US rejects Arab League rejection but still seeks to restrain Israel. Why?

T. Belman. Either Israel has the right to extend her sovereignty or she doesn’t. Israel should not need US permission to claim what is hers legally and historically. So she should go ahead and do it without consent. Trump/Kushner can disagree for their own reasons.  They can withhold their consent until after the elections if they so choose. In that way everybody exercises their rights.  Nothing hinges on Israel being compliant. But I think that both the US and Israel benefit from Israel showing independance.

It is not in Israel’s interest to encourage Abbas to join the process or to show him flexibility. Trump for his own reasons thinks that it enables him to sell the plan. But does it?  Better that he just plow ahead and do it. Don’t let the tail wag the dog.  The more resolve he shows, the more success he will achieve. The more flexibility he shows, the more he loses the Israeli Right and the more he gets bogged down in the process

If Israel extends their law to all land and people within the municipal envelopes in the first instance, there should be no technical issues to decide. The technical team can always meet thereafter to decide how much more to enlarge the envelope.

Senior official says Palestinian fate won’t change if group of 22 countries doesn’t alter methods; CIA chief said to visit Ramallah, assure PA of opposition to snap annexation


Jared Kushner (R) joins US President Donald Trump as he holds a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via JTA)
Jared Kushner (R) joins US President Donald Trump as he holds a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via JTA)

A senior US official on Saturday lambasted the Arab League’s rejection of the recently released Trump peace plan, saying in a statement that such dismissals would not benefit the Palestinian people.

“It is only by having a wiliness [sic] to try a new approach that we will make a breakthrough in a conflict that has left the Palestinian people to suffer for decades,” a senior administration official said in a written statement.

“Past Arab League resolutions have placated Palestinian leadership and not led to peace or progress and it is important to try a new approach or the Palestinian people’s fate will not change.” the official added.

The comments from Washington came after the Arab League voted during an emergency meeting in Cairo to unanimously rejected US President Donald Trump’s controversial Middle East plan, calling it “unfair” to Palestinians.

The official attempted to highlight “positive remarks” from some Arab foreign ministers who did not dismiss the peace plan out of hand in speeches before the unanimous vote to totally reject the proposal.

“It is important … to come out with a constructive stance, a realistic stance and a positive strategy that goes beyond just condemnation,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said, according to Riyadh-based Arab News.

Nonetheless, the Arab League, a pan-Arab bloc of 22 countries, said in its statement Saturday that it “rejects the US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.”

Arab leaders also vowed “not to… cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan.”

The League warned that Israel must not act on the plan unilaterally — a reference to Israel’s stated intention to move on annexation as soon as possible.

The US proposal would grant the Palestinians a state with restricted sovereignty in Gaza and in parts of the West Bank, while allowing Israel to annex all its settlements and keep nearly all of East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians would control scattered chunks of the West Bank and some neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem, all linked together by a new network of roads, bridges and tunnels. Israel would control the state’s borders and airspace and maintain overall security authority. Critics of the plan say this would rob Palestinian statehood of any meaning.

Immediately after, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to bring the issue for a vote in the cabinet on Sunday, but has since backtracked after the US administration indicated that while it does not oppose annexation, it was not ready to see it happen until at least after the coming Israeli elections on March 2.

After initial mixed messages, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner clarified on Thursday that the US would not approve of Israeli annexation efforts before the March election.

Reports on major Israeli television networks Saturday said CIA Director Gina Haspel had secretly visited Ramallah in recent days and met with Palestinian officials.

Channel 12 news reported that Haspel assured them Washington would seek to prevent Israel from annexing West Bank land before the March 2 election, as Netanyahu has indicated he would like to do.

CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

According to Kan TV, Palestinian officials told Haspel they would not cut security ties with US agencies. The network also reported that Haspel met with Israeli officials during her visit but did not provide further details.

There was no official confirmation of Haspel’s visit from Israel, the US or the PA.

Channel 13 on Saturday reported White House officials were surprised by the unanimous rejection of the plan by the Arab League, as several Arab nations had initially voiced cautious support for the proposal.

Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Araba, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco all issued statements following the release of the plan calling it a welcoming step. But on Saturday all backed the Arab League rejection.

An unnamed Arab diplomat told the Haaretz daily that the US had not fully briefed envoys from Bahrain, the UAE and Oman on the details of the plan before they agreed to attend its unveiling ceremony on Tuesday.

The disappointment with the details of the plan led the three countries to join the other Arab League member states in voting Saturday to reject the plan, he said.

The proposal unveiled Tuesday by US President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday recognizes Israel’s rights to the Jordan Valley, all West Bank settlements and their surroundings — some 30% of the West Bank in total.

US President Donald Trump, left, listens as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 28, 2020, to announce the Trump administration’s much-anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Channel 12 reported Saturday that Washington wants Israel to accept the plan in its entirety before it goes ahead with any annexation push — a possibly difficult request, given much of the Israeli right’s refusal to accept the notion of a Palestinian state, no matter how small and non-contiguous it might be.

Nonetheless, the network reported that Netanyahu is planning on bringing the plan before the cabinet soon for a symbolic vote. The measure would be strictly declarative in nature, but Netanyahu is hoping to use the government’s approval to convince Washington to green-light a measure of limited annexation in the West Bank before the election.

On Friday the network reported that Netanyahu is eager to secure backing for a symbolic “mini annexation” in the coming days to appease his right-wing voters after his plans to quickly annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank Jewish settlements were stymied by US opposition.

February 2, 2020 | 14 Comments » | 614 views

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

14 Comments / 14 Comments

  1. I agree with Ted, Israel has the rights and it should apply its civil law ASAP. My guess is Bibi will not buck the US Administration and at most apply sovereignty to Malaah Adumim and hopefully adjacent E1 which is within the boundaries of Malaah Adumim I believe.

    Israel can write a bill in a broad fashion naming the communities and stating including the security envelope outside the communities. Also naming the Jordan Valley and North Dead Sea Area excluding Area A areas such as Jericho.

    Is it really necessary to approve the Trump Plan?

  2. Since the plan is never going to happen I believe Israel after getting recognition of the 30% by the US of Judea/Samaria should take solid steps to make sure the Pals do NOT grab any open areas left. Make them Military Areas OFF LIMITS to Pal-Arabs.

  3. What is interesting if I sit back little and think why this Trump Plan came about.

    Trump during his run for POTUS said he would be able to accomplish the toughest deal of all the Israeli – Arab peace deal.

    He then became POTUS. Subsequently he assigned Greenblatt, Kushner and Friedman to make it happen. Greenblatt worked with Dore Gold (Israeli-American middle-east expert close to Bibi) to learn about Israeli Red lines and security needs.

    They then devised a plan around this and what tried to entice the Pal-Arabs with great economic incentives and what would constitute a geographically and economically viable demilitarized state.

    The trouble actually is not what they wrote in the plan. The trouble is NO plan the meets the Pal-Arab demands would NOT cross all Israeli Red Lines. The Pals desire a plan handed to them that would put them on the road to the destruction of Israel and nothing short.

    So in other words the plan is not the problem but that the Pal-Arabs do NOT accept a Jewish State as a permanent neighbor no matter the borders.
    Trump did not get this before (he will get there shortly). He still has Kushner running around trying to do the undo-able circle a square or make the Pal-Arabs negotiate TRUE peace with Israel.

    Maybe in the long run a plan of voluntary Arab emigration from Judea-Samaria will come about and take hold. The amount of Arabs in Judea/Samaria must be voluntarily reduced and Gaza must be demilitarized. Otherwise, we will continue to have battles or periodic wars and terrorism. Nothing else can work except victory and the dictation of terms to the losers and humane assistance of helping many Arabs find other homes in other countries.

    Interestingly the Pal-Arabs are saying that the Trump plan is capitulation and surrender. Israel would be compromising way too much for this to be capitulation.

  4. This may be the most important dvelopment connected with the Trump plan. From Today’s Jerusalem Post:

    Last week, ambassadors from Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates attended the unveiling of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, often referred to as the “Deal of the Century.” Their attendance was seen as a warming of ties between Israel and the Arab world

    This article also says that this anonymous White House official told their reporter that the President is negotiating with the Arab states concerning three steps to improve the relationships of the Arab states with Israel, and believes that he is making progess in all three areas. His three proposals to the Arab states are non-aggression pacts with Israel, invitations to Israeli representatives to attend a variety of events in Arab countries, and direct flights between Israel and Arab countries.

    Possibly this is why Trump has decided to ask the Israelis to hold back on declaring Israeli sovereignty over the settlements and the Jordan Valley, despite his promises to that effect just a few days ago.

  5. @ Bear Klein: I think it is possible for Israel to express support for the Trump plan in general terms, while still acting independently to assert its sovereignty over certain areas. I think there is a good chance that the Trump administration would make only pro-forma objections.
    Unfortunately it is Bibi’s way to avoid offending either Israel’s trading partners and military suppliers abroad or powerful institutions and individals within Israel, such as the courts and the military chiefs.

    There have been reports in the Israeli press that Kochavi and other high-ranking officers serving in the Central Command have advised against extending Israeli soverenty in the areas “assigned” to Israel in the Trump plan, on the grounds that it might provoke a full-scale war with the Palestinians, Iran, and Iran’s allies, and alienate Jordan.

  6. I think Israel should that they thank the Trump Team for its friendship and that they are willing to accept the plan as a basis to negotiate from with the Palestinians.

    Israel should then apply its sovereignty and work with the USA into getting the mutually recognized territory recognized in a document signed by Trump as historical precedent.

    Israel upon its own writing of its civil law application, should write that while agreeing to negotiate from the Trump Vision Plan it reserves its legal rights to land that are historically part of historical Mandate of Palestine of 1922. It further states if the Palestinians clearly in writing do not accept the Trump Plan and work on its full implementation, Israel shall no longer be bound by the moratorium of building that is stated in the plan.

    I find NO time frame stated for the Moratorium of building beyond the 30% of Judea/Samaria. So Israel should NOT feel it needs to wait for four years if that is what the Trump team requested in Washington.

  7. If Trump should fail to be re-elected, which no one can rule out, the annexations should have been completed by 1/21. Still the UN, The ICC, The EU and the new US Administration will probably do whatever they can to roll it back along with Trump’s other Middle East initiatives. No democrat candidate has pledged to maintain Trump’s initiatives with some ambiguity on Iran noted.
    You know the ones I am referring to.
    Just annex it all and get the nuclear proliferation issue resolved, THIS YEAR.
    That is: Unless Trump cannot be relied upon to back Israel 100%.

  8. Another matter which has not been mentioned, but that everyone internally may have accepted, If Netanyahu does NOT extend Israeli Civil Law -less than sovereignty and the unneccessry (in my opinion based on the 1920s irrevocable agreements) annexation,- pretty damned soon, as per his promise, he will certainly lose the election. With his positive actions, he has a very good chance of winning. Even with the interference of the indictments, and facing legal chicanery…

    If that happens, he becomes a failed politician and shoved into limbo…..

  9. Yoram Cohen, former Head of Shin Bet said yestereday ”

    “Most of the population in Jordan is Palestinian. If annexation is done, there will be an awakening in Jordan. The king will not be able to face a protest at home,””

  10. @ Ted Belman: Thanks, Ted. I have now read the interview with Yoram Cohen. Arutz Sheva gives it one “spin,” while the Jerusalem Post gives it a different “spin” each emphasizes what they agree with in Cohen’s remarks.

    Cohen’s comments, to me, seem all over the map’ like he is on both sides of the map at once. He opposes any ‘annexation” before the elections, but says that the Israeli people should “think seriously about the issue” before making a decision about it at some unspecified time in the future. He does not directly mention the Trump plan, but briefly outlines his own proposal, which seems to me to be largely identical to the Trump plan. He warns against immediate “annexations,” saying it would likely provoke an uprising by the Arabs in Judea-Samaria and have “international ramifications” that would be harmful to Israel. Still, he doesn’t rule it out as a future option. He sounds more like a politician than a former police chief, by saying things that have something to offer for both sides of the debate.

    What I found most troubling about his comments was his recommendation that Israel provide massive economic and humanitarian aid to the Arabs in Yesha, and his belief that that this will make themless hostile to Israel and less likely to support terrorism. I think the experience of the past fifty-plus years prove him (and many other “experts,”) wrong about this. The Arabs consistently accept the aid while continuing to carry out terrorist attacks on Israelis. Helping people who behave like that is a mistake.

  11. From today’s Israel Hayom.

    Israel and Sudan reach milestone after historic summit
    “We agreed to begin cooperation that will lead to normalization of relations between the two countries,” Netanyahu tweets after meeting Sudanese leader.

    by Associated Press , Israel Hayom Staff Published on 02-03-2020 22:10 Last modified: 02-03-2020 22:16
    Israel and Sudan reach milestone after historic summit
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan | Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Reuters
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the leader of Sudan on Monday and said they began talks on normalization, a major diplomatic breakthrough with an Arab and African state two days after the Arab League rejected a US Mideast initiative.

    Sudan is a longtime member of the Arab League and joined other members in rejecting President Donald Trump’s plan. But Sudan is also desperate to lift sanctions linked to its listing by the US as a state sponsor of terror – a key step toward ending its isolation and rebuilding its economy after the popular uprising that toppled longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir last year.

    Follow Israel Hayom on Facebook and Twitter

    For Israel, the meeting marks a major step toward improving ties with both Arab and African countries, and further burnishes Netanyahu’s diplomatic credentials as he seeks re-election in March under a cloud of corruption charges.–

    In a sign of the sensitivities involved, the meeting with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional government, was kept secret, with Netanyahu only announcing it after the fact.

    “We agreed to begin cooperation that will lead to normalization of relations between the two countries,” Netanyahu tweeted. “History!”

    Netanyahu’s office said the meeting came at the invitation of Uganda. It said Netanyahu “believes that Sudan is moving in a new and positive direction, and the prime minister expressed his views to the US Secretary of State” – an apparent reference to removal from the terror list.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo invited Burhan to visit the United States in a phone call on Sunday. The date of the visit has not yet been set.

    Under al-Bashir, Sudan was also believed to have served as a pipeline for Iran to supply weapons to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Israel was believed to have been behind airstrikes in Sudan that destroyed a convoy in 2009 and a weapons factory in 2012.

    Sudan hosted the Arab League summit after the 1967 war that became famous for establishing the “three no’s”: No to peace with Israel, no to recognition of Israel and no to negotiations with Israel.

    That consensus broke down when Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, and has further eroded in recent years as Israel has improved ties with Gulf Arab nations that share its concerns about Iran. Establishing diplomatic ties with Sudan would be seen in Israel as a major achievement. Only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, have made peace with Israel.

    A major achievement if true. Might have something to do with Kushner’s and Pompeo’s deciding to put the brakes on Israeli sovereignty declaration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.