Trump, Netanyahu Unveil Middle East Peace Plan
President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled their Middle East peace plan Tuesday afternoon at the White House, saying Jerusalem will remain the “undivided” capital of Israel under the new plan. The plan is officially titled ‘Peace to Prosperity’ but is commonly referred to as the ‘Deal of the Century.’
Pres. Trump met with Netanyahu and his opponent, Blue and White alliance leader Benny Gantz, this week to discuss the deal.
“We will not allow a return to the days of bloodshed, bus bombings, nightclub attacks and relentless terror,” said Pres. Trump. “It won’t be allowed. Peace requires compromise but we will never ask Israel to compromise its security.”
This is what a future State of Palestine can look like, with a capital in parts of East Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/39vw3pPrAL
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020
Netanyahu says plan ‘is not easy lip-service’
PM Netanyahu commended Pres. Trump for the efforts he has made to bring peace to this region.
“This is a historic day,” said Netanyahu. “On May 14, 1948 President Truman recognized Israel. I believe that down the decades, centuries… we’ll also remember Jan. 28, 2020, because you became first world leader to recognize Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria.”
Netanyahu added that this two-state solution is different from past proposals.
“This plan is not ‘easy lip-service,'” Netanyahu said. “It recognizes Israeli control and the ability to defend itself by itself.”
The Prime Minister also thanked senior advisor to Pres. Trump, Jared Kushner, for his role in these negotiations. “Without your wisdom, your persistence, your resolve, this day would have never come,” Netanyahu told Kushner.
Meanwhile, President Trump mentioned that the U.S. will open an embassy in East Jerusalem, the capital of the proposed Palestinian state. On May 14, 2018, the U.S. opened a brand new embassy in Israel in Jerusalem. The U.S. embassy in Israel was previously located in Tel Aviv.
The plan includes a proposal for a tunnel that would connect the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. It also proposes land swaps between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“I have to do a lot for the Palestinians, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair,” said Pres. Trump. “This could be the last opportunity Palestinians have for peace.”
The President had a specific message for Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. “I want you to know if you choose path to peace, we will be there to help you in so many different ways,” said Mr. Trump. “We will be there every step of the way.”
No Israelis or Palestinians Will Be Uprooted
According to Mr. Trump, no Israelis or Palestinians will be uprooted from their homes as part of this two-state solution.
“It’s another bold and courageous move that demonstrates the president’s understanding of the complicated reality on the ground,” said Dov Hikind, the founder of Americans Against Anti-Semitism. “Most important is that this plan makes it clear to the Palestinians that terrorism doesn’t and won’t pay off. It must end, entirely.”
During his speech, Pres. Trump also noted presence of ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. In recent years, Israel has improved relations with various Arab nations.
“Israel wants the Palestinians to have a better life,” Netanyahu remarked. “Dignity. Prosperity. Hope. This plan offers that.”
Message for Palestinian Leadership
Israel’s PM had a specific message for the Palestinian leadership. “If Palestinians are prepared to make peace with the Jewish state, Israel will negotiate with them,” he said.
According to a report in The Jerusalem Post, Abbas is vehemently against this two-state solution.
“They called me from Washington and I did not pick up the phone,” Abbas said. “I said no and I will continue to say no…We are going for difficult days and we are beginning to bear the consequences of the refusal. Resistance must be escalated at all points of friction. All young people must be encouraged.”
Some Palestinians protested the peace plan after it was announced Tuesday.
The Yesha Council, which represents Israeli settlements in the West Bank, has urged Netanyahu to reject any plan that calls for a Palestinian state in any form.
“We cannot accept a plan that entails establishment of a Palestinian state that will be a danger and threat to Israel,” said Yesha Council chairman David Elchayani. “We declare that we will not allow establishment of such a state, even if it comes at the cost of losing out on sovereignty in Yehudah, Shomron and the Jordan Valley.”
SaraACarter.com will continue to follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.