Esor Ben-Sorek

Death of a Peace Plan

Optimist- Pessimist. Positive-Negative. Which best describes me? I see the bright light shining (optimist) and often I see dark clouds blocking the sunlight (pessimist). I believed sincerely in a good, strong, honest government in Israel (positive) until democracy here was diminished by the present government (negative).

So regarding the American proposed Peace Plan I am negative. A Canadian visitor with whom I spoke in Tel-Aviv referred to it as the “American piss plan”.

I turned to an English-language dictionary to find a word or several words which seem best to define my negative attitude in the matter of the Peace Plan.

Naysayer. Cynic. Defeatist. Doomsayer. Skeptical. Untrusting. But the one I like best was Gertie Gloom.

Donald Trump’s loud praise for his as yet unannounced plan is, in my opinion, already dead. I will not recite kaddish for it nor will I grieve at its funeral. It died before it was born !

Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, mouth-pieces for Trump’s proposed plan “to save the world from disaster” are deserving of immense credit and gratitude for their sincere efforts, traveling to and from the Middle (muddled) East in pursuit of partners for peace.

They have found none. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis will accept the plan if and when it is formally proposed.

I am not sure of the contents of it from the Israeli side. Perhaps it will insist upon removing settlers on land that the Arabs require for their Palestinian state. Perhaps it will force Israel to change our borders and to return portions of Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank, to the Palestinian Authority.

Who knows?

But from the Arab side, I am one hundred percent certain that they will never get two of the most important issues of their concerns.

We Israelis will never permit the return of thousands of former 1948 Arab refugees to homes and land upon which they once lived. They paid a very heavy price when they fled from pre-state Israel in 1948 to neighboring Arab countries who did not want them and who settled them in dreary, unhealthy refugee camps.

Most of their former homes were demolished decades ago and their former land has blossomed under the loving care of the new Israeli house-holders. Nothing will ever be returned to the suffering Arabs.

The question of the sovereignty of the city of Jerusalem is another no-no. The holy city will not be divided again as it was during the nineteen years under Jordanian occupation (1948-1967).

Arabs live among Jews in Jerusalem. If they are Israeli citizens, they have the privileges that all Israelis have. National health care, universal education, the right to vote, to be elected even to high posts in our parliament (Knesset) and as judges in our courts. Many of them are medical doctors having been graduated from Israeli medical schools, and they are excellent and highly regarded physicians.

What other specific demands the Palestinians may have must be considered, but not at the expense of surrendering our land.

Therefore, Gertie Gloom though some may call me, I see no hope in the success of Trump’s long overdue announcement of his Peace Plan.

The over-worked Jason Greenblatt has announced his decision to step down at the end of this month.

Jared Kushner will continue with a new partner, David Friedman, the American Ambassador to Israel, a Trump appointee.

On the positive side I can wish them success. On the negative side, I know they will fail.

For all intent and purpose, the Trump Peace Plan is dead. And the dead will not rise up again !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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