The ‘Deal of the Century’ Is a Cruel Sham Deal

William Burns, a seasoned and respected American diplomat, wrote (The Back Channel, New York: Random House, 2019, p. 10-11):

“A diplomat … is an organizer, convener, negotiator, communicator, and strategist. Diplomatic engagement is not a favor to an adversary, but a means of reconnaissance and communication. It is a way to better understand trends, assess motivations, convey determination, and avoid inadvertent collisions. It is a method of maneuvering for future gain, a means of gaining wider support by demonstrating our willingness to engage and exposing the intransigence of rivals or foes. The central function of diplomats is to try to manage the world’s inevitable disorders and crises… Diplomacy is a human enterprise, rooted in interactions between people.”

By this definition of diplomacy, President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, US Ambassador to Israel Friedman, and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Dermer all failed miserably as diplomats.

This deal isn’t a peace plan. It’s a cruel sham of a deal because only one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the most extreme right-wing Israeli advocates, is represented and there was no attempt to engage with Palestinian leadership and national aspirations. It isn’t a “pro-Israel” position either because the deal, if implemented, will not bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, nor justice for the Palestinians, or enhanced security for Israel and Palestinian, nor the continuation of Israeli democracy. The “deal” pushes the two parties inevitably towards more conflict and violence.

This annexation plan is opposite to the last month’s House of Representatives Resolution 326 that calls upon Israel and the Palestinians to strive through negotiations for a two state solution of their conflict. HR 326 also urges that Israel not unilaterally annex any part of the West Bank. Trump’s “deal of the century” flies in the face of decades of bi-partisan United States foreign policy that calls for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This deal is a cruel joke and not in the interests of securing and perpetuating a democratic Jewish state nor attaining for the Palestinians their just right to a sovereign state of their own.

I call upon all Americans to express their opposition to this plan to their congressional and senatorial representatives.

About the Author
Rabbi John L. Rosove is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles. He is a national co-Chair of the Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet of J Street and immediate past National Chairman of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA). He serves as a member of the newly created Union for Reform Judaism's Israel and Reform Zionism Committee (IRZC). John was the 2002 Recipient of the World Union for Progressive Judaism International Humanitarian Award and has received special commendation from the State of Israel Bonds. In 2013 he was honored by J Street at its Fifth Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles. John is the author of “Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove” (Nashville: Jewish Lights Publishing, a division of Turner Publishing Company, 2017) available at His new book "Why Israel [and its Future] Matters - Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove" will be published in November, 2019 (New Jersey: Ben Yehuda Press) and will be available at John has written a series of 8 Jewish Life Cycle Guides that are posted on the Temple Israel of Hollywood web-site ( The Guide “Preparing for Jewish Burial and Mourning” also appears on the web-site of Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles. ( John writes a regular blog that appears at the Times of Israel at ​ His Facebook site is John is married to Barbara. They are the parents of two sons - Daniel (age 34) and David (age 29). Daniel is married to Marina Javor Rosove. John and Barbara have one granddaughter.
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