Shoshana Bryen | Senior Director, Jewish Policy Center
A new The The "peace plan" of the Middle East is strong and, according to the Trump government itself, almost ready to hatch.
It's easy to be cynical. Peace plans have been drawn up by various administrations, and yet there is no peace.
On the other hand, as in other issues, the Trump administration lays a different foundation. Interestingly, the refusal of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to cooperate with the Presidential Envoys has not stopped the shuttle with Israel and the Arab states (including a reported joint meeting between Israeli, American, and Arab intelligence chiefs), and it definitely declares to the Palestinians not paid for participation – and actually have assets to lose by not participating.
Of course we do not know the American final, but there are basically only two possibilities:
- The establishment of a Palestinian state with "security guarantees" for Israel; or
- Recognition by the Arab States and Palestinians of Israel as a legitimate and enduring state in the region.
If it is the former, it is doomed to failure.
The current Palestinian leadership believes – and encourages people to kill and die for – the principle that Jews lead a country on Palestinian land. That Galilee, Haifa, Jaffa, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva belong to the Palestinian Arab state. Not to mention Jerusalem. In view of this, why would anyone expect the Palestinians to agree to accept a blunt state that is being separated and crushed by Israel, Jordan and Egypt? They have their "narrative" and want what they say belongs to them.
The Palestinian Authority does not participate in the preliminary talks because the option of Israel remaining permanently on "Palestinian land" is impossible. The benefit of previous "peace plans" for the Palestinian Authority is that their leaders could take what they were offered – freeze settlements, money, status, etc. – and continue to work towards the day when they, not the Jews, are responsible would carry. Under this scenario, "security guarantees" are meaningless to Israel.
Any plan with hopes for success must begin with the legitimacy and permanence of the State of Israel. United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) lays claim to the Arab States (19459046) "the termination of all claims or states of warfare and the respect for and recognition of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of each state of the area and their right to live in peace in safe and recognized borders, free from threats or acts of violence. "Res. 242 has been in the books for 51 years. It is time for the Arab states (minus Jordan and Egypt) to take their responsibilities.
Political life in the region did not begin in 1993 with the Oslo Accords when Palestinians were treated for the first time in history as a political entity. It started seriously, long before Israel's independence in 1948 – when only Arab states invaded Israel to destroy it. If the Arab states had accepted their defeats in this war and in additional wars begun in 1956, 1967, and 1973, there would be no more Palestinian refugees. If Arab states did not provide political and financial support to the Palestinian terrorist organizations when they realized that they could not wipe out Israel with their Soviet armies, we would not have this conversation.
The Palestinians are not just solving Israel's problem. Arabs bring Palestinians into storage with refugees with multiple generations. There is not a single Palestinian refugee camp in Israel. To think that the Palestinian refugee problem created by Arab rejection can be solved by Israel in the space between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is misguided and impossible.
The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of people who were perhaps expelled 70 years ago are not refugees. They are victims of Arab intransigence against the creation of Israel and their own indifference to the Palestinian misery. Arab states imprison them and the US nourishes them – and they have little future to think about.
The Palestinians must become citizens of real countries. And it is not impossible. The Palestinian leadership claims 6 million "refugees" (UNRWA says 5 million). Okat. Two million are citizens of Jordan, but still have refugee status – something that is not legitimate in international refugee law. Another 2 million live in areas that is the Palestinian state governed by Palestinians. That takes care of 4 of the 5 or even 6 million. Certainly, international aid must follow this resolve.
The Arab states should rise for the Palestinians.
The Trump government has talked about billions of Arab investments in Palestinian territories, but the problem is not a shortage of money. The actual investment follows legal and economic systems designed to return profits to investors – like Israel. To get there, Palestinian society must leave its war foot and agree to capitalize on the talents and abilities of individual Palestinians – with their closest and best trading partner, Israel, and with others. But the Palestinians can not get there by themselves.
Today, when the Sunni Arab states see Israel as a partner against Iran and use Israeli defense capabilities (as well as water and solar technologies) under the table, the time has come for them to rise and make the deal public and irrevocable. End the 1948 war. Accept the legitimate and permanent presence of the State of Israel, even if it is 70 years too late. Support the Palestinians in building a new government committed to the economic and social health of their people.
This is a plan for peace.
Shoshana Bryen is senior director of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington. DC
The views and opinions expressed in this comment are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.