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Deal of the Century

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Dennis Ross says Netanyahu is deluded about Joe Biden’s potential support for annexation. “[Netanyahu’s] view of the gains unfortunately is not very real. You only establish an international baseline if in fact everyone is prepared to adjust to it. Now maybe if Trump has a second term, there is more of an impulse to adjust to it. But if Trump doesn’t have a second term, no one else internationally of any meaning is going to recognize this new baseline. And if Joe Biden comes in and says, ‘I was opposed to it, I still believe in the two-state outcome, I want negotiations, I saw what Trump did was antithetical to achieving that, so we’re not recognizing that as a baseline…”

Annexation was advanced in the U.S. “peace plan” by Ambassador David Friedman, says Palestinian member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi: “The most dangerous figure pushing for this annexation is the American ambassador… Friedman.. He is the most dangerous, and he is to the right of Netanyahu, he is much more Yemina and Settler Council than Likud even. He is playing a very, very dangerous role.”

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, January 28, 2020. (Photo: Koby Gideon/GPO)

Trump wants Israel “to move forward with annexation to create a wedge issue visavis Joe Biden and the Democratic Party [to have] a hard political tool to use against Democrats in a very tight election. We all remember last summer the brouhaha that Trump created over the potential visit of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to Israel and accusing the Democratic Party of being leftwing radicals,” Israeli journalist Neri Zilber tells J Street webinar.