US President Trump wants to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But his long-announced plan does not yet exist. It probably has little chance in any case.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, US President Donald Trump met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York in September 2017, when they were still talking. Trump said he imagined "a very, very good opportunity" to get "the hardest deal of all": peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Abbas praised Trump's efforts to "mediate the deal of the century this year or in the coming months". Instead, Trump's Middle East peace plan is still below everything. Optimism has long since vanished, apparently even in the Trump government.
Characteristic are the statements of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Jewish organization at the end of last month; The "Washington Post" leaked a recording. According to the newspaper, Pompeo said that it could be argued that the plan – which according to US statements is already finished – was "impossible". "It could be that in the end people will say," it's not very original, it doesn't work for me ", therefore," it has two good things and nine bad things, they are out there ".
Trump: "We'll see what happens"
Almost even more surprising than Pompeo's public skepticism: Trump, otherwise optimistic in itself, did not contradict his minister. "It could be that he is right," Trump said, addressing Pompey's statements. "I think we have a good chance, but we'll see what happens."
Trump – who considers himself one of the best dealmakers of all time – loves to undertake the greatest foreign policy projects: he wants to simultaneously disarm North Korea atomically, bring the government in Iran to its knees and replace the president in Venezuela – and peace between Creation of Israel and the Palestinians. None of this has been achieved so far.
Controversial building: Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador David Friedman in front of the United States Mission in Jerusalem. (Source: Jim Young / Pool / Reuters)
Repeated efforts have been made to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East, but the peace process has been frozen since 2014. In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel conquered the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. among other places. There are now more than 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians are demanding territories for their state – with East Jerusalem as their capital.
Trump's son-in-law worked on the plan for months
Trump had entrusted his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt with the preparation of the peace plan for the Middle East. More recently, it was expected that the plan would be presented after the formation of a government in Israel. However, the right-wing conservative prime minister and Trump's confidant Benjamin Netanyahu failed to establish a coalition.
Now the new elections in Israel arrive in September, a government should not be available before the beginning of November. It is unlikely that Trump's plan will come before that. An American peace plan, which should favor the Israeli side but still requires concessions, could damage Netanyahu in the electoral campaign and in coalition negotiations. Saeb Erekat, general secretary of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (OLP), made fun of Trump's plan according to which it was evidently the "contract of the next century".
The Palestinians do not want to negotiate with Trump
The Palestinian leadership has already rejected Trump's peace plan before its contents were known. For Abbas, the United States has discredited itself as a mediator in the conflict in the Middle East, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and later transferred the US embassy there; Palestinians interrupted official contacts with the US government. Trump also cut aid to the Palestinians. And Trump's ambassador to Jerusalem, David Friedman, told the New York Times a few days ago that he thought Israel had "the right, under certain circumstances, to annex parts of the West Bank".
Trump is doing everything to support Netanyahu. He distinguishes himself from his predecessor Barack Obama and hopes in the voices of influential Israel supporters in the United States. With Netanyahu, Trump also has an ally in his tough course against Iran – at a time when the crisis is deteriorating dangerously with Tehran.
"Trump Heights": a settlement on the Golan Heights bears the name of the president of the United States. (Source: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
When Netanyahu visited the White House in March, Trump formally recognized the adjoining Golan Heights as the territory of Israel, although he violated a UN Security Council resolution. Recently, Netanyahu's government announced that it would appoint a new settlement on the Golan Heights after Trump. Trump thanked Netanyahu for the "great honor".
Money against political self-determination?
The former magnate Trump regularly tries to tackle political problems with economic instruments. There are some indications that Kushner – who also comes from the construction industry – now wants to offer Palestinian economic development, but not an independent Palestinian state. This would represent a departure from the previous US policy, which aimed at a two-state solution.
Palestinian President Abbas has categorically ruled out a renunciation of a separate state. The Palestinians would never "sell Jerusalem" and bow "to no one but to God," he said. In Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount with the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the third most sacred site for Muslims. Germany has also long supported a two-state solution supported by the vast majority of UN members.
"To say two states means something to the Israelis (and) it is a question for the Palestinians," Kushner told an event at the Washington Institute for Middle East Policy. "So we said, don't let me tell you." In an interview on the Axios news channel on the HBO channel, Kushner evasively responded to the question of whether he would ever be able to govern the Palestinians themselves. "The hope is that in time they will be able to govern".
United States and Israel as enemies: Palestinians demonstrate in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon against Bahrain investor conference. (Source: Ali Hashisho / Reuters)
Among the Palestinians, statements by the presidential councilor and son-in-law Trump sparked outrage. "This type of language is completely unacceptable," said Palestinian politician Hanan Aschrawi, who sits on the executive committee of the OLP, CNN. "This kind of racism – putting Palestinians on probation to see if we deserve our freedom – is unacceptable".
The plan provides aid for $ 50 billion
The economic basis for the peace plan is to be a two-day conference in the United States and Bahrain on investment for the Palestinian territories. On Tuesday, government representatives and representatives of business and civil society met in the capital of Bahrain, Manama. On Saturday, the White House presented a plan that would provide $ 50 billion of investment for the Palestinians within ten years – it is not clear where the money should come from.
An agreement on an economic road map is a prerequisite for resolving a previous "insoluble political situation," Kushner said Tuesday to kick off the meeting. The Palestinian Authority and the OLP are boycotting the Bahrain conference. Israeli government officials have not invited the White House. The reason given was that they wanted "that the focus was on the economic aspect, not on the political one".
Gaza's civil rights activist Abdulkarim Aschur says he will not respect the invitation to Bahrain. "The real crisis for the Palestinians is the occupation," he says. "The Palestinian crisis is political and not financial and cannot be resolved with a handful of dollars." Likewise, the Middle East expert Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington estimates. He says: "If we could have bought a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we would have done it a long time ago, it's not about money."
Marc Frings, Chief Bureau of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah, sees a broad Palestinian consensus in rejecting not only the Bahrain Conference but also the entire US President's peace initiative. Surveys commissioned by the Foundation have shown that "the significance of the peace plan is irrelevant," says Frings. "Whatever President Trump's signature bears will be rejected."
(tTTranslate) News (t) Foreign (t) Crisis and Conflicts (t) Donald Trump (t) Middle East Conflict (t) Two State Solution (t) Jared Kushner (t) Golan Heights (t) Barack Obama (t) Mike Pompey (t) t) Israel (t) Gaza Strip