by Oded Revivi , Eli Shaviro , Benny Kashriel , Asaf Minter , Igal Lahav , Shy Rosenzweig , Nir Bartal Published on 02-06-2020, Israel Hayom
We want peace, and we have always wanted peace. The Trump plan is the only vision that actually acknowledges what it will take to get peace.
Today we are a little more than one week from President Donald Trump’s presentation of his Vision for Peace.
In that week, people have proclaimed him and his team anything and everything from the Messiah to Judas. The truth is he and his team are neither. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner and Ambassador David Friedman are loyal patriots to the United States and the greatest friends Israel has ever had in the White House.
Let’s remember where we were as recently as December 2016. We were abandoned at the UN and were dictated the terms of a UN/EU style peace plan from then-Secretary of State John Kerry. That was certainly a low point in international relations for our great state of Israel.
Since that point our Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee) has nearly filled up – we haven’t figured out how to thank Trump/Kushner/Friedman for that yet, but if we could, we would.
We have become energy independent in no small part because of our partnership with an American company, Noble Energy, in a deal brokered with Jordan and Egypt that could NOT have been possible without the tireless assistance of the United States.
The president and his team recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved their embassy there, got out of the Iran deal, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, stopped funding UNWRA, declared settlements were not illegal, etc, etc, etc.
Then the president presented his Vision for Peace for the region. Let’s understand what is in the vision and the importance of working in lockstep with the administration to achieve our goals.
1.Security: This plan is not based upon hope or faith like the terribly flawed Iran deal. Rather, it is based upon enhancing Israeli security control and responsibility throughout all phases of this vision’s implementation. At no time, let us repeat that, at no time does Israel’s security posture weaken, it only strengthens. For this fact alone we should be eternally grateful to this administration, which understands that Israel is not the source of strife in the Middle East. We are the one bastion of stability and anything that hurts our stability will have a catastrophic domino effect on the entire region.
2.Jewish homes: This administration has been clear, one cannot “Judaize” Judea. Our roots and our homeland are quite literally in the name. Each and every Jewish home and their environs will eventually become part of civilian Israel. This means being able to build throughout Judea and Samaria like Jaffa and Haifa, like Tel Aviv and Bet Shemesh.
3.Jerusalem will be considered by the greatest power on earth undivided and eternal as the capital of Israel. This has been something we have been yearning for, for literally 2000 years, and it is coming to fruition.
4.Everyone is aware of the reality on the ground here: Our neighbors are not ready for peace. They may never be ready for peace. Each and every day we wake up and we pray three times a day for peace, we strive for peace, but we will not die for peace.
This vision changes the entire paradigm of how the world looks at this supposed conflict. Instead of asking (demanding) that we take more risks for a peace that will probably never mature, this administration has been extremely clear through its vision for peace, that peace will come if, and only if, our neighbors make dramatic changes. In order to achieve peace, they must demonstrate that they will stop acting like Iran and begin acting like Canada. If, and only, if they cross these hurdles (of which we are highly doubtful they will ever achieve) then we can negotiate with them.
To be clear: We want peace, we have always wanted peace and this is the only vision that actually acknowledges what it will take to get peace, no matter how difficult it is to imagine occurring.
In the week since this vision has been released, most of the world has declared that this is something serious to be considered and negotiated on its platform. There are notable groups included in those in support, throughout Europe and Middle East, and even more noticeable are those against Iran, Hamas, the PA.
Do you know why the Gulf countries expressed support for this vision? Do you know why the prime minister was welcomed regally to Uganda and met with the new leader of Sudan?
We are a cutting edge 21st-century regional power, that is true, but we have two secret weapons. One is G-d and the other one is our special and unique relationship with the US. Everyone around the world wants a piece of each. To hear people, regardless of rank and station, complain about the difference of opinion over timing for recognition is not only embarrassing, it is shameful.
This vision was presented as a vision, not a forced plan. If our country chooses in the future to enter into negotiation based on this basis of the vision, we should not interfere.
But while the Palestinians cry hysterically, let it not be our camp that looks and sounds unhinged – let us set an example for the entire country. We the undersigned will work to get a government that will maximize the opportunities presented by this vision while safeguarding against those who will take this vision and use it as a platform to weaken us in every which way.
We pray every day for peace and know it will only come when we are strong on our own, and the world sees no daylight between Israel and the US. This vision accomplishes all of this and more. Thank you Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for forging such a strong and strategic relationship with President Trump, Jared Kushner and Ambassador Friedman – the best friends we have ever had.
Oded Revivi is the Mayor of Efrat
Eli Shaviro is the Mayor of Ariel
Benny Kashriel is the Mayor of Maale Adumim
Asaf Minter is the Mayor of Elkana
Igal Lahav is the Mayor of Karnei Shomron
Shy Rosenzweig is the Mayor of Alfei Menashe
Nir Bartal is the Mayor of Oranit