February 24, 2020
WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST
Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.
RESPONSE TO TRUMP PEACE PLAN
Last week I made an initial examination of the Peace Plan for the Middle East that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, submitted to the Palestinians and Israelis. Here’s some additional update insights.
Tovah Lazaroff writes for The International Jerusalem Post. His analysis offers us further details. The Trump Plan totally dismisses the l967 line and offers the Palestinians less territory than any previous plan. On the other hand, the plan does not offer what the right-wing elements in Israel want and the settlers what they feel they need.
Settlers remain concerned for the fate of 15 isolated Jewish settlements that they believe Trump’s plan would ultimately leave doomed. They view his guidelines as making it untenable for residents to continue to live there.
Israeli elements do not want the creation of any Palestinians state in the West Bank in any form. They had hoped the Trump Plan would recognize their concerns. While Trump has pontificated about what eventually might be offered, initially nothing is on the table.
The Trump Plan suggests that people of every faith should be able to pray on the Temple Mount. (Called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims). In the past, Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount has been a flash point for violence. Muslims claim allowing such could start a religious war.
Trump’s Plan would leave Israel in control of security from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) would not leave the West Bank. At the same time, the plan does not include immediate recognition of a Palestinian state. Rather, it recognizes Israel’s willingness to accept a pathway to statehood based on specific territory that makes up about 70% of Judea and Samaria. A Palestinian state would come four-years after the Palestinians recognize the plan. They must also recognize Israel’s right to exist.
The bottom line? Dead on arrival. The Trump Plan is far too favorable to Israel. Makes sense to many in America, but not to Palestinians in the West Bank. It is hard not to believe this wasn’t clear when Kushner developed the plan. Many are concluding that the plan has more to do with politics than peace.
Will it finally be accepted? Not by the Palestinians.
You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers