Trump Calls Middle East Peace Plan 'Realistic Two-State Solution' Despite Palestinian Boycott
Do you support Trump's Middle East peace plan?
by Axios | 1.28.20
President Trump unveiled Tuesday his administration's long-awaited Middle East peace plan, which he hailed as a "realistic two-state solution," at a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The state of play: Palestinian leaders have boycotted the peace process and preemptively rejected Trump's plan. Netanyahu and his primary domestic political rival, Benny Gantz, support it. The big question is what the reaction will be from Arab states.
- Trump thanked representatives from Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for attending his remarks — a possible indication he has their support.
- Trump spoke in broad terms about the plan, but specific details about the roughly 80-page document have yet to be released.
What he's saying: Trump said his plan would create a Palestinian state with a capital in parts of east Jerusalem. It also calls for a four-year freeze on Israeli settlements, though it would recognize already existing settlements in the West Bank.
- "I have done a lot for Israel," Trump said. "It is reasonable that I have to do a lot for the Palestinians, or it just wouldn't be fair."
- He said no one on either side of the border would be "uprooted from their homes."
- The president added this could be "the last opportunity" for a Palestinian state. His explanation was that he had put together a strong team "who love the United States and they love Israel."
The big picture: Recent administrations have seen their role as facilitating dialogue between Israel and Palestine and setting parameters for a potential agreement. Trump has made a radical departure by choosing to release a more detailed plan.
- Netanyahu emphasized what Israel would be gaining under Trump's plan, including areas previously declared "illegally occupied."
- Past peace plans, he said, "failed because they did not strike the right balance between Israel's vital security and national interests and the Palestinians' aspirations for self-determination."
- "You have been the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House," he declared.
The backdrop: Netanyahu is fighting for his political life and seemed to relish the opportunity to stand alongside Trump at the press conference and follow him at the podium.
- Earlier today, he surrendered his immunity from prosecution over three corruption indictments before it could be revoked by a parliamentary committee.
- The peace plan and the charges against him will both be central to the election on March 2, Israel's third in a year.
- Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's top electoral rival, met with Trump yesterday and said he supports the plan, though he believes no steps should be taken to implement it until after the election.
What to watch: Netanyahu is looking for a green light to use Trump's plan as a basis to immediately annex parts of the West Bank.
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