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‘Whether they accept it or not, it’s going to happen’ — Netanyahu lays out Palestinian submission to Trump plan

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American Jews that he and the Trump administration are moving ahead with plans to remap the West Bank to give Israel sovereignty over large portions of occupied territory, and Palestinians are going to have to live with that plan “whether they accept it or not.”

Netanyahu’s discussion of Palestinian submission to the “radical” and “historic” terms of the Trump “peace plan” including annexation of all “Jewish communities” and military control of the West Bank sounded very much like surrender.

He spoke in Jerusalem two days ago to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a rightwing Israel lobby organization:

For the last three years I’ve worked very closely with a good friend of mine, President Trump, we’ve never had a better friend of Israel in the White House– I worked with President Trump and his team to fashion a different plan for peace in the Middle East. This is a different one altogether…

A few weeks ago I stood as an Israeli prime minister in Washington next to the president of the United States, who said that the United States will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea and all the… Jewish communities large and small, in Judea and Samaria [biblical terms for West Bank]. This is a breakthrough.

And this is not conditional in any way on Palestinian acceptance of the Trump plan. Whether they accept it or not, it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen once we complete the mapping process, which we’ve begun in earnest– this man among others– [Ronen Peretz, acting director general of Netanyahu’s office] you should applaud this man because he’s doing a mitzvah– and an American team. We’re working together to finish this as fast as possible. That’s important.

Now, what is the position of the Palestinians? Well, they have to consider the elements of the Trump plan that are not involved at all in this matter between the United States and us. In order to enter the negotiations they have to fulfill certain conditions. By the way this is a historic change. In all previous plans, submitted by previous American administrations, it was Israel, Israel, that had to make concrete concessions in order to enter the negotiations. And the Palestinians were asked to do nothing. Nada in English. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. OK? And in fact we were asked time and time again to freeze construction in the settlements or to release Palestinian prisoners.

This time it’s reversed, the Palestinians are required, to enter negotiattions to do two things. To stop paying terrorists and to withdraw all their claims against Israel at the ICC, in the Hague.

That’s the first two conditions. To complete the negotiations the Palestinians have to– Do you know all this? No?… I suggest you fasten your seatbelts, because this is going to be some ride. The first thing they have to do is recognize Israel as the Jewish state, recognize the united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, give up completely the right of return. Completely!

Recognize Israel as the power responsible for security everywhere west of the Jordan. Recognize our sovereignty in the places that I mentioned [West Bank and Jerusalem]. And also adopt a democratic constitution that assures democratic rights, free speech, free elections, freedom of religion, and a few other things. This is a short list. It’s longer… By the way they also have to disarm Hamas and demilitarize Gaza. These are some of the conditions, not all of them, in order for the Palestinians to complete negotiations.

Do you like these conditions? Yeah.

Now who’s to say that they fulfill these conditions? Two powers. The United States and Israel.

So I think this is a radical departure from everything we’ve seen in the past. This is a plan that is realistic. It doesn’t seek to take us back to the indefensible 67 lines. It doesn’t seek to take us back to the impossible ’47 lines. It doesn’t seek to take us back as the Palestinians seek, to the pre 1917 lines. That is, they want to nullify the Balfour Declaration.

This is a plan that says to the Palestinians and to the world, This is it, Israel is here to stay.

The prime minister, whose trial on corruption charges is set to begin two weeks after the Israeli election next month, celebrated Israeli might in the speech. “The weak don’t survive. Only the strong survive.” He said that Israel’s military and economic strength would lead Arab neighbors to accept Israel “gradually,” echoing the ideas of his father’s mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky in the seminal Zionist essay “The Iron Wall” of 1923.)

Netanyahu applied the same principle to Palestinian acceptance of the one-sided terms of the Trump “peace plan.”

He also said that American Jews depend on Israel. “Without the state of Israel, there is no future for the Jewish people,” he said. “With the state of Israel– secure, powerful– there’s no limit.”

 

Philip Weiss

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

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10 Responses

  1. Misterioso on February 18, 2020, 11:06 am

    Netanyahu, the Zionist thug with the invented Hebrew name whose father was of Polish origin, spews forth pure fascism. He brings to mind Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland in 1938. Another Zionist betrayal of the six million Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis.

  2. wondering jew on February 18, 2020, 12:51 pm

    For those who favor the one state solution, this seems to be the next step that will eventually lead to that outcome. The Palestinians need to say, “Yes, we’ve been defeated. Now annex us and give us citizenship.”
    Obviously it will not be as smooth as that and I don’t blame the Palestinians for retching. But if Trump gets reelected I can’t see how this path can be avoided unless Netanyahu’s successor is convinced by someone that this path should be avoided. There’s no question that this is Bibi’s heartfelt wish and this speech reveals his essential character.

  3. brent on February 18, 2020, 4:23 pm

    Can anyone reading/watching see a path to two independent sovereign states living side by side in peace?

    The double game, “security”, has brought us to this point. “We yearn for peace”, make concessions for peace. They attack us, hate us, like so much of the world. We are afraid. Our fear requires us to take measures against them. We demand “security”. “With every attack, we will advance”. To guarantee security, we require a Jewish State with sovereignty in this land. We must dominate all around.

    Netanyahu skillfully humiliates. That has worked in the past. Bring on attacks. Using rage and blind leadership, we will use our insecurity to grind deeper. We will stop equal rights in one secular state.

    • eljay on February 18, 2020, 8:12 pm

      || brent: Can anyone reading/watching see a path to two independent sovereign states living side by side in peace? … Netanyahu skillfully humiliates. That has worked in the past. Bring on attacks. Using rage and blind leadership, we will use our insecurity to grind deeper. We will stop equal rights in one secular state. ||

      Not to worry: All the Palestinians have to do is “outsmart” Trump by…
      – restating things he has said;
      – asking for clarifications; and
      – not saying ‘no’,
      …and justice, accountability and equality will triumph in I-P.

    • Misterioso on February 18, 2020, 10:45 pm

      @brent

      In the long run, one state is inevitable. It will best serve the common needs of both peoples.

      • brent on February 19, 2020, 4:21 pm

        @Misterioso

        !00% agree. It is the only way. As you wrote, it is the best way for Arabs and Jews…. and everyone else. If it indeed matures the “ism”, Zionism, that can light a way for other “isms”, like nationalisms. So goes Jerusalem, so goes the world. The promise of international law can emerge.

        The sooner each side builds bridges to the other side, shuns revenge, demonstrates respect, extends dignity, regardless of leaders who get power through promoting victimhood, the sooner we can put this war behind us. Once this problem is solved there will be far less tolerance for mischief-making all around the world. Empires will come off low-boil.

        Back to Trump. The thing about conmen, they have to produce at the end. Trump’s glory will be having accomplished what no other has. If he leaves the world in a mess, history may judge him as the worst yet. It is to be noted that he wants our military out of Africa entirely, off the Korean Penninsula and out of Syria and Afghanistan. He’s not going to fight Iran for Netanyahu. He wants a deal on Jerusalem at the end of the day, as does Iran and everyone. He knows there has to be buy-in, a win-win. Let’s hope Palestinians will stop dancing to Netanyahu music anymore.

  4. wondering jew on February 18, 2020, 7:51 pm

    If Trump wins in November, since I expect Netanyahu’s career to be less than four years, and so Trump will have an opportunity to oversee the next stage with Netanyahu’s successor. If Trump loses in November, the Democrat will nullify this process to the full extent of his/her ability and Netanyahu’s last days as Prime Minister will be spent trying to navigate this change in Washington.

    • Mooser on February 19, 2020, 1:46 pm

      You can imagine either Trump or a Democrat winning, but you can’t imagine an Israel without King Bibi on the throne.

  5. iResistDe4iAm on February 19, 2020, 7:55 pm

    Whatever happened to Direct Negotiations ‘without preconditions’?

    “Whether they accept it or not, it’s going to happen.”
    “Now, what is the position of the Palestinians? Well, they have to consider the elements of the Trump plan that are not involved at all in this matter between the United States and us.”
    “In order to enter the negotiations they have to fulfill certain conditions.”
    “the Palestinians are required, to enter negotiattions to do two things. To stop paying terrorists and to withdraw all their claims against Israel at the ICC, in the Hague.”
    “That’s the first two conditions. To complete the negotiations the Palestinians have to…”
    “The first thing they have to do is recognize Israel as the Jewish state, recognize the united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, give up completely the right of return. Completely!”
    “Recognize Israel as the power responsible for security everywhere west of the Jordan.”
    “Recognize our sovereignty in the places that I mentioned [West Bank and Jerusalem].”
    “And also adopt a democratic constitution that assures democratic rights, free speech, free elections, freedom of religion, and a few other things.”
    “This is a short list. It’s longer… By the way they also have to disarm Hamas and demilitarize Gaza.”
    “These are some of the conditions, not all of them, in order for the Palestinians to complete negotiations.”
    “Now who’s to say that they fulfill these conditions? Two powers. The United States and Israel.”
    ~ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    WOW, that’s a lot of preconditions, but not all of them!
    And what’s left for the Palestinians to negotiate? “Nada, in English Nothing”.

    That’s one Mafia-style EXTORTION ultimatum (aka: ‘an offer you can’t refuse’).

    I look forward to Trump’s next book ‘The Art of Extortion’.

  6. Arby on February 25, 2020, 10:35 am

    Netanyahu’s homeland? Nazi America of course.

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