White House Graphic of Proposed Middle East Peace Solution. Left: Current Situation; Right: Amber notes proposed autonomous Palestinian Territory. Red dots note Israeli enclaves. High speed rail will connect the Gaza Strip with the two other Palestinian enclaves on Israel’s Western border.
While his legal eagles deftly flay the Democrat impeachment case along with the House Managers who flog it, President Donald J. Trump continues the 3-D chess match. Yesterday, he unveiled his proposed plan for peace in the Middle East. His plan proposes the highly coveted, “Two-State Solution.” See graphic for the one over the world view.
Of course, the usual suspects, led by the once “paper of record,” New York Times, immediately began promulgating outright falsehoods. More on that in a moment. Here is what is quite unusual.
Although both Turkey (of late) and Iran, acted as expected and denounced the plan, along with the “Palestinians,” it has been received with cautious optimism by key players in the Arab world. The Wall Street Journal notes in its lede and first paragraph.
Tentative backing of U.S. proposal reflects changing priorities, frustration with the Palestinians and more willingness to work with Israel
BEIRUT—President Trump’s Middle East peace plan has jolted regional dynamics, with Israel preparing to quickly annex West Bank land once expected to be part of a Palestinian state and key Arab leaders tentatively backing the U.S. initiative.
The New York Times, not able to let anything positive stand, had it’s own assessment out. Here’s that lede and first paragraph.
A Muted Arab Response to Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan
The U.S. is banking on Arab leaders to help make its plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict work. It is not clear how realistic that is.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — In unveiling his plan Tuesday for solving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, President Trump confidently declared that Arab countries would play a key role in its success.
But none of the United States’ Arab allies formally endorsed the plan or made concrete commitments to back it, raising questions about how helpful they will really be in bringing it to fruition.
At first blush, this would seem to be more of the same from the left; belittling a groundbreaking event resulting from a directed and focused effort by the Trump administration. But it’s much more than that. First, a little background.
The last significant land for peace initiative was in 1993, brokered by, I hate to admit it, President Bill Clinton. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO foreign policy official Mahmoud Abbas signed a declaration on self-government for a probationary Palestinian Government. Israel would allow semi-autonomous government of the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank. This agreement was accompanied by funding from the United States…much of which was siphoned off by Yassir Arafat and others for personal enrichment.
Since then, the Palestinians have become more militant, refusing any and all overtures of further discussion regarding actual statehood. Exacerbating this problem is a split between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, which controls Palestinian areas on the West Bank. The only common ground between these two factions is their mutual desire for the total destruction of Israel.
This situation has stood for quite a while…sort of a stalemate, punctuated by Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and Israeli retaliation that is far more careful about innocent civilian casualties. The stalemate continued largely because Hamas perceived weakness in the American support for Israel.
Hamas was well aware that in 1995, these United States passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, mandating the move of the U.S. Embassy to Israel, from Tel Aviv to Israel’s declared capital, Jerusalem. Hamas and Fatah had little to no respect for the United States’ willingness to actually enforce its own legislated positions. This was reinforced as Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama continued to exert waivers provided under the act. After a couple of 6-month waiver iterations, in 2018, President Donald Trump finally announced the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
In 2019, President Trump formally recognized the legal Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights—this, just one more public demonstration that the U.S. was now viewing the world right-side up and forwards, as opposed to upside down and backwards.
All of the above was not only preceded but also accompanied by intense background, low key negotiation. Thus, the “muted response” Instead of violent outrage by the Arab world, to President Trump’s initiative. Translated, the Arabs if not totally on board, are soon to be so.
Where does this leave the “Palestinians”? There is a scene in “The Godfather,” where Don Corleone makes an offer that is refused by the guy on the other side of the table. The Godfather‘s next move is to make a lower, much less attractive offer, which his opponent refuses. He doesn’t realize the significance of that lower offer. Immediately thereafter, there’s the horse head in the bed.
President Trump has put all the enablers in place, once again. He has all the required stakeholders on board with this…the Israelis and the important Arab countries. The offer on the table, is the best Hamas and Fatah are going to get.
It would be an unwise choice for them to believe they can outwait Trump. He’s already recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…he has already given sanction to Israel’s annexation of the Golan. If Hamas and Fatah continue their lethal and illegal tantrums against the Israeli civilian populace and don’t negotiate, Trump WILL wash his hands…and with the tacit permission of the only Arab states that really matter, he will give Bibi permission to annex the entire West Bank and totally quarantine Gaza.
Any way this goes, Trump will be the first President since Carter to actually achieve any kind of lasting peace in the Middle East. The Democrats? They continue to promote an impeachment that most Americans don’t want, thus ensuring the reelection of President Donald J. Trump. That is what is really bothering “The Gray Lady.”