Pretty much as predicted yesterday, the Palestinians have started weighing in on the Trump administration’s proposed Middle East peace deal and it sounds like a non-starter for them. On the plus side, Israel has officially accepted the plan, but that’s not going to mean very much in the long run if they don’t have a viable partner on the other side willing to work with them.
Israeli leaders have agreed to a framework for a Palestinian state that would see the new country more than double in size with its capital located in Eastern Jerusalem, according to information provided by the White House.
The Trump administration unveiled on Tuesday its long-anticipated plan to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The plan, which White House officials say has already been agreed to by Israel, would see the Jewish state freezing for four years all construction in contested territories that could be used to form a new Palestinian state.
As more details rolled out, the plan really does appear far more generous on the part of Israel than I’d expected. A four year freeze on all construction projects in contested areas and more than doubling the land currently considered as Palestinian territory should have been enough to tempt any reasonable person.
But as I said yesterday, we’re not dealing with reasonable people here. No matter how generous the terms, there are too many terrorists mixed in with the Palestinians who will never agree to go along with any plan that leaves Israel in place as a sovereign nation. Mahmoud Abbas delivered “a thousand no’s” and described the deal as “nonsense.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said “a thousand no’s” Tuesday to the Mideast peace plan announced by President Donald Trump, which strongly favors Israel.
“After the nonsense that we heard today we say a thousand no’s to the Deal of The Century,” Abbas said at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority is headquartered.
He said the Palestinians remain committed to ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a state with its capital in east Jerusalem.
Even if Abbas had expressed some support for the plan it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. There are too many factions among the Palestinians and even the ones who might be interested in a lasting peace have no control over the rest of them. This has been the problem all along, really. You can’t negotiate with “the government of Palestine” because there is no actual government and there is no Palestine, at least if you’re using the definition of a single people represented by a single governmental entity.
The irony here is that Abbas went on to insist that his people were committed to establishing a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Um… that’s exactly what Israel just offered you. But the Palestinian counteroffer was completely ridiculous. Abbas is once again touting the same line used by many of the most radical Palestinian elements.
They want the entire West Bank, plus full control of the portions of East Jerusalem lost during the 1967 war. In other words, they want the pre-1967 borders reestablished. And that would leave Israel virtually unable to defend itself from the terrorist attacks that would obviously continue regardless of any signed agreement.
We should offer full props to Netanyahu and his team for being willing to put so much on the table in an effort to cut a deal. But, yet again, they have no honest broker on the other side to make a deal with. This entire effort seems to have been doomed from the start.