When is a peace plan – not a peace plan?

Are you among those who are deliriously happy with the Trump “Deal of a Lifetime” peace plan just unveiled? Perhaps we need to discuss this

The good news: The Trump plan clearly has Israel’s realistic interests at heart.  If there was to be a plan for a two-state solution, this is probably as good as one could get from any country or world leader. Israel can only thank Jared Kushner and his father-in-law for all the effort they have put into making this new proposal.  One must appreciate massively that President Trump is prepared to put billions of dollars into the infrastructure of a Palestinian State created according to his requirements.  So where is the problem?

If one was a cynic, one could say that it is easy to promise billions of dollars when you know full well that the other side will never fulfill the obligations required to receive it.  If you are an optimist…. You might think that surely the Palestinian Authority would love a very real chance to finally have their own physical state. (rather than the illusion of one).  If you were Donald Trump, you clearly would think that everyone has “their price.” The old joke about “now that we have established what you are…name your price,” is based on the American value system.

This proposal is basically unilateral.  There is precedent for this, created by the Palestinians themselves.   By going to European nations to recognize their so called “state” and by getting the United Nations to raise the Palestinian flag as if the “state” actually exists, the Palestinians have lost their right to be part of any prior negotiations.  Had previous agreements with the Palestinians ever been respected and fulfilled by them…had thousands of rockets not fallen on Southern Israel from Gaza… had no fire balloons been launched to decimate thousands of dunams of Israeli forests, perhaps the Arabs would have a right to complain that they were not invited to raise their own issues to the Trump administration before the issuance of the “Deal of a Lifetime.”

Having interviewed U.S. State Department officials and elected leaders for over twenty years, it has become apparently clear that for some inexplicable reason, western policy makers cannot fathom the Arab mind.  They refuse to accept that what motivates the Palestinians, be they in Gaza or in Ramallah… has nothing to do with accomplishing a compromise state for their people. There have been hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the PA by the European Union, with no accountability required. It is known that the bulk of the funds went into private pockets and to pay the families of Palestinian terrorists who died in the act of killing innocent Israeli civilians.   The fat cats who lead the Palestinian Authority have little personal need for money.  If they truly cared about their constituency, they would be thrilled by the potential investment in their State. But that is not of concern to them.

Once one has been a witness to all the peace plans that have been on offer… most of which were closer to the Arab goals than the Trump plan, one knows where this one is headed.  Hopefully no one will be awarding Nobel Peace Prizes in the coming months as was done prematurely to Arafat , Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin….expecting a miracle to unfold from the Oslo Accord.   It would be good to see something accomplished to create Middle East peace before handing out the accolades.

That having been said, there are very real benefits to the issuance of this Peace Plan, even when the Arab leaders are saying “A thousand times no!” The biggest fear of the Palestinians has come into play. New “fall-back” lines have been drawn on maps which cannot be ignored in the future.   The United States first clear acceptance of Israel’s legitimate requirements for survival have finally been declared and are now in black and white.  The way has been paved for areas of the ancient Israeli lands which have been in limbo, to be integrated into the Nation state. The Palestinians can no longer have the illusion that they will at any time in the future have a militarized nation which will have ability to destroy the State of Israel. This is all part of a necessary process which has here-to-fore not existed. Finally,  we are rising from unrealistic expectations to force the facing of very real options.

It is necessary for State Departments and Foreign Ministers to make their best effort to establish some form of lasting peace in the Middle East. Each new administration makes the attempt.  It is their job, without which they might not have a career.  Yet, the facts have remained unchanged on the ground. The P.A. has no interest in compromise. If they had ever compromised even once in the name of peace, we could hold out hope that they might have learned their lesson along the way.  But they have not. They want it all. They want the whole of Israel to be their Palestinian State.   The Trump plan makes it unequivocal that Israel’s security will be protected first and foremost. That currently ends the negotiations before they could begin.

World leaders with the best intentions, cannot understand this mentality. It makes no sense to them….surely reasonable people will make reasonable decisions?  This is a culture which cannot be fathomed.

The move to legitimize the lands of Israel which have been under military rule, is the successful  result of the passionate efforts of those who seek justice for Israelis how have been unable to lead normal lives as citizens of the State. They were in eternal limbo. That now will be resolved.  Had the Palestinians ever come to a negotiating table with honest intentions to resolve the problems between the two peoples, it might not have come to this.  They are not absolved of responsibility. The waiting game that they have played, while signing agreements and not holding to them, has come to an end.  Israel with the approval of the United States is moving forward, with or without Palestinian cooperation.

`           With a four year window of opportunity for the Palestinian leadership to unite, to stop trying to destroy one another, and realize that no offer will ever be better for them than the one that Trump and Kushner have placed on the table, -the offer of fifty billion dollars to be infused into their new state will ring perpetually in their ears.  Whilst their leaders may put their noses in the air at this number, one can only hope  that their own people whom they have kept as puppets in their game plan…who have been denied so much from their own leaders…will find the courage to unite and force current Palestinian leadership out of power.   At some point, the suppressed Palestinian people may actually say that enough is enough.

This is a “Peace-plan” which in the short term, will likely bring rockets and violence… but in the long-term redraws not only physical borders but mental ones. Previous Palestinian illusions have been dashed. When their leadership gets over the shock, it will be time for their populations to begin demanding the benefits of the billions on offer.  Until such time, the lives of the Palestinian people will remain status-quo.

About the Author
Born in the Washington DC area, Barbara has been a pro Israel activist for over four decades, having had a radio show in Jerusalem called "Barbara Diamond One on One" , doing in depth interviews which aired in Israel and in the UK. She participated in missions to the USSR to meet with Refuseniks, to Ethiopia with a medical team to help the Jewish villages and to China to open up relations prior to China recognizing the State of Israel, She has been pro-active lobbying congress and helping to start a Pro Israel PAC in Los Angeles. She stays involved through the Jerusalem Press Club attending up to the moment briefings which she would like to share with the readers. Ms. Diamond is the 2018 recipient of the "StandWithUs"-Israel leadership award.
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