By Eli Glickman
In late January, Trump, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unveiled his peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This -- some have called -- “deal of the century” aims to bring an end to the decades-long dispute. Involving a limited number of Israeli concessions, the plan has received staunch criticism from the left. However, it is a mutually beneficial agreement that provides for an autonomous Palestinian state with a bridge connecting the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and an assurance of Israeli sovereignty and security.
The plan offers peace and tranquility for the Palestinians, allowing them to form their own, Israeli-recognized state that is sovereign within its borders. But this is not the first proposal with these stipulations. Many have been rejected by Palestinian governments over the tumultuous 72 years since Israel’s founding. This is because of a fundamental truth that cannot be solved by any peace deal. Palestine will not be content until Israel no longer exists. Article 19 of the Palestinian Charter declares that the establishment of the state of Israel is “entirely illegal.” Article 22 continues that “the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence.” Attempts to appease the current Palestinian regime by liquidating the settlements or giving them control of parts of Jerusalem will never be enough because they do not satisfy the fundamental desire of the Palestinian government: the destruction of the state of Israel.
This plan additionally offers the only present solution to maintaining Israeli national security. Previous plans and badgering by the international community have sought to remove Israeli settlements from the West Bank. Over 430,000 Israeli Jews now live in West Bank settlements, according to statistics from the Israeli government. Forcible relocation of these people is not only unjust, but unfeasible.
America’s political left and the Palestinian government have harshly criticized the plan as overly favorable to Israel. However, the plan is not truly as harsh as the Palestinian Authority would have you believe. The Palestinian Authority has indicated that the only plan acceptable to them would be the original 1947 Partition Plan -- a plan that left Israel “virtually indefensible,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (an international Jewish organization).
Although the peace plan offered an excellent foundation for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the PA said, “1,000 times: no, no, and no to the deal of the century.” The intolerance that permeates the PA will prevent any longevity in peace between Israel and the Palestinians. How can there ever be peace if one side believes the other does not have a right to exist? Abbas and the PA are rank with virulent antisemitism that has prevented any meaningful understanding between the two groups.
The plan offers a new solution for peace in Israel. It does not involve Israel making inconceivable concessions, nor does it put an undue burden on the Palestinians. This plan offers a real foundation for a normalization of relations between Israel and the Palestinian people.
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