'Deal of the Century' With Israel and the Palestinians?
Trump and Netanyahu reveal a plan for peace. It is both generous and realistic.
President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined together at the White House on Tuesday to unveil a new plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, including a state for the latter. The first thing to note is the dismal history of such attempts. As Gary Bauer notes, “Almost every American president and Israeli prime minister has tried and failed to negotiate a lasting peace between Israelis and the Palestinians. The problem is not Israel or the United States. The real obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and others to recognize the right of Israel to exist at all.” Will this be any different? We’ll see.
The Trump-Netanyahu plan has a few key elements. As Bauer outlines:
Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel. (Remember, Trump finally kept a long-standing U.S. promise to move the American embassy there.)
The Palestinians must recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
Hamas must be disarmed, and the Palestinians must reject terrorism.
The so-called “refugee problem” will be settled outside the boundaries of Israel.
Israel will suspend construction in disputed territories for four years to give both sides time to implement various aspects of the deal.
The president pledged $50 billion of investment to provide hope and economic opportunity to the Palestinian people.
The offer is certainly pro-Israel, but it’s also remarkably generous to the Palestinians, who for more than half a century have terrorized Israeli and rejected every previous offer of peace. The onus is on the Palestinians, not on Israel or the U.S. As David Harsanyi rightly observes, “Israel, in fact, probably feels less external pressure than ever to enter into a deal.” That’s because it is, at the moment, quite secure.
To Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Trump said, “If you choose the path of peace, America will be there to help you every step of the way.” Yet Abbas is reported to have already rejected the offer, and vehemently so. That’s not surprising, given that Palestinian principals like Abbas have never wanted peace — they want an endless war to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of United Nations elites. It is the Palestinian people who bear the brunt of that evil strategy.
Maybe part of the deal should be Trump shipping the Palestinians a load of those “Hate Has No Home Here” yard signs that are all the rage among chardonnay-sipping leftist elites who hate Trump.