How the Trump Plan Makes Peace Possible

„President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan transforms longstanding official U.S. ideas about peace diplomacy and about the U.S. role in the region. In the past, U.S. peacemaking efforts aimed directly at a Palestinian-Israeli deal. The Trump peace plan, however, stresses that fundamental changes are required on the Palestinian side before such a deal can become realistic. The plan does not hold out the promise of a quick peace settlement. Rather, it has a more limited aim: to improve chances that peace will one day be possible.

A Warning

The plan’s most original element is a warning: If the Palestinian side continues to support terrorism and reject peace, its cause will suffer. For decades, Palestinian leaders, while refusing peace offers seen as reasonable by top U.S. officials, incited violence and demanded that the status quo in the territories be frozen pending a peace deal. The Palestinians are now being told that, if they continue on this path, Washington will not block Israel from advancing its own claims to areas in the West Bank that, in the administration’s view, would be left to Israel in realistic peace talks. Those areas, according to the peace plan’s „Conceptual Map,“ include not just the major settlement blocs but also the Jordan Valley.

The Trump plan effectively tells the Palestinians that the sensible question is not whether a deal provides everything they think they are entitled to, but whether it is the best deal available, now and in the foreseeable future. A huge development program is promised as a reward for compromise. Obviously, the U.S government cannot force Palestinian leaders to accept a peace that they consider unjust, but if their demands for „justice“ include the destruction of Israel, Trump warns that Washington will not support them and will not fight to preserve the West Bank’s legal status quo for their benefit.

The peace plan’s strong language and unequivocal conclusions reflect more than just this president’s personal talking style. They reflect the Trump team’s acquaintance with the long, exasperating history of U.S. diplomacy undone by Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism.“ (…)

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