Trump ME peace plan: Half West Bank for Palestinians, Abu Dis as capital


President Donald Trump sees his peace plan as a springboard for shaping an Israel-Arab track – even  if spurned by the Palestinians at first. He is preparing for the second time to unveil the all-but complete peace plan in mid-June i.e., after the month of Ramadan, subject to the situation in the region, five administration officials informed US media on Friday, May 18.

His son-in-law and senior advise Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, his special adviser for international negotiations, had originally been instructed to tie up the last ends in time for its launch with the US embassy dedication in Jerusalem on May 14. The spadework was in hand. The president had discussed the peace plan’s content with three Arab leaders, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, UAE emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, the Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, as well as thoroughly briefing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was invited to come aboard, but he rebuffed the offer – and that was even before he generated a crisis with Israel for its deadly confrontation with Hamas in Gaza.

Some of the elements incorporated in the Trump peace plan were revealed by DEBKA Weekly 798 on April 27

  • The plan will be released on the date scheduled by Washington, regardless of a boycott by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.
  • The Arab world is expected to publicly nix the blueprint while keeping it afloat by offering to make the acceptable elements the basis for further discussions for an eventual peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel.
  • In search of a measure of Palestinian assent, the White House, Egypt and Gulf nations agreed to headhunt Palestinian figures living outside the PA domain, who hold different views from the Ramallah elite, and would be willing to underwrite the plan. Five eminent Palestinians have been found as possible candidates, including Abbas’ arch-foe Muhammed Dahlan. Feelers are still ongoing.
  • The Israeli prime minister will issue a cautious statement proposing that the Trump plan be the springboard for immediate negotiations with Arab governments on certain mutually acceptable points. Administration emissaries have buttonholed a wide range of Israeli political leaders, both in the government coalition and on opposition benches, who have agreed to look with favor on the Trump plan and not obstruct it.
  • Kushner and Greenblatt are assigned exclusively with the task of shepherding the peace plan from one stage to the next.

The Trump plan is not a definitive document. It is designed to generate momentum for key Arab governments, notably the three Gulf emirates and Egypt, to sit down with the US and Israel and start the ball rolling for peace talks. Since this will be a long process, the Palestinians will have a chance to jump in at some point. At all events, the Arab and Israeli governments are expected to establish a mechanism for airing common issues that will be open to co-optiong Palestinians.

Sources who have had access to the text told DEBKAfile that it addresses the subjects at issue in detail, including Jerusalem. They disclosed the following nine elements:

  1.  A Palestinian state will be established with limited sovereignty across about half of the West Bank and all the Gaza Strip.
  2. Israel will retain security responsibility for most of the West Bank and the border crossings.
  3. The Jordan Valley will remain under Israel sovereignty and military control.
  4. .The Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will pass to the Palestinian state, excepting the Old City, which will be part of Israeli Jerusalem.
  5. Abu Dis east of Jerusalem is the proposed capital of Palestine.
  6. Palestine and Jordan will share religious jurisdiction over the city’s mosques.
  7. Gaza will be integrated in the new Palestinian state provided Hamas agrees to disarm.
  8.  There is no provision in the plan for the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” – but a compensation mechanism will be established and managed by the international community.
  9.  The Trump plan mandates Israel’s recognition as the homeland of the Jewish people, and Palestine with limited sovereignty as the Palestinian homeland.

May 20, 2018 | 21 Comments »

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21 Comments / 21 Comments

  1. @ Edgar G.:
    You’re right. I was thinking of the U.S. where the court can arbitrate in the face of gridlock between the branches in the event of a constitutional crisis, which makes sense theoretically, in certain cases, but in Israel the foxes are watching the hen house. Its hands just need to be taken off the steering wheel and any conflicts negotiated between the branches or resolved through some other mechanism.

  2. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    That last sentence is remarkably ambiguous especially for you. You’re saying that the court can over-ride the decision of the Knesset when they conflict. Since the High Court is markedly political and perpetually self appointed, instead of being strictly judicial, this is what Shaked has put a lot of effort into reversing.

    Perhaps I didn’t read it correctly…./ Can you elucidate for me…please…thank you.

  3. Turning over towns or neighborhoods over to the Arabs just because they happen to constitute a majority at the moment, incentivizes them to change the facts on the ground everywhere they can, as they are doing in Area C with the EU’s help, and as the Bedouin are doing in the Negev. Shaked has rightly responded by nationalizing land because the Basic Law makes it very difficult to relinquish state land. I initially says that state land cannot be relinquished, and then a later passage says only under very special circumstances which are not specified. I am not aware of state land ever being relinquished. If it required legislative and other hurdles, it would probably not happen. It should require a 2/3 majority of the Knesset to make concessions of any kind. Not that I am in favor of concessions. But, there seems to be no other way of stopping them. And the court should never be allowed to over-ride any branch of the government except where they conflict.

  4. A real prob if def minister’s idea of transferring town umm al fahm to p a means mcds gan Shmual will be without employees and customers. Busiest joint around now during ramadan.

  5. Like the idea of giving east Jerusalem to the arabs. They will dance with joy throw sweets when they loose their blue cards and the right to enter Israel for work or other reasons

  6. @ boaz:
    The resolution signed by Warren G. Harding was the product of the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924 in which both the US Senate and the House of Congress unanimously endorsed the British Mandate agreement. Harding died suddenly (after signing what may have beenthe draft Mandate) and was succeeded by Calvin Coolidge who endorsed this official Treaty. So it was actually signed by 2 US Presidents, and is in their laws TODAY. The Obama and previous governments’ attitude towards the State of Israel building illegally etc, is against their own laws.

    It should be noted, that, although the USA was not a member of the League of Nations, the proposed agreement which later became enshrined in the 1922 British Mandate had been submitted privately and unofficially to Woodrow Wilson, who approved absolutely.

  7. Actually, Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is enshrined into international law.
    By: Daniel Horowitz | December 27, 2016
    The notion that there is any moral equivalence between Jews building homes in their homeland that they won back in a defensive war (after it was illegally occupied by Jordan) and brutal terrorists illegally occupying land that was never given to them, is reprehensible. But first, a brief history lesson …
    The only binding resolution of international law, a resolution which has never been countermanded to this very day, is the July 1922 Mandate for Palestine. Adopted by the League of Nations, that resolution recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” It called for the creation of a Jewish national homeland anywhere west of the Jordan River.
    Once the League of Nations was disbanded and the United Nations formed in its stead, the international community agreed to maintain all agreements and not “alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” [Article 80, UN Charter, emphasis added] This provision wasn’t inserted by accident; it was known as “the Jewish People’s clause” at the time it was adopted in 1945 in order to enshrine the 1922 Mandate into international law.
    The Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations was the last legally binding document delineating regional borders. In Article 5 of the Mandate it explicitly states “The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.”
    The Palestine Mandate (and Iraq) was given to Britain to serve as a temporary trustee based on the resolution between the four principle Allied Powers in April 1920 at the San Remo Conference in Italy, which was signed by 51 nations. It was at that conference where the world powers adopted the 1917 Balfour Declaration (which originally allocated the eastern part of the Mandate for a Jewish state as well) creating a Jewish state. This same conference that created the Jewish state west of the Jordan River also created Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq as Arab states.
    The legality of the 1922 Mandate was adopted that same year by the U.S. Congress in H.J. Res. 360 and signed by President Warren Harding. The newly created Arab country of Jordan attacked Israel in 1948 seeking to annihilate its inhabitants and illegally occupied Judea and Samaria until 1967. That year, Israel won back the territory originally allocated for a Jewish State as part of the 1922 League of Nations agreement.
    There is no such thing as “’pre-67 borders.” They were merely 1949 armistice lines between Israel and neighboring countries after they launched an illegal war of extermination. It has nothing to do with the notion of a unique Arab “Palestinian” entity west of the Jordan River. There was never any internationally recognized legal sovereign occupying Judea and Samaria from the time the British Empire fell until 1967. Jordan’s occupation of the area west of the Jordan River was never recognized. To the extent there is an Arab Palestinian state it is the modern state of Jordan, which already sucked up 77% of the original Mandate of Palestine allocated for a Jewish State under the first plan of the Balfour Declaration.

  8. @ Abdul Ameer:
    You are correct.

    However Trump told us during the campaign that people were telling this is the toughest deal. Trump said, he still thinks he cal pull it off. Remember he wrote the Art of the Deal. So apparently when Kushner went to Saudia Arabia and met with the Crown Prince they also met Head Imam and he agree to a new Fatwa to make it Halal for Jews to rule Israel again.

  9. This is NOT a “peace plan” for the reason that peace is theoretically impossible. This plan might or might not help to manage the conflict, but it will never bring about peace. The conflict over Israel is not a “Palestinian-Israeli” conflict. All of the evidence, including statements by the Moslem world’s leaders and religious authorities, tells us that the conflict is an Islamic religious war on the Jews. The unfortunate fact is that Islamic sacred doctrine commands Moslems to make war on the Jews and subjugate them to Islamic rule. No Jewish sovereignty is permitted, least of all in a territory which was once ruled by Moslems (Ottoman Empire in this case). Any Moslem leader who agrees to make peace with Israel which recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jews state would flagrantly violate the sacred commands of his god and his prophet. Good luck with that!

  10. I support Sebastien’s and Bear Klein’s positions. I hope Ted is right in his opinion that it is a starting point for negotiations. But ther have been negotiations for the past 50 years on and off, with nothing but blood spilled.

    I still see the MUDAR option as the best..BY FAR for the whole area, also a great benefit for the Arab interlopers, who would not have to flourish their fake Title Deeds, to sell the the hated Jews. They have no legal deeds. I BELIEVE that any vestive of Trump’s plan will spawn a massive underground terrorist entity already partly in place only needing real adversity to battle harden it.

    Trump is casting around breadcrumbs for the pigeons, to see who picks them up. This whole plan would have needed only about 2 weeks to concoct, and any ordinary citizen far removed from the heady atmosphere of power. could have done the same.

    If Israel retains the old City, that means The Temple Mount, with the Arabs just being in charge of their own religious buildings. This does NOT include the Temple Mount Platform. There are far too many evidences coming out that this was never meant to be part of Aksa, and that Jews have always been allowed to pray on the Mount even under Muslim rulers for many centuries,who recognised it as a Jewsh Sanctuary and NOT Muslim… A real smorgasbord assortment of intractable barriers

    Anyway, the unfolding of the REAL deal will be fascinating, especially the effect on the Gazan leadership….

  11. @ Ted Belman:
    It is possible they will not even present it. Then if they present it this it is extremely unlikely that any Pal Organization will sit down with Israel or the USA to discuss it.

    So a “nothing burger” is probably a good description.

    We do not know if in reality this nothing burger actually would contain what Debka wrote. It could because while Debka at times gets over their skis. Sometimes trial balloons are also floated via Debka to see what reactions will be.

  12. This is my take away,

    The Trump plan is not a definitive document. It is designed to generate momentum for key Arab governments, notably the three Gulf emirates and Egypt, to sit down with the US and Israel and start the ball rolling for peace talks.

    Its just a starting point for negotiations.
    Those governments have been sitting down for months and what has been achieved. Nothing. Pompeo said they were talking with the Jordanians. They are not mentioned here.

    It sounds like a nothing burger.

  13. @ Sebastien Zorn: You said:

    The upside of this is that it will not become law as long as the pals reject it, but Israel can use the opportunity of no opposition from Washington to establish sovereignty and civil law in Area C and lift restrictions on Jewish settlement.

    I agree with this. This should be done ASAP.

    Israel can never agree to pull its security out of any part of Jerusalem or Judea/Samaria. That was done with the Oslo Accords and Israel ended with suicide bombers in its cities with over 1500 dead and over 10,000 wounded. Hence the Wall and nightly raids until this day into PA cities capturing terrorists and keeping them from rebuilding an effective terror network. This is something even Trump’s well meaning team does NOT obviously fully comprehend.

    Any lessor security = MORE DEAD JEWS.

  14. I’m sure that Trump in his heart realizes that his peace plan will never succeed. But as he tries to deliver on his campaign promises he’s come up with a plan certainly more reasonable as others but like all others no way in which to convince the Pals to accept the Jewish State and make peace with it.

  15. Won’t happen. a) The Pals will never agree to a cession of hostilities, they have been true to this all the way through:

    “3. The Liberation Organization will struggle against any proposal for a Palestinian entity the price of which is recognition, peace, secure frontiers, renunciation of national rights, and the deprival of our people of their right to return and their right to self-determination on the soil of their homeland.”

    b) Israel can never agree to give up security control anywhere.
    c) Israel can never agree to give away any part of Jerusalem.

    The pals can’t admit their inability to accept any peace plan without jeopardizing the billions in aid on which they depend. So, that’s why every peace proposal has been met with terror wars. It’s the equivalent of a boxer hugging his opponent until the bell rings. They are changing the subject and, if they provoke Israel into killing some terrorists or, even better, their human shields, then they can put the ball back in Israel’s court in the “court” of world public opinion.

    The upside of this is that it will not become law as long as the pals reject it, but Israel can use the opportunity of no opposition from Washington to establish sovereignty and civil law in Area C and lift restrictions on Jewish settlement.

  16. The conflict with the now called Palestinians which has now lasted 100 years plus is that none of the Pal-Arabs groups accept the permanence of the Jewish State of Israel as a neighbor to co-exist with on friendly terms. So the conflict is a zero-sum conflict. NOT REALIZING THAT THE CONFLICT IS A ZERO SUM CONFLICT MEANS ONE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT.

    I like Trump he is by far the friendliest POTUS to Israel we have seen. That the proposal is more favorable than past proposals to Israel does not make it achievable. Hamas and the other Pal terrorist groups are not magically going to lay down their arms and make peace. Common Folks GET REAL!

    Israel needs an Israeli solution for the conflicts resolution. This requires victory of a smashing nature over all the terror groups and their supporters AGAIN! Plans to reduce the amount of Arabs west of the Jordan River and purchase of currently owned Arab properties. This I propose can be facilitated by NGOs created for these purposes with logistical and financial incentives.

    Israel should apply Israeli Civil Law to all Jewish Towns in Judea/Samaria plus the Jordan Valley ASAP. This is a first step only. Ultimate goal sovereignty over all of Judea/Samaria

  17. @ Ted Belman:
    Ted, your ‘Jordanian Option’ is as much a figment of your immagination as the ‘country’ Jordan.
    There is no ‘West Bank’ either, but even so, in which law can one country give away territory of another country?
    And, Judea and Samaria are certified and lawful Jewish land!
    Why would Israel settle for 50% of what is 100% its land?
    How can squatters get autonomy in a country they have no right to be in?
    There is no precedent for this in law…ANYWHERE.

  18. This plan offers Israel much more than it was ever offered before. In the past we could only retain about 5% of West Bank. This plan seems to give us 50% and sovereignty in the Jordan valley. Israel should be pleased. This is not to say that Mudar won’t be installed in Jordan in place of the king.

    Whereas,the Jordan Option requires compensated emmigration to make it good for Israel, this plan leaaves most people, Jews and Arabs, in place. In this plan, Israel has full control of security. Essentially the Arabs only get autonomy.