Is There A Practical Roadmap for Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Plan?

 

By Gilead Sher, Daniel Cohen

 

President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” does not live up to its name. It falls well short of an ultimate deal that will break the Israeli-Palestinian gridlock and equitably resolve the conflict. It is more accurately a continuation of previous interim agreements — essentially, an “Oslo C” — but with a significant departure from past negotiation understandings.[1] The distortion of internal balances previously established in other U.S. frameworks seems detrimental to promoting peace or regional security.

Though it is unfortunate for both sides, the Trump plan will shape the negotiation process for years to come, regardless of the results of the U.S. 2020 presidential elections. It will serve as a point of reference in future negotiations for those strongly in favor of it and those staunchly opposed.

The plan envisions Israeli control of the Palestinian state’s airspace, sea and electromagnetic spectrum, as well as all borders and crossing points. There are also no concessions for Palestinian sovereignty over any part of the Old City or the Temple Mount, eliciting further Palestinian scorn for the plan. Both stipulations disregard carefully crafted compromises from former negotiations — the Oslo process, Camp David and Annapolis — which offered detailed sovereignty-sharing proposals and special security arrangements. Even worse, while the Trump plan licenses Israel to initiate annexation without any preconditions, Palestinian statehood is conditioned upon unreasonable and impractical thresholds, all but assuring Palestinian failure.

Israeli control of Palestinian borders and airspace undermines the essence of Palestinian sovereignty, and offers Palestinians little more than they already have: autonomy and self-governance without ultimate jurisdiction. The Palestinian state would be fully encircled within the sovereign borders of Israel, which would also include the Jordan Valley, while complex roadways would connect to Jewish enclaves deep within Palestinian territory, compromising the security of Israel and the territorial contiguity of Palestine.

 

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