Trending Topics:

Latest leak of Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ annexes settlements to Israel, establishes ‘New Palestine’

News
on 23 Comments

Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV published details on Monday from a reportedly leaked draft of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, or deal of the century, marking a second time this year unconfirmed documents have revealed plans to establish a demilitarized state of “New Palestine” alongside Israel.

The draft allegedly contains a series of clauses describing a trilateral agreement between Israel, the PLO and Hamas, which would constitute a departure from the U.S.’s longstanding position of refusing to negotiate directly with Hamas, the Islamic group governing the Gaza Strip.

According to the report, the state of New Palestine will exist in the West Bank and Gaza, connected via a raised highway constructed 30 meters off the ground. All Israeli settlement blocs would be annexed to Israel, signaling consistency with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement last month that “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”

The document notes, “The Jordan Valley,” which constitutes 30 percent of the West Bank, “will remain in Israeli hands, as it is today.” Israeli settlements and closed military zones account for 85 percent of the Jordan Valley.

Egypt will sell the state of New Palestine a swath its territory for the purpose of creating an industrial zone “without permitting the Palestinians to live there.” The draft said, “the size and price of land will be agreed upon between the parties by the supporting state, which will be defined later.”

Jerusalem would remain united, “it will be shared between Israel and New Palestine.” The Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, some 350,000 mostly residing in East Jerusalem, would become citizens of New Palestine. Israelis and Palestinians would no longer be able to purchase homes from one another, and “additional areas will not be annexed to Jerusalem, and the holy sites will remain as they are today.” A later clause in the draft would transfer stewardship of the Al Aqsa Mosque from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.

Israel would provide all services in Jerusalem to both Palestinians and Israelis with the exception of education for Palestinians. The government of New Palestine would pay Israel for these services along with additional fees for security. The Palestinian state would be prevented from forming an army or holding weapons, other than “police weapons.”

Palestinians would be allowed to use Israel’s airport for a period of five years, after which a Palestinian airport and seaport will be established at unspecified locations.

The draft deal calls for elections for the newly created Palestinian state, following all Palestinian prisoners would be released from Israeli detention facilities over a three-year term. 

Hamas would seemingly be allowed to continue to exist as a political party locally, however, all weapons must be turned over to Egypt. According to Al Mayadeen’s reporting “Hamas men” would “receive monthly salaries from Arab countries,” although no contributing countries were named. 

Palestinians burn posters depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in al-Bureij in the central of Gaza strip, December 15, 2017. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Palestinians burn posters depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in al-Bureij in the central of Gaza strip, December 15, 2017. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Earlier this year in May the Israeli outlet Yisrael Hayom published a similar document shared among officials in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that tracks closely to Al Mayadeen’s reported leak. Both copies show bullet points of the peace plan and further identify punitive measures for Israel and the Palestinians should either reject the deal, a line item that has not been included in any previous administration’s attempt to broker Middle East peace. This latest reporting of the plan again threatens to cut off U.S. aid to both Israel and the Palestinians, and warns countries providing aid to Palestinians, if the Trump plan is rejected.

Both documents state in the event the Palestinians do not accept the deal and there is another military confrontation between Palestinian factions and Israel, the U.S. will support Israel in “personally harming the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad” in a future escalation in Gaza.

“America will not accept that dozens only control the fate of millions of people,” both documents said.

Mondoweiss was not able to independently confirm the authenticity of the leaked draft of the deal from either Al Mayadeen or Yisrael Hayom.

Today the White House denied the veracity of Al Mayadeen’s reported leak. A senior official in the administration told the Times of Israel, “Rumors about the content of the Trump Administration peace plan are false,” adding, “We are confident that the so-called source has not seen the plan.”

Even so, the White House has attempted to secure funding for its peacemaking efforts this week by requesting $175 million from Congress—which was rejected by bipartisan lawmakers in the House. The budget was initially announced last March, three months before senior White House Advisor and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner released the economic component of the peace plan in Bahrain.

The administration and Palestinian negotiators severed communication in late 2017 after three rounds of high ranking talks between Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Speaking to his cabinet yesterday in Ramallah, Abbas said, “From day one we said no to the deal of the century, and we know the price of this no.”

The official release of the Trump administration plan has been delayed multiple times following Israel’s snap elections last fall. The plan is expected to be released after Israel conducts another election in early 2020. 

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

23 Responses

  1. Kay24 on December 18, 2019, 5:49 pm

    There you go, the “honest broker” once again showing his true colors. First he got his crooked father in law to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, going against US policies, and we did get to look like fools when the world voted against us, condemning our actions, now he comes up with this rather unworkable plan, which of course benefits the land thief, and occupier, far more, than the victims. It will be interesting to see who will go along. Looks like they are also going to give Hamas some “legitimacy”. Strange.

  2. bcg on December 18, 2019, 8:46 pm

    “UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Mideast envoy said Wednesday that Israel advanced or approved plans for over 22,000 housing units in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem in the three years since the Security Council adopted a resolution condemning settlements in lands the Palestinians want for their future state.”

    https://apnews.com/83a0f1b11f8ec780f580c8b6ebcad81a

    Not a lot of room for New Palestine…..

    • genesto on December 19, 2019, 2:19 pm

      Doesn’t matter to Israel, since it won’t allow for the establishsment of ANY Palestinian state in ANY form!

      This ‘DOC’ is – and, from the start, has been – DOA!!

  3. HarryLaw on December 19, 2019, 5:15 am

    “According to the report, the state of New Palestine will exist in the West Bank and Gaza, connected via a raised highway constructed 30 meters off the ground”.
    This is lunacy, a seventy mile highway 100 feet in the air connecting the West Bank to Gaza, why not a tunnel then the Israelis will not be offended by the sight of “terror” cars passing overhead?
    Since area ‘C’ comprises 61% of the West Bank and is slated to be annexed by Israel how much of the West Bank [sorry the Bantustans] would the Palestinians “administer”?
    Those fragments of the West Bank and Gaza strip would be called ‘New Palestine’ would this new “state” be recognized at the United Nations by Israel/US? Obviously not since Israel claims the whole of the West Bank as part of its historic territory [the Land of Israel], another clue is that Egypt is required to sell part of its territory i.e. sovereignty for an industrial park for residents of Gaza [work camps for the prisoners] the clue on sovereignty is why Egypt has to sell their land and not Israel selling theirs alongside the Gaza strip? Another clue is the “New Palestine” will have no means to defend itself, only an internal police force [to control the Prisoners]. Further… “America will not accept that dozens only control the fate of millions of people,” they will of course recognize MBS [Saudi Arabia] and General Al-Sisi [Egypt] as individuals who can control the fate of over 100 million people.
    This is complete madness only a fool like Kushner in consultation with Netanyahu could put forward such a madcap scheme, finished off with a typical Trump threat “the U.S. will support Israel in “personally harming the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a future escalation in Gaza”. This is Trumps ‘offer they cannot refuse’, or horses head in the beds of all Palestinian leaders.

    • dgfincham on December 19, 2019, 1:07 pm

      See my original analysis of the first leak in my comment below concerning the following points:

      Yes, the road in the sky is really lunatic.
      Yes, the idea of a New state of Palestine is crazy, there already is a State of Palestine recognized by a majority of UN member states.
      Only the actual existing settlements will be under Israeli sovereignty. The rest of the West Bank (Except the Jordan Valley) will be sovereign territory of Palestine.
      Egypt does not sell land to Palestine, it leases it.
      Palestine will be defended by Israel.
      The threat to withdraw funding to Israel and Palestine, and assassinate Hamas leaders if they do not accept the Deal, proves that this is an authentic document from the Trump administration.
      Please read my comment below: I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on it.

      • Talkback on December 20, 2019, 5:54 am

        dgfincham: “The threat to withdraw funding to Israel and Palestine, and assassinate Hamas leaders if they do not accept the Deal, proves that this is an authentic document from the Trump administration.”

        How so?

      • MHughes976 on December 20, 2019, 10:58 am

        I don’t know about authentic. It’s demonic.

    • genesto on December 19, 2019, 2:23 pm

      Yeah. What if a Palestinian motorist accidentally drops a bottle out of his, or her, window and it lands on an Israeli 100 feet below? What then, eh?

      This whole thing is, indeed, insane!

    • James Canning on December 19, 2019, 2:45 pm

      @HarryLaw Israel is trying to avoid annexing areas of the occupied West Bank with too many Muslims.

  4. Talkback on December 19, 2019, 5:57 am

    The steal of the century.

  5. Misterioso on December 19, 2019, 8:51 am

    For the record:

    https://www.aaiusa.org/overlooked_congressional_rebuke_of_trump_s_position_on_israeli_settlements?utm_campaign=ww_12_17_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_source=aai

    “Overlooked Congressional Rebuke of Trump’s Position on Israeli Settlements.”

    Arab American Institute, Dec. 14/19, by Dr. James J. Zogby.

    “The most stunning rebuke to the Trump Administration’s unilateral effort to legitimize Israeli settlements didn’t come from Arab and European leaders. Over the years, their statements of condemnation have become so predictable that both Israel and the US routinely shrug them off.

    “Instead, the most significant response came in the form of a letter sent by Members of Congress to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Drafted by freshman Congressman Andy Levin of Michigan, the letter was co-signed by 106 other Representatives. While it’s true that the Levin letter isn’t a law and, therefore, will have no real impact on policy, there are several reasons why it is worthy of note.

    “Most important is fact that the letter strongly endorses the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. The third and final paragraph of the letter to Secretary Pompeo reads:

    “‘This State Department decision blatantly disregards Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which affirms that any occupying power shall not ‘deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies’…If the US unilaterally abandons international and human rights law, we can expect a more chaotic and brutal twenty-first century for America and our allies…’

    “This is the first time that a substantial number of Members of Congress have embraced the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In fact, in 1999 and 2009 Congress passed resolutions denouncing international efforts to hold Israel accountable for its violations of the Conventions.

    “The principle reason for this Congressional refusal to embrace the Conventions has been in deference to Israel’s insistence that its seizure of Palestinian lands in 1967 was not an occupation. Instead they refer to the territories as ‘disputed areas.; That being the case, Israel has long refused to accept that the Conventions apply to Palestinian lands, since if they were to apply, then Israel would be guilty of: ‘annexing’ occupied lands, demolishing Palestinian properties and homes, building settlements for their own citizens on this land, stealing resources from this land, the expulsion of and denial of repatriation of Palestinians who inhabited this land, and whole range of human rights abuses committed against the captive Palestinian population including torture, collective punishment, and illegal detention.

    “Israel has also used pressure from their Washington lobbyists to insure that not only would Congress refrain from taking any measure against Israel, they would also avoid using the term ‘occupied’ in reference to Palestinian lands. [In 2016, I served as one of Bernie Sanders’ representatives on the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee. Our efforts to insert the words ‘occupation’ and ‘settlements’ were met with stiff resistance. We ultimately failed in our efforts.]

    “In recent years we have witnessed some evolution in the policy debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Three of the leading Democratic candidates for the presidency have criticized Israeli settlements, denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declared intention to annex parts of the West Bank. These Democrats also link future US aid to Israel to Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. And last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill, that among other things, did support Palestinian statehood and strongly opposed Israeli annexation of any part of the West Bank.

    “But none of these efforts have gone as far as the Levin letter which in an unprecedented manner holds Israel accountable to international law.

    “While Democrats have been emboldened on Israeli-Palestinian issues as a result of their disgust with the Trump/Netanyahu marriage, what is impressive about the Levin letter is that it isn’t tied to or focused on Democrats revulsion with both men. Rather, the letter focuses on the importance of the US upholding international human rights law and demands that Israel adhere to its requirements – whoever is in office in Israel or the United States.

    “A final point about the importance of Levin letter was the fact that it was signed by 107 Members of Congress. There have been strong principled letters on Israeli-Palestinian issues in the past, but never one that drew the support of so many. While they were all Democrats, the diversity they represented was impressive. There were senior leaders in the party, as well as freshman and there were African American, Latino, Arab Americans and American Jews.

    “What was troubling was the fact that the Levin letter was largely ignored by the US media. Because it was a letter and not a law, some may have failed to grasp the important shift it represents in the political landscape. These changes have been percolating under surface for years. Now they are breaking out into the open. This story is still being written.”

  6. Misterioso on December 19, 2019, 10:01 am

    Multibillionaire, Zionist zealot and Trump’s puppet/pay master, Sheldon Adelson won’t like this article!!

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-west-aims-to-put-all-jews-in-the-pro-occupation-basket-1.8268551

    “Trump and the West Seek to Put All Jews in the Pro-occupation Basket” Haaretz, December 16/19, by Odeh Bisharat.

    “Something terrible is brewing in the West, including the United States. Last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order that adopts a broad and controversial definition of anti-Semitism that includes certain types of criticism of Israel, according to the Haaretz report. But the process of extending immunity to Israeli government policy began seven months ago in Europe, when the German parliament passed a resolution defining the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel as anti-Semitic. Then the French National Assembly a few weeks ago passed an even sharper resolution saying that anti-Zionism is a type of anti-Semitism.

    “In theory, these developments are an unprecedented victory for Israel’s extreme right; the world, or at least a substantial part of it, is agreeing to an extreme interpretation of anti-Semitism. Moreover, these resolutions grant Israel near-total immunity from any criticism. But after all of the surrounding verbiage is cleared away, this immunity is being given to Israel in regard to a single issue: the occupation in general and the oppression of the Palestinian people in particular.

    “It’s difficult to find a historical precedent for this type of immunity. What other country enjoys, or has ever enjoyed, such a privilege? That is, to be above criticism. Is there a legislature in any democratic country that would dare to pass a law determining that criticism of Russia’s policy in Ukraine is ‘anti-Russian’? Or that criticism of America’s policy toward Mexican migrants is ‘anti-American’? Only Israel is given this dubious privilege: Don’t touch its precious occupation.

    “Now the right-wing government and the ideological groups that surround it are trying, somewhat successfully, to create an absolute identity between the Jewish individual and government policy, between the ideology and the person. They want the world to relate to individual Jews and Israeli government policy as a single unit — the ban on ‘certain types of criticism of Israel’ in the U.S. executive order, and also to have the individual Jew totally identified with a certain ideology — France’s ‘anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.’

    “It should be noted that only a minority of the Jewish people supported Zionism until after the state was established. While most Jews, at least in Israel, now consider themselves Zionists, this doesn’t mean that all Zionists are in favor of the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people.

    “Moreover, there are Jews who — gasp — are not Zionists. Some of these are leftists, liberals and religious Jews; there are even anti-Zionists. Now come the Jew-lovers from across the sea and decide that all the Jews are ‘Moshe,’ just as racists see all Arabs as infinite copies of ‘Ahmed.’

    “This is a pyrrhic victory, because there are two sides to this coin. The flip side of this Western embrace is that all the Jews in the world become responsible for all the injustices committed by this messianic right-wing government in the occupied territories. This is the unholy covenant that is being realized between the anti-Arab right in Israel and the Western right, which considers all Jews responsible. Therefore, if you reverse the logic, these resolutions are actually anti-Semitic because they don’t allow any room for criticizing or opposing Israeli policies. The term ‘bear hug’ was invented for exactly this situation.

    “Isn’t it puzzling that, precisely after this wave of embraces, anti-Semitic crimes have gone up a notch, or even many notches, especially in the United States? After all, these resolutions make a statement to the Western public that respectful criticism of Israeli government policies is out of the question, leaving the public domain to the anti-Semitic racists.

    “It’s time for a revolution of consciousness, that will be led by wide circles in Jewish public life both here and abroad under the slogan, ‘Don’t put us all in one basket’ — the pro-occupation basket. Here’s another slogan: ‘Release us from your choking embrace.'”

  7. dgfincham on December 19, 2019, 11:10 am

    I wrote the following detailed analysis of the document leaked last May: my conclusion was that despite many flaws it is a serious effort to create a two-state solution, with much in it for the Palestinians.

    The Agreement:

    A tripartite agreement will be signed between Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas. A Palestinian state called “New Palestine” will be established in the West Bank and Gaza, with the exception of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Within one year, democratic elections will be held and a government of New Palestine will be elected. The border between Israel and new Palestine will be open to passage of citizens and goods, as is the case with friendly countries.

    COMMENT What is this new Palestine? There already is a State of Palestine, recognized by a majority of the Member States of the UN. There is no need for another one. But Palestine would benefit from a new government, and also needs a constitution. There is no need to wait for a year: that should start now. Having an open border between the two states will be essential in eliminating the present apartheid-like system between the two peoples. Presumably both states will insist on their right to control immigration, and that the open borders will not apply to changes of residence.

    The West Bank:

    The settlement blocs as they are today will remain in the hands of Israel. The areas of the blocs will grow according to the area of the isolated settlements that will be added to them. The Jordan Valley will remain under Israeli control. New Palestine will be given two new routes to Jordan with crossings under its control.

    COMMENT According to the Agreement, the Palestinian state will be established in all the West Bank, except for the areas of the settlement blocs, which will be under Israeli sovereignty. Those areas will be increased to include the isolated settlements, further reducing the area of the Palestinian state.

    Why should Israel have the Jordan Valley? They say they need it for their security. But they have a peace treaty with Jordan: Jordanian forces are not going to cross the river and invade Israel. The Jordan Valley is part of the West Bank, an occupied area from which Israeli forces must withdraw under UN Security Council Resolution 242. It should be included in the Palestinian state.

    Implicit in the proposal is an end to the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank. Israel justifies the occupation on the false grounds that the West Bank is disputed territory with no legal sovereign. By signing the agreement they would be recognizing the sovereignty of the Palestinian state within the area allocated to it, and would be required to withdraw its forces from that area. That should be made explicit in the document.

    If Israel wanted to create more settlements, they would have to squeeze them inside the area of the existing settlements.

    With the settlements surrounded by Palestinian territory, and an open border between them, there will be plenty of opportunities for the settlers and Palestinians to interact. The hope is that they will lead the way towards the friendship between the two states that the Agreement describes.

    The hated separation barrier created illegally by Israel runs mainly in Palestinian territory and the Palestinians would have the pleasure of demolishing it. The direct crossings between Palestine and Jordan would enable the Palestinian refugees to return to Palestine via Jordan without involving Israel.

    Jerusalem:

    Will not be divided and (will be) shared by Israel and the new Palestine, and will be the capital of Israel and the new Palestine. The Arab inhabitants will be citizens of the new Palestine. The Jerusalem Municipality will be responsible for all areas of Jerusalem except education… Jews will not be allowed to buy Arab homes, and Arabs will not be allowed to buy Jewish homes. No additional areas will be annexed to Jerusalem. The Holy Places will remain as they are today held.

    COMMENT Since both States have declared Jerusalem to be their capital, shared sovereignty and shared administration have always been the obvious solution. The suggestion that the existing Israeli Jerusalem municipality will continue to run the city makes no sense for a shared capital. Applying ethnic-religious identities to buildings seems rather weird, but if it is necessary to keep the peace, so be it.

    Accepting the existing arrangements for the Holy Places is a bad idea There have been several serious incidents of Jewish-Arab conflict at the Temple Mount – Haram al-Sharif. Control of the Holy Places should be in the hands of an international commission of authorities from the three religions, who would have a police force to maintain order.

    Gaza:

    Egypt will lease new land to Palestine to construct an airport and factories and serve the commercial and agriculture sectors without allowing Palestinians to reside on this land. A seaport will be added within 5 years. All the borders of the Strip will be open to the passage of goods and workers to Israel and Egypt. There will be a road bridge, 30m above the ground, linking the West Bank and Gaza.

    COMMENT It is made clear here that the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza will be ended.

    The elevated road bridge is a horrible idea, apartheid in concrete and steel. See below for a much better way to link the West Bank and Gaza.

    Defense:

    A defense agreement will be signed between Israel and the new Palestine in which Israel will guarantee the new Palestine from all external aggression and the new Palestine will pay Israel for this protection.

    COMMENT Perhaps the United States would guarantee Palestine against aggression from Israel? Seriously, the Arab states have said they will recognize Israel if it has a peace agreement with Palestine. Iran has said it will accept it. There would be no motive for external attacks against either Palestine or Israel, except perhaps from Lebanon and Syria, to expel Israeli forces from their territory. Here’s an idea: have a peace conference between Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and sort everything out .

    Reactions.

    Palestinian leaders and their supporters have been very suspicious about the Trump administration’s attempt to solve the Israel-Palestine problem with a “Deal of the Century”, and justifiably so. The Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti put it like this:

    Everything they’ve done, and everything they’ve declared, shows they are trying to kill the two-state solution and the rights of Palestinians to have a state of their own. They advocate sustaining occupation and apartheid.

    It certainly looked like that previously, but the leaked document gives a very different impression. In its second sentence it firmly declares that “A Palestinian state will be established in the West Bank and Gaza”. The final sentence of the document says that “If Israel refused to sign the deal, the U.S. would cease all financial support”. This is a serious effort to resolve the conflict.

    Reaction to the leaked document from Palestinians and their supporters has been very negative. One well-respected commentator has said that:

    New Palestine would exist as a series of discrete cantons, or Bantustans, surrounded by a sea of Israeli settlements, now to be declared part of Israel.

    This is the reverse of what is proposed. Only the actual territory of the discrete settlement blocks will be under Israeli sovereignty; all the territory of the West Bank outside the existing settlement blocs will be under Palestinian sovereignty.

    Another well-respected commentator has characterised the leaked document as:

    Israel gets all the goodies, Palestinians screwed.

    In fact all the goodies are for the Palestinians:

    1. A sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza, with an end to the West Bank occupation and the Gaza blockade.

    2. The opportunity to demolish the separation barrier.

    3. The return of the refugees into Palestine via Jordan.

    4. Free movement across the borders into Israel and Jordan.

    5. A shared Jerusalem as their capital.

    6. Agricultural and industrial territory in Sinai.

    7. An airport and a seaport.

    8. 50bn+ dollars of investment in Palestine, according to the economic part of the “Deal of the Century”.

    9. Peace with Israel?

    The big negative for the Palestinians is that Palestine will not include all of the West Bank, to which they certainly have both a moral and legal right. There is no possibility that Israel would ever agree to evacuate the settlements. However, there is a possibility that Palestine could receive territorial compensation for the land in the West Bank taken from them in 1967, and also for the land taken from them in 1948-49.

    Justice for the Palestinians and viability of the Palestinian state.

    For almost 20 years there has been an international consensus: that the Palestinian state should be established in the West Bank and Gaza, with its capital in East Jerusalem. This would leave the Palestinians with 22% of former Palestine. Israel will have the other 78%. The State of Israel was declared in 1948 ‘within the frontiers’ of the UN partition plan, 55% of former Palestine. In the 1948-49 war Israel acquired by military conquest a further 23% of the territory of former Palestine, and incorporated it de facto into the state, in violation of international law. This ‘stolen land’ included the Arab towns of Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa, Nazareth, Ramle, Lydda and Beersheba. During the attempted peace conference at Lausanne in 1949 President Truman sent a very strong letter to Ben-Gurion demanding that Israel give the Arabs territorial compensation for the stolen land. (He also protested against the refusal to allow the refugees to return.)

    With the current populations of Jews and Arabs within former Palestine being roughly equal, and with 5 million Palestinian refugees with a right to return, a deal restricting the Palestinian state to 22% of former Palestine would be a monstrous injustice to the Palestinian people, would leave them living at an uncomfortable population density, and could not possibly lead to a viable and contiguous Palestinian State. They need much more territory than that.

    Land is available in the Negev. Despite Israeli government attempts to ‘Judaize’ it, the population density is still low. Give half of the Negev to Palestine. Then each state will have about half of former Palestine. Create a border that would give Palestine a contiguous territory from the West Bank to Gaza and Egypt.

    Summary of suggested modifications to the document.

    Replace “New Palestine” with the State of Palestine.

    Jordan Valley to be allocated to Palestine, not Israel.

    Require Israeli forces to withdraw from territory allocated to Palestine

    Replace the existing Jerusalem Municipality with a joint administration.

    The Holy Places to be administered by an international commission of authorities from the three religions.

    Omit the elevated road between the West Bank and Gaza.

    Allocate land in the Negev to create a viable and contiguous Palestine.

    Conclusion.

    I never thought I would say such a thing, but, with the territory in the Negev, and the other modifications I have suggested, this document could become the Deal of the Century and the first real breakthrough in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict since 1967.

    • RoHa on December 19, 2019, 9:37 pm

      “Since both States have declared Jerusalem to be their capital, shared sovereignty and shared administration have always been the obvious solution.”

      That sounds as though it might end up like the Anglo-French condominium in the New Hebrides. It was not a success. The British were usually able to put a stop to the dastardly schemes of the French, but the sneaky Frogs, in their typically low, underhanded, way, obstructed the sensible policies the British wanted to enact.

      You can read more about it here.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hebrides

  8. HarryLaw on December 19, 2019, 3:15 pm

    Dgfincham, you ask
    “ What is this new Palestine? There already is a State of Palestine, recognized by a majority of the Member States of the UN” and….
    “Implicit in the proposal is an end to the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank. Israel justifies the occupation on the false grounds that the West Bank is disputed territory with no legal sovereign. By signing the agreement they would be recognizing the sovereignty of the Palestinian state within the area allocated to it, and would be required to withdraw its forces from that area. That should be made explicit in the document”.
    You must know that Palestinian sovereignty over the “disputed territories” is not mentioned for the very good reason that the whole of Palestine is regarded by Israel as sovereign Israeli territory [the Land of Israel] and the two illustrations below make that plain, the Oslo accords stipulated that area ‘C’ [60% of West Bank] will revert to Palestinian control within 5 years over 20 years ago, still waiting.
    Likud aims…..
    “Safeguarding the right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel as an eternal, inalienable right, working diligently to settle and develop all parts of the land of Israel, and extending national sovereignty to them”. Also from the Likud charter ..”The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state.
    I agree with you that sovereignty is very important, in my opinion it is the key, unfortunately the Israelis will never concede sovereignty. Any talks with the Palestinians will be for the purpose of gaining time to consolidate and increase settlement expansion, its what the Israelis do.

    • dgfincham on December 19, 2019, 4:16 pm

      Never say Never. Sorry, it is bedtime for me, might get back to you in 12 hrs.

      If you have time, please look at the One-State-Two-Nations proposal, under which both Israel and Palestine would have shared sovereignty over all of former Palestine.

      • Mooser on December 20, 2019, 1:40 pm

        Is there some way of doubling the land area and resources of Palestine which I am unaware of?

      • RoHa on December 20, 2019, 8:23 pm

        Aside from declaring that Jordan is Palestine?

    • MHughes976 on December 20, 2019, 9:50 am

      I rather think that sovereignty is indeed the key and that without sovereignty – which is ideologically excluded by Zionism – this is what echino on another thread calls a castle in the air, vain talk. The next step could be something dreadful, even another push towards population ‘transfer’.

  9. HarryLaw on December 20, 2019, 7:28 am

    The Palestinians [as have the vast majority of states at the UN] argued that any settlement must fall under the rules of International law, in effect, borders along 1967 armistice lines with land swaps [not unequal]. The Israelis have built illegal settlements in the West Bank since 1967, therefore flouting International Law, in particular Article 49.6 of the Geneva conventions, this has been confirmed by numerous UNSC resolutions and in an opinion at the World Court [ICJ] in the ‘Wall case’ 2004. The Courts opinion by 15 judges to 0 was that the settlements are grave breaches of International law and should not be officially recognized by other states.
    These US proposals would appear to reject International Law [not unusual by US standards] and place the Occupied Palestinians in a situation amounting to duress whereby the grave breaches of International Law are regarded as a fait accompli and Israel is awarded a further 61% of the richest parts of the West Bank [area ‘C’] including water courses, aquifers and mineral deposits leaving the Palestinians with less than 10% of original Palestine. The annexing of the whole of the West Bank in one fell swoop is politically not appealing since [as James Canning points out above] too many Palestinians would be included and the charge of Apartheid could not be resisted. The Annexation of area ‘C’ could be accomplished quite easily since there are very few Palestinians in that area and they could be offered Israeli residency etc without changing the demographics too much or voting in the Knesset. This move would also involve grave breaches of International Law including the UN charter. The bottom line is that areas ‘A and B’ would still be claimed by Israel as sovereign Israeli territory [the Land of Israel] and subjected to future Israeli encroachment and ethnic cleansing. Several years ago Naftali Bennett had an op ed in the NYT outlining these nafarious plans https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/naftali-bennett-for-israel-two-state-is-no-solution.html
    Article 52. COERCION OF A STATE BY THE THREAT OR USE OF FORCE A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
    Vienna convention…
    Article 53. TREATIES CONFLICTING WITH A PEREMPTORY NORMOF GENERAL INTERNATIONAL LAW (“JUS COGENS”)A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character

    This latest reporting of the plan again threatens to cut off U.S. aid to both Israel and the Palestinians, and warns countries providing aid to Palestinians, if the Trump plan is rejected.
    This is coercion plain and simple.

  10. HarryLaw on December 20, 2019, 8:31 am

    Another example as RoHa explained above with constitutional complexity can be seen in the relationship of Northern Ireland with the rest of the United Kingdom and in turn with the Republic of Ireland, both impinge on the Israel/Palestine situation in a profound way.
    The similarity between Israel and Ireland until 1999 is significant, today the Israeli government claim sovereignty over the whole Land of Israel, including the West Bank [they call it Judea and Samaria] similarly the Republic of Ireland claimed sovereignty over the whole Island of Ireland and its territorial waters in their 1937 constitution [articles 2 and 3] The Good Friday Agreement [GFA] between the UK and Irish government [including Sinn Fein] recognised that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination when the Republic changed its constitution from a ‘claim’ to an ‘aspiration’ and confirmed that there can be no constitutional change in NI without the majority agreeing to it.
    The result of the Irish Republics referendum in 1999 was 94.39% for constitutional change to 5.6% no change. This complemented the 1973 border poll in Northern Ireland which was 98.8% to remain part of the UK to 1.2% for a united Ireland. on a 58% turnout [Sinn Fein told their supporters to boycott the poll]. The GFA could not have happened without the Republic of Ireland and Sinn Fein recognising that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination. When a majority of the 1.8 million residents in Northern Ireland vote for a united Ireland, negotiations between all parties concerned can take place in order to bring it about in an amicable way. All perfectly democratic, with no need for violence.
    The Israeli government do not recognise that the Palestinians have the right to self determination, therein lies the problem, for any peace agreement, the Israelis will need to do as the Irish did when they renounced their claim to the whole Island. I suspect the Israelis will double down and try to either transfer the Palestinians or put them in Bantustans, neither will work of course, unfortunately we will have much more bloodshed.

  11. HarryLaw on December 20, 2019, 9:35 am

    My above comment does not mean Northern Ireland has been resolved as a political problem. Perhaps if I recount a chance meeting I head with a rather mature student who was studying at Queens University Belfast, he asked me why I was interested in the politics of Northern Ireland [NI], I replied that I was interested in extending the voting franchise to include NI, he could not understand this since he had the right to vote in NI. I explained that it is true you go to the polling booth the same as I do on election day, but you cannot vote for either the party that governs you [the Conservative party] or the party that aspires to govern you [the Labour party] you are required to vote for small sectarian Provincial parties [18 constituencies] who can never influence [except in the case of a hung parliament] the decisions made by the Conservatives or Labour parties on Taxation, NHS, Defence and all the other major decisions of Government.
    In the past the UK Labour party refused to admit anyone resident in NI from membership, this included thousands of Socialists and Trade Unionists and others who simply wanted to partake in the politics of the state they lived in, it is only relatively recently that the Labour party has recognised this democratic deficit and allowed residents of NI to join what’s called a Province wide constituency party, crucially this single constituency party [over 2,000 members] encompasses all 18 constituencies but cannot put forward candidates for election in local or General elections.
    The net result is if you or I go to live in Belfast and decided to vote for Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson on election day, their parties would not be on the ballot paper, we could of course vote for one of the sectarian parties Sinn Fein, DUP or Official Unionist, this is not democracy, it is in fact discrimination against all residents of NI, a point not lost on the Israelis who also wish to disenfranchise the Palestinians living in the West Bank.

  12. Blake on December 21, 2019, 12:55 am

    Speechless. So insulting. Definitely the only solution is a one state solution between the River and the Sea.

Leave a Reply