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.