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Trump unveils peace plan, promising more land and control for Israel

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US President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited peace plan for the Middle East on Tuesday, in a joint press conference at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The room was filled with familiar faces  — Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Jason Greenblatt, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sara Netanyahu, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer — and dozens of Israel’s supporters, who clapped and cheered throughout the announcement.

Trump described the deal as a “win-win” situation for both Israelis and Palestinians, boasting that his plan was the “most detailed ever put forward by far.”

According to Trump, Jerusalem would “remain Israel’s undivided capital” and the US will recognize Israeli sovereignty “over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the state of Israel.”

Trump’s vision, according to the “conceptual map” released on Tuesday, would see Israel’s annexation of the Jordan Valley, the areas around the Dead Sea that are currently in the West Bank, and the ‘E1’ area between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Additionally, the map shows smaller portions of current West Bank territory becoming a part of Israel — seemingly representing the annexation of the hundreds of illegal settlements on West Bank land.

After the press conference, reports surfaced saying that Netanyahu would be announcing Israel’s full annexation of the settlements in the West Bank on Sunday, and that Ambassador Friedman expressed that Israel was “free to annex settlements in the West Bank at any time”

While Trump boasted that his plan would promise a contiguous Palestinian state, doubled in size from its current form, the “conceptual map” released by his administration shows a fragmented and dwindling territory, connected by a series of proposed bridges and tunnels.

Map of a future Palestinian state in the Trump administration plan.

Map of a future Palestinian state in the Trump administration plan.

The plan also proposes a bridge or tunnel connecting what’s left of the West Bank with the Gaza Strip.

Any redrawing of borders, Trump emphasized, must first and foremost “meet the security requirements of the State of Israel.”

He also called for the disarmament of Palestinian political factions like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and “firm rejection of terrorism” as a requirement for Palestinian statehood.

“We are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful coexistence,” Trump said.

“This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights, protecting against political and financial corruption…ending incitement of hatred against Israel, and ending financial compensation to terrorists,” he said, referring to pensions paid by the Palestinian Authority to the families of prisoners and martyrs.

In his speech, Netanyahu demanded that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State, and that Israel will maintain military control of the entire Jordan Valley to establish a permanent eastern border in the area.

Map of the future Israeli state in the Trump administration plan.

Map of the future Israeli state in the Trump administration plan.

Trump repeatedly emphasized the priority of Israel’s security, saying “the proposed transition to a two-state solution will provide no incremental security risk to the state of Israel.”

“We will not allow a return to the days of bloodshed, bus bombings, and terror,” eh said. “We will never ask israel to compromise its security.”

According to Trump, the Palestinians have four years to debate and negotiate with Israel over the details of the plan, during which the “territory allocated to this new [Palestinian] state will remain open and undeveloped,” seemingly referring to a settlement freeze in the West Bank.

“President Abbas, I want you to know that if you choose the path to peace, America and many other countries, we will be there to help you in so many different ways. We will be there to help,” Trump said, addressing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has boycotted diplomatic relations with the US adminsitration since 2017.

Trump boasted the support of dozens of unnamed world leaders, who he described as anxious to implement his plan. He specifically thanked the ambassadors of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain for being in attendance.

In his speech, Netanyahu called Trump’s plan “exceptional,” and praised January 28, 2020 as a “historic day,” comparing it to the US recognition of Israel as a state in May 1948.

“You became the first world leader to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over areas in Judea and Samaria that are vital to our security and central to our heritage,” Netanyahu said to a round of applause, adding that since its founding, Israel has “yearned for peace” with its neighbors.

Throughout his speech, Trump repeatedly praised Israel for “wanting peace badly,” and praised Netanyahu for “willing to endorse the plan as the basis for direct negotiations.”

He boasted about everything he has done for Israel, listing off the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

“It is only reasonable I have to do a lot for Palestinians or else it wouldn’t be fair,” Trump said, and in a bizarre moment, told the audience “don’t clap for that, but it’s true.”

A significant portion of his speech focused on his economic plan for the Palestinians, introduced in Bahrain last year, that promises 50 billion dollars in investments.

“Over the next 10 years, 1 million great new Palestinian jobs will be created,” he said, adding that the poverty rate will be cut in half, and the Palestinian GDP will “double and triple.”

“Our vision will end the cycle of Palestinian dependency on charity and financial aid. They will do fine by themselves. They are a very capable people,” he said.

“I want this deal to be a great deal for Palestinians. It is a historic opportunity for Palestinians to finally achieve an independent state of their own,” he said, adding “this could be the last opportunity they ever have.”

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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12 Responses

  1. Shiralee on January 28, 2020, 3:26 pm

    Longtime reader but first time post – be kind folks.
    Is Trump for real, touting himself as the deal maker of the century? A lame duck for sure. What is in it for Palestine? If they do nothing and just ignore it, they’re in the same boat. However, by default, their position could improve if they just wait for the US election outcome.

    • eljay on January 28, 2020, 3:38 pm

      || Shiralee: Longtime reader but first time post – be kind folks. … ||

      Howdy!  :-)

      || … Is Trump for real, touting himself as the deal maker of the century? A lame duck for sure. … ||

      He’s for real in the sense that he genuinely to believe everything he says.

      || … What is in it for Palestine? … ||

      Very little.

      || … If they do nothing and just ignore it, they’re in the same boat. However, by default, their position could improve if they just wait for the US election outcome. ||

      I doubt that any U.S. election outcome will give the Palestinians more than very little. It certainly will never give them justice, accountability and equality.

    • MHughes976 on January 28, 2020, 3:52 pm

      Welcome to the discussion! The symbolism of announcing a peace deal amidst the fullest cooperation with just one of the warring parties is more horrible than I’d expected. But I rather think that the Democrats will indicate general acceptance of Trump’s ideas.

    • mondonut on January 28, 2020, 5:20 pm

      @Shiralee , What is in it for Palestine?

      – The only realistic pathway to a state
      – Self determination
      – Capital in Jerusalem burbs
      – Peace
      – Prosperity
      – Removal of existing kleptocratic and terrorist leaderships.

      • MHughes976 on January 28, 2020, 6:24 pm

        Well, there doesn’t seem to be an offer of true sovereignty, with a right of self-defence and the freedom to make alliances, nor yet a readiness on the part of the US or Israeli governments to listen to counter proposals. That seems to be determination of their future by the will of others, not really self-determination in any comprehensible sense. Perhaps there is prospect of a louder diplomatic voice in the West and of greater investment, though necessarily in an economy which is in effect part of the Israeli economy and subject to its decisions. Perhaps that would mean a real boost to standards of living, perhaps not. Whether it would mean that the different forces in Palestinian society were better able to co-operate we can’t be sure. The un-sovereignty and steady subjection to external pressures would not be helpful things. Mind you, I expect that many forces in the West will, after a bit of protest, start giving Trump at least tacit support.

      • eljay on January 28, 2020, 7:24 pm

        || mon donut: @Shiralee , What is in it for Palestine?

        – The only realistic pathway to a state … ||

        No, it’s not the only realistic way.

        || … – Self determination … ||

        Zionist-imposed “self-determination”, but not real self-determination.

        || … – Capital in Jerusalem burbs … ||

        But not Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, something the people of geographic Palestine could have had if they had been allowed to exercise their genuine right of self-determination.

        || … – Peace … ||

        But not real peace – only a Zionist (and Zionist-imposed) “peace”.

        || … – Prosperity … ||

        But only as much as Israel and Zionists will allow.

        || … – Removal of existing kleptocratic and terrorist leaderships. ||

        No, donut, unfortunately it won’t affect the leaderships of Israel.

      • Misterioso on January 28, 2020, 8:38 pm

        @mondonut

        Trump’s non-peace plan will go no where.

      • Talkback on January 29, 2020, 11:07 am

        mondonut: “What is in it for Palestine?

        A Jewish controlled Bantustan. But this time plus US recognition of yet another Israeli illegal annexation.

        – The only realistic pathway to a state”

        If that’s true is time to fully engage in an anti Apartheid struggler that Israel’s Apartheid regime won’t survive in the 21st century.

        mondonut: “– Self determination”

        They allready have that right and Israel’s not going to end violating it.

        ““Israel is offering the Palestinians, at the end of the process, conditional, limited sovereignty,” Netanyahu said.”
        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-plan-capital/netanyahu-says-proposed-palestinian-capital-will-be-in-abu-dis-idUSKBN1ZR2IV

        mondonut: “– Capital in Jerusalem burbs”

        Not in East-Jerusalem.

        mondonut; “– Peace”

        Peace for Israel and the continuation of illegaly prolonged occupation for Palestinians.

        mondonut: “– Prosperity”

        Which Israel is going to destroy after a while, like it did with 95% of Gaza.

        mondonut: “– Removal of existing kleptocratic and terrorist leaderships.”

        Wait what? Is the Israeli Apartheid Junta, which has been steeling water and land for decades and its terrorizing occupation force going to dissolve? Now that would be a working peace plan. Let’s arrest the bunch of racists and murderers.

    • Misterioso on January 28, 2020, 8:30 pm

      In the mail:

      Dear President Donald Trump

      Re: Your just released peace plan:

      “Well done Donnie!! Mazel tov!! In exchange, we’ve doubled the amount of our contribution to you for the next election.”

      As always,
      Sheldon and Miriam Adelson

      P.S. You’re like a son to us.

  2. JLewisDickerson on January 28, 2020, 3:30 pm

    A FEW EARLY DETAILS:
    Ilan Goldenberg
    @ilangoldenberg
    1. Im starting to look at this document. it might have sounded nice but it’s all about the details and many of the ideas are absolute non-starters. As I find key things I will post them.
    LINK – https://twitter.com/ilangoldenberg/status/1222222993239236613

  3. JLewisDickerson on January 28, 2020, 3:41 pm

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “Netanyahu to push West Bank annexation plan on Sunday”
    By MATTHEW LEE and ARON HELLER an hour ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman says the Israeli leader will ask his Cabinet on Sunday to approve his plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

    Jonathan Urich made the announcement on Twitter late Tuesday, shortly after Netanyahu joined President Donald Trump for the unveiling of a new U.S. peace plan.

    The plan calls for leaving the strategic Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements under Israeli control. . .

    LINK – https://apnews.com/f7d36b9023309ce4b1e423b02abf52c6

  4. Kay24 on January 29, 2020, 6:16 am

    Israeli : “this is our land”

    Palestinian 🇵🇸 : “where did your 7th grandfather lived/buried ⁉️”

    Israeli “in Hungary 🇭🇺”

    Palestinian 🇵🇸 : “my 9th grandfather is buried here ”

    LOOL Episode should have ended right there 😂

    https://twitter.com/thetraditionall/status/1222270258859462657?s=07&fbclid=IwAR0714hLn5RYhG9u_Xv1wI46b5G3VfmPjbMaVsd8lh5PinW0YIaAPw7UxMw

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