whole of Palestine, it does not mean 78% or 99% in other words Palestinians will not have sovereignty over any part of the Land of Israel, they will be offered some form of administrative authority with the right to elect Palestinians in those areas [A and B] These will take the form of Bantustans fully under the sovereignty of the Israelis with the IDF having the right to enter those areas at will. The Israeli and Palestinians claim sovereignty over the same piece of land, the Israelis need to relinquish that claim as per International law, otherwise force is the only alternative. Maybe the Israelis have already made that decision.

    • HarryLaw on April 26, 2019, 5:25 pm

      Two other countries had a similar dispute [to the Israel/Palestine issue] over sovereignty, the British government had sovereignty over Northern Ireland whereas the Irish Government also claimed sovereignty over the same territory. Here is the relevant part of the Irish 1937 constitution
      Article 2
      The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.
      In order for the Good Friday Agreement to take effect, the Irish Government held a referendum in the South asking the electorate to abolish the constitutional claim in article two and replace it with a mere aspiration, this they did and secured a huge majority, they then declared that the constitutional position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom cannot be changed without a majority in Northern Ireland agreeing to it. Now if only the Israelis could abandon their claim [also enshrined in the Likud constitution] and obey International law, a solution could be found. I am not holding my breath.

      • Peter in SF on April 27, 2019, 4:07 am

        British and Irish citizens have been able to move freely between the two countries to live and work ever since Ireland split off from the U.K. Even during the worst of “The Troubles”. That’s the biggest difference with Palestine/Israel. Israel apologists who look at the success of the peace process in Northern Ireland and say that it has lessons for hope for Palestine/Israel are either lying (like Ehud Barak, who talked about this when he visited SF) or completely ignorant.

      • HarryLaw on April 28, 2019, 11:30 am

        Peter in SF, I don’t think Israel apologists can claim any success of the peace process in Northern Ireland since they do not acknowledge that Palestinians should have self determination, the most important aspect of which is sovereignty. With the Irish situation the British government, the Irish government including Sinn Fein all agreed in the Good Friday Agreement that the citizens of Northern Ireland do have the right to self determination including sovereignty, they have decided to remain part of the UK, so we have the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland until a majority decides to join a United Ireland, if they do so decide at a referendum and a majority in the rest of Ireland agree to unification then the British government will not stand in the way, that is perfectly democratic. It is not what any Israeli government would agree to in regard to the West Bank or Gaza.

  3. Atlantaiconoclast on April 26, 2019, 6:04 pm

    Why aren’t Palestinian activists focusing like a laser beam on Israel’s nefarious role in the Syrian tragedy? When will they realize that the road to independence goes through making Americans aware of how bad Israel has been for the world? Why aren’t they exposing the fact that Israel stole nuclear technology from us in the sixties? That Israel was the main reason for the Iraq War? I could go on and on. The information is there to defeat Israel, but they never use it. Why? I am genuinely stumped by this. It would help if Americans who do know the truth encouraged them to change tactics. Because what has been tried has not worked.

    • Peter in SF on April 27, 2019, 3:36 am

      I think the reason why Palestinian activists are not following your suggested course of action is that their main interest is to raise awareness of what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians.

      • Citizen on April 28, 2019, 2:15 pm

        So they can’t walk & chew gum at the same time? Zionists do this all the time.

    • Tuyzentfloot on April 28, 2019, 3:38 pm

      Citizen says: So they can’t walk & chew gum at the same time? Zionists do this all the time.

      It doesn’t count if you do it in sync.

  4. Kay24 on April 26, 2019, 6:18 pm

    Kushner’s fake Middle East Peace plan is going exactly how most predicted it will go – nowhere.

    His intentions are to make a farce of a plan, having taken important bargaining tools off the table, like Jerusalem and the West Bank, giving it to the occupiers, and offer the Palestinians, NOTHING, ZILCH, ZERO, which of course they will turn down, because they do not want only crumbs, and they have lost so much that can never be replaced.

    Then Kushner ( and the chorus of zionists, apologists, and Hasbara) will be “outraged” that the Palestinians are so ungrateful, do not want peace, and rejecting Israel “generous” gestures, giving the occupier the excuse to steal all the lands, water, and resources, making the territories totally unlivable.
    The Palestinians will perish. Kushner will be hailed as the hero of Zioland.

    • Peter in SF on April 27, 2019, 3:41 am

      giving the occupier the excuse to steal all the lands, water, and resources, making the territories totally unlivable

      but making them more livable for the occupier, who then gets praised by Democratic presidential candidates for “making the desert bloom”.

      • Kay24 on April 27, 2019, 4:36 pm

        The desert blooms on stolen land. Nothing to brag about eh?

    • HarryLaw on April 27, 2019, 5:55 am

      Kay24. The “Trail of Tears,”

  5. Ossinev on April 27, 2019, 7:47 am

    Kushner`s Taking the Piss Plan will be a sick joke and the reality of what is peing “planned” will become increasingly obvious especially to younger Palestinians.

    The laughable scam known as the two state solution will have as even d…head Kushner acknowledges run it`s course and the new plan will effectively be a laughable tarting up of the old Palestinian ” Authority ” charade.

    The good news is that Palestinians themselves are abandoning the idea of separate statehood and separate “authority” and instead seeking the obvious solution which is one state with equal rights for all including Palestinians:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/13/one-state-solution-gains-ground-as-palestinians-battle-for-equal-rights
    Even “hand back the keys” Erekat appears ready to bite the bullet:
    “The two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine.”

    The Zionists are blind to the fact that they have totally screwed themselves.

    Tick tick.

  6. Nathan on April 27, 2019, 7:56 am

    “Anticipation surrounding the Trump administration’s elusive ‘deal of the century’ is on the rise, marked by media speculation and buzz”.

    Well, I think that everyone can relax and calm down. The Palestinians have already clarified that they will reject the American proposal, so there’s no reason to “speculate” what’s going to happen. It could be that, indeed, the American proposal is not reasonable at all from the Palestinian perspective, but there shouldn’t be any misunderstanding: The Palestinians have no intention of accepting any other proposal either. There is no end-of-conflict proposal that the Palestinians could accept – not even an end-of-conflict proposal that they themselves would suggest (and they never will suggest one).

    Interestingly, in the article itself there is a statement which tells it as it is: “’We will refuse any solution they put in front of us’, al-Masri continued, in an interview with Mondoweiss. ‘We don’t have anything left to give to them during negotiations’.” Well, actually, the Palestinians do have something to offer Israel: They can offer to end the conflict. It’s actually quite a lot.

    I read the statement of PM Shtayyeh to AP reporters (“we are interested in ending the occupation”). I would humbly suggest to any reporter hearing such a statement that there be a further question of clarification. The PM should be asked very politely: “Sir, would you mind telling us what exactly is the geographic definition of the occupation and which areas under Israeli control are not under occupation”. Anybody who can read an Arabic newspaper knows that everything is occupied, including Ben-Yehuda Street in Tel-Aviv. Anyone who can read an Arabic newspaper knows that every Jew in Israel is a settler. So, “we are interested in ending the occupation” is a tricky statement. The AP reporters assume that he’s talking about the West Bank, but it could be that he’s not.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, any peace proposal will be rejected. The Palestinians can only accept an interim agreement that leaves the conflict unresolved.

    • bcg on April 27, 2019, 9:34 am

      Nathan, what’s the end game? Just what exactly do you think the situation will look like 15 years from now – the same? What solution would you endorse?

    • RoHa on April 28, 2019, 1:30 am

      Has Israel offered any way of ending the conflict?

      Other than exterminating the Palestinians, that is.

      • mondonut on April 28, 2019, 12:59 pm

        @Roha, Other than exterminating the Palestinians, that is.

        When did the Israelis ever plan t exterminate the Palestinians? For record, opportunities spurned by the Palestinians:

        – In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed the partition of Palestine and the creation of an Arab state.

        – In 1939, the British White Paper proposed the creation of a unitary Arab state.

        – In 1947, the UN would have created an even larger Arab state as part of its partition plan.

        – The 1979 Egypt-Israel peace negotiations offered the Palestinians autonomy, which would almost certainly have led to full independence.

        – The Oslo agreements of the 1990s laid out a path for Palestinian independence, but the process was derailed by terrorism.

        – In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to create a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 97 percent of the West Bank.

        – In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to withdraw from almost the entire West Bank and partition Jerusalem on a demographic basis.

        – In addition 1948 to 1967, Israel did not control the West Bank. The Palestinians could have demanded an independent state from the Jordanians.

      • RoHa on April 29, 2019, 12:39 am

        “When did the Israelis ever plan t exterminate the Palestinians?”

        It seems to be the current policy.

        The ’37, ’39. and ’47 plans were not, of course, Israel’s. The others do seem, on the face of it, to be Israeli offers to end the conflict.
        (They were, of course, inadequate.)

        Between 1948 and 1967 the Palestinians were still hoping for justice, that is, a single democratic state in all of Palestine. Only when they gave up that hope did they turn their attention to the idea of a separate Palestinian state in part of Palestine.

  7. Ossinev on April 27, 2019, 9:45 am

    @Nathan
    ” There is no end-of-conflict proposal that the Palestinians could accept – not even an end-of-conflict proposal that they themselves would suggest (and they never will suggest one).”

    Perhaps you didn`t read my previous post ? The Palestinians are now actively seeking “an end of conflict proposal” which is one state for all with equal rights.

    The 2SS “interim agreement(s) = status quo farce is about to implode and it`s not as if you haven`t been warned.

    The thought of it must terrify you and your fellow Zionists.

    • Nathan on April 28, 2019, 9:13 pm

      Actually, Ossinev, the Palestinians are not offering an end of conflict. Even when one suggests a one-state outcome, there is never any indication that this is the end of conflict. The conflict is not about one state or two states. The conflict is about the legitimacy of the yishuv (the Jewish community in the country). So, although there are Palestinian activists who are promoting the idea of one state, this does not mean that they agree that the Jews who have arrived in the country throughout the last century have a right to be therein. They don’t. The conflict will continue within the one-state arrangement, and one of the issues will be “who is a legitimate resident” of the one state. The one state is a proposal for “what’s the next stage”, not for solving the conflict. (See, for example, the article of Jonathan Ofir in which he calls Amos Oz a “colonist”. Jonathan is echoing the Palestinian narrative of the illegitimacy of the Jewish presence in the country. Even those born in the country are illegitimate).

  8. Misterioso on April 27, 2019, 10:22 am

    @Nathan

    “Well, actually, the Palestinians do have something to offer Israel: They can offer to end the conflict.”

    Sigh. More bull crap and bafflegab, your stock in trade.

    In fact, Palestinians, including Hamas, have repeatedly offered “to end the conflict,” but have been rebuffed by “Israel,” their thoroughly documented illegal/brutal occupier and ethnic cleanser. (Zionist Jewish forces of foreign origin dispossessed and expelled about 1,250,000 indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinians between late 1947 and the summer of 1967.)

    By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandated Palestine.

    The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers “Israel” full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor, equal and mutually agreed land swaps), exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if “Israel” complies with international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute, binding on all UN members.) Fully aware of “Israel’s” demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. In accordance with “Israel’s” pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees (determined by Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…” “Israel” ignored the Arab League’s peace proposal.

    As for the much touted 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then “Israel’s” foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

    The “offer” made in 2008 by then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious because it lacked cabinet approval, he was under indictment for corruption with only a few weeks left in office, had only a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it. (Olmert was imprisoned.)

    On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.”

    “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from “Israel.” (By calling for a “resolution of the issue of refugees,” Haniyeh was in accordance with UNGA Res. 194, agrteed to by “Israel,” which calls for financial compensation as a possible option for the Palestinian refugees rather than their “inalienable Right of Return.”)

    In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, “Israel” promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.

    https://www.haaretz.com/isr…
    “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz. No response from “Israel.”

    Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians, including Hamas, and the Arab states, has been rapidly increasing illegal settlement construction along with escalating dispossession and violent oppression of the indigenous inhabitants in occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

    As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that are contrary to international law and explain why the conflict continues:
    The Likud Party Platform:
    a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
    b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
    c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
    d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

  9. mondonut on April 27, 2019, 1:55 pm

    @Misterioso

    Speaking of bullcrap…

    – Hamas has NEVER offered to end the conflict other than realizing a Palestine from the river to the sea. Accepting a interim state is not an offer to end the conflict.

    – Hamas’ “revised charter” explicitly states that Palestine runs from river to the sea. Denying any end of conflict, live alongside Israel peace that you are pretending could exist. BTW, not a revised charter at all, the original stands.

    – The 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative was a take it or leave it offer in which the Israelis were to retreat in exchange for vague, easily rescinded promises. That plus it expected the implementation of a Palestinian RoR. Of course they ignored it.

    – Israel did not pledge to the UNGA in 1949 to abide by UNGA 194. That is a complete fabrication.

    – Same for the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference, signing a framework for discussion was not an agreement to abide by UNGA 194. Another complete fabrication.

    • bcg on April 27, 2019, 4:25 pm

      Mondonut: “The 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative was a take it or leave it offer in which the Israelis were to retreat in exchange for vague, easily rescinded promises. ”

      As far as I know, the proposal got exactly zero minutes of discussion in the Knesset.
      There is absolutely nothing that indicates this was a “take it or leave it” proposal, it was like any proposal – open to negotiation. “Vague, easily rescinded promises” is a meaningless, empty phrase – pretty much all promises that don’t involve handcuffs are “easily rescinded” – Israel is a nuclear state, it can “easily rescind” any agreement it enters, just as Trump is “easily rescinding” pretty much everything.

      Shabtai Shavit, former Mossad chief, seems to believe the easily rescinded Arab Peace Proposal should be revived:

      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-blindness-folly-cause-for-concern-1.5333876

      “What can and ought to be done? We need to create an Archimedean lever that will stop the current deterioration and reverse today’s reality at once. I propose creating that lever by using the Arab League’s proposal from 2002, which was partly created by Saudi Arabia. The government must make a decision that the proposal will be the basis of talks with the moderate Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt..”

      And lastly, I need to ask what your vision of Israel is 20 years from now, when the settlements (not so easily rescinded) will make a two state solution impossible, if they haven’t already.

  10. James Canning on April 27, 2019, 7:00 pm

    Should one believe Kushner wants to enable a permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank (and Golan Heights)?

    • CHUCKMAN on April 28, 2019, 12:01 pm

      It will likely formalize occupation-apartheid arrangements, attempting to give them a gloss of legality.

      But what is any of it even the business of the United States?

      And how very arrogant they are.

      The millions of Palestinians are going nowhere.

      No matter what double-dealing nonsense Israel has written down on paper, the Palestinians remain a key reality.

  11. CHUCKMAN on April 28, 2019, 11:53 am

    It’s rather a sick joke just on its face, without knowing any details.

    A peace plan involving two major parties constructed with virtually no consultation with one of the parties?

    And all being developed by a mentally-unbalanced man’s son-in-law, a man expert in none of the region’s history, and who is a close friend of the other party?

    And constantly hyped by a bizarre president who has yet to deliver an anything he ever promised but who has delivered a lot of prejudice and favoritism.

  12. Citizen on April 28, 2019, 2:47 pm

    Why would anyone with an iq over 100 & awareness of Kushner’s conduct over the last few decades believe anything Kushner has to say? Anybody?

  13. BruceB on May 2, 2019, 6:38 pm

    POTUS did deliver a couple things he promised — disruption, fear, and friendship with oligarchs around the world. I predict he won’t be impeached but unlike Bibi, he will be voted out next November.

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