Trump’s Peace-Plan: ‘Deal of the Century’ or ‘Dustbin of History’?30 Jan 2020
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People” at the White House. Palestinians did not participate in the plan’s drafting, having cut all ties with the Trump administration after it officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Following two years of discussions and various delays, the plan labelled ‘Deal of the Century’ by its initiators, aims to resolve the decades of conflict by bringing forward what Trump calls a “realistic two-state solution”. The plan entails the creation of a Palestinian state that will be demilitarised, and will lack sovereignty over its air space and territorial waters.
The map detailing the peace plan, illustrates a Palestinian state with the capital located on the outskirts of Jerusalem and a tunnel connecting the West Bank to a separate portion of the country along the shores of the Mediterranean. It shows an Israeli state taking up to 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, and a permanent eastern border for Israel along the Jordan River. The annexation of West Bank settlements is motivated by land swaps that would give the Palestinians parts of what is now Israel. These settlements are unlawfully occupied by Israel, according to International law
The Palestinian leaders have vehemently rejected Trump’s proposal. The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas described the deal as belonging to “the dustbin of history.” Hamas leader Sami Abu Zuhri, who governs the Gaza Strip, said “Trump’s statement about Jerusalem is nonsense and Jerusalem will always be the land of the Palestinians”.
Demonstration have already erupted in the Gaza strip and occupied West Bank denouncing the peace plan, and calling for it to be scrapped. Protestors held banners with slogans in rejection of the proposal.
The international community reacted mostly with caution, and the EU, the UN and Jordan have argued for a plan that is based on the borders drawn in 1964. One of the strongest dissident voices came from Turkey, where the Foreign Ministry declared that the deal is in fact “an attempt to kill the two-state solution and a plan that aims to annex Palestinian territory by robbing it.”
Similar criticism was put forward by Israeli human rights groups “B’Tselem” and “Breaking the Silence”, who argued that the deal enforces an “apartheid” in the Middle East, since no Palestinian leaders were consulted.
US Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted condemning the plan, saying that “Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham.”
Bernie Sanders also wrote “Any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and multiple UN resolutions”.
People have expressed outrage over the proposed plan on social media with Twitter hashtags such as #NoToTrumpPlan and #No4DealofCentury, mocking the deal as the “the slap of the century”.
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict began with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. In the last decades, borders were redrawn by the wars of 1948 and 1967 and the more recent Israeli settlements, considered a breach of international law.