After weeks of teasing the public, Donald Trump released a monumental Middle East Peace Plan along side Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, earlier today. “Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace,” Trump announced. With increasing tensions across the region from Iranian aggression to Palestinian terrorist strikes, and the always present radical Islamic extremism, this plan could not come at a better time.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, was the chief architect of this plan. The proposal, which Trump calls a “realistic two-state solution,” outlines a coexistence between the state of Israel and a potential Palestinian nation.
This proposal had been in the works since mid-2017.
Because much of the tension in the region revolves around the existence of a Jewish state, and objectors calls for genocide against the Jewish people, the plan obviously calls for increased protection for the state of Israel and a guaranteed right to exist for the small devolved nation.
Diving into more detail, the plan touches several key points of dispute from Israeli settlements, to ownership of Jerusalem. The Vision, as it’s referred to, is divided into three main categories: Political, Economic, and Security proposals designed to maintain peaceful coexistence and economic prosperity.
One of the most controversial aspects of the plan is spelled out in the fewest words; Israel will maintain control of its current capital: Jerusalem. Though Palestinians will have access to the holy site, and Palestinian territory will stretch up until just West of the city. Trump recognized the historic and cultural significance of the site to the Jewish people.
As far as territory as a whole is concerned, there will be a major concession of legally acquired land from Israel to Palestine. Borders will be redrawn based around the population of Israeli and Palestinian nationals. Major land swaps will take place so that 97% of Israeli’s stay within Israel’s borders and 97% of Palestinians remain within Palestine’s borders.
As we can see on the attached map, dozens of Israeli and Palestinian enclaves will be created, but those areas will be sovereign bodies of their respective nations. All inhabitants will be given full rights under law, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.
Israel will also maintain control over the Gaza Strip until further deals can be made.
Land given to Palestine during these land swaps are aimed at giving Palestine the territory equivalent to what the nation had prior to the 1967 war in which Israel expanded its borders after an unprovoked Palestinian invasion.
Palestine must also halt anti-Semitic propaganda in schools, and ensure the protection of its citizens civil and human rights including but not limited to free speech, fair and open elections, religious liberty, and a free press.
Israel will not be allowed to continue the creation of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. However, settlements already created may remain standing.
Israel will also create a trust fund for Palestinian refugees and may have to take in up to 50,000 refugees over the next ten years. The Vision recognizes the pain and suffering endured by both Israelis and Palestinians over the years.
Other, primarily Muslim, nations are given and open invitation to the table for future discussions and peace talks. The Vison notes that because of the reluctance of other Arab states from negotiating with Israel, Palestine has become equally reluctant to strive for peace. The proposal cites the Egypt-Israel peace talks in the 1970’s as a huge step towards regional peace.
To ensure economic prosperity for the new nation state of Palestine, the Vision relies on three pillars: property rights, education reform, and weeding out corruption in Palestine. “Palestinian Authority is plagued by failed institutions and endemic corruption,” the Vision reads.
“We estimate that the Palestinian GDP, which has been stagnant, could double in 10 years, create over 1 million new jobs, reduce the unemployment rate below 10 percent, and reduce the poverty rate by 50 percent.” With a GDP per capita of barely $3,000, there’s nowhere to go but up!
Only through freeing up the economy and education the once hermit citizens of Palestine can they achieve the economic growth Israel enjoyed over the last 70 years. The Vision calls for expanding the transportation infrastructure into Palestine so trade can more freely flow. The goal being to bring Palestine into the global economy.
Free Trade zones will be set up within Palestine for trade between them and Jordan. The Vision leaves open the possibility of Free Trade Zones with the U.S. as well, but details have not been drawn up.
Palestine must also prove itself by creating sound financial institutions to facilitate lending and encourage investment both domestically and from abroad.
None of the above would be possible without an emphasis on the right of both states to uphold their interest in self-defense and security. Under the agreement, both Israel and Palestine are authorized to keep an internal police force for domestic peace and to root out terrorist activity; that’s as far as it goes for a Palestinian military.
Palestine is expected to fully demilitarize, as their highly aggressive actions in the past leads many to think they can’t be trusted with a military. Israel will maintain border security and customs authority for all channels connecting Israel to Palestine. Israel will also be given sole authority over the two-state region’s airspace.
All military responsibly for defense of the two counties will be given to Israel as well.
Israel will also be allowed to maintain at least one early-warning site within Palestine’s borders as a precautionary measure. Israel will also be allowed to monitor Palestine, if they so choose, with drones and other surveillance technologies in order to keep a light footprint within its neighbor.
While Gaza will remain a territory of Israel, the Vision calls for the Palestinian Authority to disavow HAMAS, calling them rightfully a “terrorist organization.” They are also to work against the group’s rampages across the region.
“A realistic solution would give the Palestinians all the power to govern themselves but not the powers to threaten Israel,” the Vision said. The two states are to cooperate in its efforts against terrorism.
In recent years, the Trump administration distinguished itself from previous administrations by standing firmly with the Jewish people, even moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s official capital, which is still considered disputed territory by the Palestinian Authority.
Despite what seemed like a fair compromise between the two parties, Palestinian officials preemptively expressed displeasure with the proposal weeks before it was released. Representatives from the territory also denied an invitation to attend the unveiling of the plan.
Netanyahu called Trump, “the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House” signifying his support for the Vision.
Ambassadors from the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman were in attendance, signifying their support for the measure, but key representatives from larger nations were no-shows.
Categories: World News