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Trump peace plan is now ‘dead and buried’

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If there’s any consensus to emerge from the political chaos in Israel, it’s that the Trump peace plan will get kicked down the road again for months, right into the U.S. election season, so it may disappear entirely. Several Israel observers say the plan is over.

Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum, on twitter:

[T]he Trump peace plan – which I’ve been arguing was not going to see the light of day anyway – is now dead and buried. Bibi doesn’t want it anywhere near his campaign, and by September it becomes an electoral liability for Trump too

Former negotiator Aaron David Miller agrees, also on twitter:

There are only two positive aspects to the absurd spectacle of Israel — 7 weeks after holding elections -going to new ones: first there will be no immunity law or effort to undermine Israel’s Supreme Court; and second, if he’s smart, Kushner will shelve his peace plan.

David Makovsky, US Israel supporter/pundit, doesn’t go that far, but close:

The re-do election in Israel both good/not good news for peace plan.Good short-term: creates public rationale why not present political aspects of plan now —amid intl skepticism. Bad news:out of sync. No govt in Israel until end of Oct. as US 2020 cycle heats up.

Update: Asked about the deal of the century, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told Israeli Reshet Bet radio program, “Now it is the deal of the next century.”

Ayman Odeh, a leader of the Hadash Ta’al Palestinian party, said he had voted in the majority to dissolve the Knesset last night, thereby bringing about the new election, specifically to defy the Trump plan. From The Washington Post:

Ayman Odeh… said that allowing Netanyahu to continue to pursue the deal was not the right thing to do.

“The correct position is to shorten the political life of Benjamin Netanyahu,” Odeh said.

But some Israeli political analysts say that Netanyahu also does not want to see the plan rolled out. Even if it is immediately rejected by the Palestinians, it could raise questions on issues such as annexation for which there is an array of opinions among Israelis.

“It’s death for the peace plan,” said Gil Hoffman, a political columnist for the Jerusalem Post, referring to Netanyahu’s failure to form a government and new elections.

[Back to original post] Jewish Insider quotes insiders saying that Trump’s Bahrain economic conference — aimed at buying out the Palestinians, who won’t go near it — will go forward in June, but that the peace plan may be on ice. “Maybe permanently,” says Daniel Shapiro former ambassador to Israel. “Netanyahu didn’t want it before the April elections, and won’t want it before September’s. You can’t present it during coalition negotiations, so now you’re in November. Then Trump’s reelection politics become a factor.” Shapiro says here that the peace plan is now on ice for the year.

Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum warns that Trump will be even more present in the next Israeli campaign:

[T]he fact that we won’t see a Trump initiative doesn’t mean that we won’t see Trump in this election. He is going to go balls to the wall for Netanyahu in ways that will make the joint billboards look innocuous

Israeli billboard trumpets Netanyahu’s friendship with Donald Trump

Aaron David Miller concurs:

If you think Trump intervened in the run-up to the April 9 Israeli elections to help Netanyahu, buckle your seat belts. You ain’t seen nothing yet. It started with today’s announcement that Bolton and the Israeli and Russian NSAs will meet next month in Jerusalem.

That was the announcement yesterday from the White House Press Secretary of a meeting of US, Russian, and Israeli National Security advisers in Jerusalem next month. Netanyahu took credit for this idea, yet another appeal to his constituents to give him a fifth term.

Netanyahu also says that he and Trump have a lot to do yet: strengthening the settlement project. He means Trump will support annexation.

But Netanyahu is wounded, many say. Koplow: “he has been wounded and looks less competent and invincible now.” J Street is hopeful that this is the end of Netanyahu:

“[H]is failure to form a coalition will be viewed as a political humiliation and a major blow to his credibility and future. It looks like Netanyahu will be seriously weakened heading into the next election.”

Koplow says even Netanyahu’s negotiations with the religious parties may come to hurt him. And that Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, who missed the threshhold to enter the Knesset in the April elections, are now revived. He writes that Netanyahu fatigue may set in among voters and his own Likud Kulanu coalition may turn on him and cashier him.

Going to elections again for no obvious reason is also going to give Israelis a new sense of Netanyahu fatigue, and it may also create a measure of resentment over a perception that Israel is broken in an unprecedented way. I also expect for some of the cracks in Likud to become fissures, and for the behind the scenes grumbling about Netanyahu to emerge more openly now that the aura of inevitable invincibility that he like to project has been pierced.

The left should not be optimistic. The obvious majoritarian solution to the problem is: the Blue and White opposition Jewish party forms a governing bloc post September election with a Netanyahu-less Likud, the secure (Jewish) majority that Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid wanted before.

Yossi Alpher of Peace Now has said that in another election, Labor and Meretz could lose seats to the secular rightwing of Lieberman, given Lieberman’s opposition to exemption from military service for the religious.

Liberman, the secular ultra-nationalist, is also seemingly turning this confrontation into a struggle to preserve, or maintain, or rescue secular Israel. That’s a popular stand with many Israelis. If new elections were held today, and despite Liberman’s thuggishness and anti-Arab racism, he might double his five mandates at the expense of Meretz and Blue-White.

Inside Israel, there is chaos and bitter recrimination, reported by Isabel Kershner at the New York Times. Miller echoes the thought that Israeli politics has become a s***show.

Or…. is it the beginning of a new era…a fresh start; a new dawn where rationality and enlightenment will rule the land. Uh Huh

Here’s Netanyahu saying that Avigdor Lieberman, who brought about the crisis by refusing to sign on to a coalition, is a member of the “left.” Lieberman has slammed Netanyahu’s government because it isn’t harsh enough on Gaza protests, he lives in an illegal settlement and has called for the transfer of some Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as for loyalty oaths to the state. (Scott Roth comments that the Netanyahu outburst is not funny, it is a “symptom” of a deeply troubled system.)

Alpher despairs for the Jewish state.

The system may have become too corrupted. The creeping ultra-nationalism and ultra-religiosity launched upon Israel by the conquest of the Temple Mount and the West Bank 52 years ago may overwhelm us. Trump and Twitter are on the side of the extremists.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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12 Responses

  1. Kay24 on May 30, 2019, 4:57 pm

    It was never alive anyway. It was just Kushner on a fool’s errand, trying to impress America. He was under the illusion that he could achieve what other leaders and diplomats, tried hard, and failed.

    The Sunni Arab nations are more focused on demonizing Iran, and trying hard, with Bolton, to find reasons for the US to wage another war.

    • DaBakr on May 30, 2019, 6:35 pm

      @k

      I agree completely except that while I believe Bolton to be a hawk I don’t believe he ‘owns’ trump and that trump does not want any war going into 2020. I don’t even think KSA wants anything more then containment. In a war that was just between Iran and KSA (even including superpower arms support) KSA is sunk. Lawrence of Arabia is their last successful campaign and it was hardly earth shattering

      • Kay24 on May 31, 2019, 5:55 am

        DaBakr, must be a first, you agree with me “completely”. :))

      • Misterioso on May 31, 2019, 8:53 am

        @DaBakr

        Sheldon Adelson owned Trump – well over $100 million in campaign contributions. He convinced Trump to appoint Bolton as National Security Advisor with the hope that as a result, the U.S. would attack Iran. Heads of the U.S. military rightly convinced Trump that a war in the Strait of Hormuz would be a disaster, no winner, only losers. It’s all falling apart. This is a pivotal time. The borderless, expansionist entity referred to as “Israel” is in very rough waters, more so with Netanyahu floundering about.

      • Donald on May 31, 2019, 6:15 pm

        “while I believe Bolton to be a hawk I don’t believe he ‘owns’ trump and that trump does not want any war going into 2020.”

        This appears to be true. Trump was ridiculing Bolton’s hawkishness the other day. But why hire Bolton in the first place? I suppose one could just say Trump is an inconsistent idiot, but it’s possible there is some other reason. I just don’t know what it is.

        (Just saw Misterioso’s explanation. Maybe so.)

        And Trump could start a war with his posturing even if he doesn’t want it.

      • DaBakr on June 2, 2019, 3:55 am

        @mst

        So, I guess adelson ‘thought’ he owned trump. Too bad for him.

        @d

        Bolton is a known hawk but if you’ve read his essays and policy statements he is logical, not at all a fly-of-the-handle guy and as smart as they come. His voice has been used numerous times, even in its extremity, to form compromising or robust US foreign policy. It’s the left leaning US msm that’s painted him as ‘crazed’. He’s as crazed as Kirkpatrick, Brezinski, Baker and others.

      • DaBakr on June 2, 2019, 4:05 am

        @k

        Yes. Surprisingly true. I agree, just added commentary. Also, do you truly belive kushner ever believed he would succeed at this implacable problem let alone salvage his families disastrous real estate empire?

    • US Citizen on May 31, 2019, 10:33 pm

      Here’s a peace plan – Let’s call it “The New Israel”

      The settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law, would form part of Palestine.

      Jerusalem will not be divided but is to be shared by Palestine and the “New Israel” with Palestine maintaining general control.

      Israelis living in Jerusalem would be citizens of the Palestinian state and Palestine would remain in charge of the municipality and therefore the land.

      The newly formed Israeli state would pay taxes to the Palestinian municipality in order to be in charge of education in the city for Israelis.

      New Israel will have a local police force who will be allowed to hold “light weapons.” The new Israeli state will be prevented from forming a military. Palestine will be responsible for security for a fee paid by the Israeli government.

      Egypt will offer the new Israeli state land to build an airport, factories and for agriculture which will service the israel proper. Israelis will not be permitted to live on this land.

      “New Israel” would not be allowed to contimue having or forming an army but could maintain a police force. Instead, a defence agreement will be signed between “New Israel” and Palestine in which Palestine would defend the new state from any foreign attacks.

      Israelis will not be in charge of their own security against Palestine, which means not only the Israeli military but also the fanatical, messianic settlers, many of them Americans, who think nothing of killing, bashing, and humiliating the goyische Palestinians with impunity will b deported back to “new Israel”. See army vets’ testimony about gratuitous violence at Breaking the Silence – these people will form the backbone of security with Palestine.

      The Jordan Valley will remain in Palestinian hands and a four-lane toll road will be built through ‘New Israel”.

      Oh wait, the Israelis would NEVER agree to that, oh gee, now they know how the Palestinians feel. NOT!

  2. Citizen on May 31, 2019, 10:27 am

    Yep, a pivotal time. Meanwhile, all we have for youse boobs is the Greek guy tossing loaded questions on ABC at Tulsi Gabbard that were designed to support the status quo, which to the Greek guy is dottering Beiden. Tulsi is far superior to both DNC & GOP leadership.

    • Donald on May 31, 2019, 6:21 pm

      Not sure what to think about Tulsi, but from what little I have seen she says the right things about war and peace issues, so naturally the mainstream hates her.

      Some lefties don’t trust her either (mainly, I think, because she used to be ultra conservative on gay issues.) I would have to try and figure out who was right if she ever has a chance of getting the nomination.

      • Kay24 on June 1, 2019, 6:37 am

        Tulsi Gabbard has shown a strong support for Modi and his nationalist policies:

        “Gabbard supports a strong US-India relationship. She has repeatedly praised Indian prime minister Narendra Modi,[145][146] She has said that the U.S. decision to deny a visa to Modi over allegations of his involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots was a “great blunder” as it could have undermined the US-India relationship (which she said was important especially in regard to the war on terrorism, among other reasons) had he used it as an excuse to reject a strong relationship with America.[145]

        Gabbard also criticized the arrest of Indian consular officer Devyani Khobragade on charges of visa fraud and perjury.[146] In 2013 she joined some of her colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in opposing a House resolution that called for “religious freedom and related human rights to be included in the United States-India Strategic Dialogue and for such issues to be raised directly with federal and state Indian government officials”. The bill admonished India to protect “the rights and freedoms of religious minorities” and specifically referenced incidents of mass violence against India’s Muslim minority that took place under Modi’s watch. Gabbard justified her opposition by saying the resolution would weaken the friendship between India and the US and citing the bill’s timing as interfering with India’s elections, while emphasizing the need for US to stand for religious freedom. She later also said that “there was a lot of misinformation that surrounded the event in 2002.”[147][145][148][149]

        In an NDTV India interview, she was asked about her 2012 opponent’s claim that electing a Hindu to the US Congress was incompatible with the US Constitution. She also responded to accusations that she was close to the Bharatiya Janata Party, denying any such proximity.[150]”

  3. Citizen on June 2, 2019, 5:13 am

    Tulsi’s congressional record is 100% supportive of the LGBT community; she has explained in detail her evolution on this issue from being reared as a child in a very conservative home. Her stance on India is as Kay24 describes. She has the most objective, analytical, and credibly sincere stance of any POTUS candidate on her biggest issue: War & Peace, Regime Change trajectory.

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