facebook linkedin twitter

White House Unveils Long-Awaited Middle East Peace Plan

January 28, 2020 by Dan McCue
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, to announce the Trump administration's much-anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan on Tuesday, earning applause from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite staunch opposition from Palestinians who say it falls short of what they had hoped.

The White House plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem while recognizing Israeli sovereignty over major settlements in the West Bank.

It also calls for a four-year freeze in new Israeli settlement construction, during which time details of a comprehensive agreement would be negotiated.

Trump said he sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to tell him about the plan, which the president described as “the path to peace.”

“It’s going to work,” Trump said. “If they do this, it will work. Your response to this historic opportunity will show the world to what extent you are ready to lead the Palestinian people to statehood.”

Though the president calls the plan a “win-win” for both Israel and the Palestinians, Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank has long been a non-starter for Palestinians leaders.

Nevertheless, Trump said, the plan unveiled Tuesday is “a great deal” for them, one that he said will give the Palestinian people the time they need to meet the challenges of statehood.

Nearly two dozen protesters gathered about a block away from the White House in response to the announcement.

In the meantime, thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza City, burning pictures of Trump and Netanyahu and raising a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he planned to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the plan and invited officials of Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel’s destruction.

The official Wafa news agency quoted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh calling on Palestinian factions to set their differences aside and unite against the plan.

Meanwhile Netanyahu and his main political challenger in the March elections, Benny Gantz, had signed off on the plan.

“It’s a great plan for Israel. It’s a great plan for peace,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu’s spokesman, Jonathan Urich, later announced via Twitter that the Israeli leader will ask his Cabinet on Sunday to approve his plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

Netanyahu has been calling for annexing parts of the West Bank and imposing Israeli sovereignty on all its settlements ahead of the March 2 election. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and the Jordan Valley in particular is considered a vital security asset.

Security responsibility for the Jordan Valley would remain in Israel’s hands for the foreseeable future but could be scaled back as the nascent Palestinian state builds its capacity, under the terms of the plan, which says that statehood will be contingent on the Palestinians meeting international governance criteria.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the plan’s release, said they expected negative responses from the Palestinians, as well as Turkey and Iran, but were hopeful that Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab nations to have peace treaties with Israel, would not reject it outright.

The officials said they expected Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others to cautiously welcome the plan.

The Palestinians see the West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state and East Jerusalem as their capital. Most of the international community supports their position, but Trump has reversed decades of U.S. foreign policy by siding more blatantly with Israel.

The centerpiece of his strategy was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American Embassy there. He’s also closed Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington and cut funding to Palestinian aid programs.

The announcement of the peace plan brought a crush of Israeli news media to White House, filling the press room to capacity and adding an extra air of excitement to the proceedings.

None, however, were willing to say whether they believed a course toward peace was finally at hand.

A+
a-

Geopolitics

December 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
China’s Trade Practices Criticized as Unfair Amid Growing US Tensions

WASHINGTON — The get-tough attitude toward China’s trade practices was on full display Thursday during a congressional hearing as international... Read More

WASHINGTON — The get-tough attitude toward China’s trade practices was on full display Thursday during a congressional hearing as international tensions heat up. Trade experts and lawmakers accused China of unfairly subsidizing its industries to beat out American competitors, stealing intellectual property and exploiting loopholes in... Read More

November 30, 2021
by Dan McCue
WTO Cancels Meeting, Delaying Vote on IP Waiver for COVID Vaccines

GENEVA, Switzerland — The World Trade Organization has postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years, citing concerns over the... Read More

GENEVA, Switzerland — The World Trade Organization has postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years, citing concerns over the new coronavirus variant. The move will effectively delay a vote on a waiver sought by several developing countries on the intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines... Read More

November 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Congress Seeks to Regain Influence in United Nations

WASHINGTON — A top State Department official continued the Biden administration’s theme of “We’re back” during a congressional hearing Thursday... Read More

WASHINGTON — A top State Department official continued the Biden administration’s theme of “We’re back” during a congressional hearing Thursday on the United States’ role in the United Nations. The State Department is trying to regain leadership positions that suffered setbacks during the go-it-alone international policies... Read More

November 4, 2021
by Kate Michael
Abbott Defended Australia’s AUKUS Sub Agreement in Special Trip to U.S.

WASHINGTON — The United States, France and Australia have been in a public fight over a canceled submarine deal that... Read More

WASHINGTON — The United States, France and Australia have been in a public fight over a canceled submarine deal that has heated since the three nations came together at the COP26 environmental talks in Scotland. In the days leading up to the Glasgow discussions, Tony Abbott,... Read More

Investors Bet Big On Climate Fight But Motives Questioned

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Governments and big investors announced fresh steps Wednesday to pour trillions of dollars into curbing global... Read More

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Governments and big investors announced fresh steps Wednesday to pour trillions of dollars into curbing global warming, reflecting the financial world's growing embrace of efforts to fight climate change as both a business necessity and opportunity.  But some social justice activists called... Read More

November 2, 2021
by Reece Nations
Bipartisan Senate Legislation Aims to Prevent Foreign Extortion

WASHINGTON — Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., announced the introduction of legislation to the Senate on Tuesday... Read More

WASHINGTON — Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., announced the introduction of legislation to the Senate on Tuesday that would criminalize bribery demands by foreign officials. Although bribery is considered criminal activity under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, current law only punishes... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top