27 Jan 2020

Buckle Up!

Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz will be arriving in Washington this week to meet with President Trump, to discuss the much-anticipated peace plan.

Trump says he will release details of the plan immediately before his separate meetings with Gantz and Netanyahu on Monday and Tuesday. It is the rumored details that are so fascinating and explosive. The plan just might provide Israel with a game-changing reality on the ground, after decades of being forced to dance with menacing diplomats and terrorists that wished to shrink the Jewish state to dangerous borders.

According to the Jerusalem Post:

“The long-delayed peace plan, expected to be extremely generous to Israel, was drawn up by the US president’s former special envoy Jason Greenblatt, Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

“Gantz said the peace plan would set off ‘a large and painful internal argument’ within Israel, and said he committed himself to ‘reduce this dispute to a minimum.’

For his part, Netanyahu must be giddy with excitement:

“’This is an opportunity that comes once in history, and we cannot miss it,’ Netanyahu said in a video posted to social media. ‘We have the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House, and therefore, we have the best opportunity we ever had.’”

Notice Gantz refers to “painful internal argument.” This no doubt refers to the possibility of the establishment of a pseudo-Palestinian state, albeit one with disadvantages for real statehood. Thank goodness we finally have an American president that doesn’t reward Palestinian terrorism with more concessions from Israel. Now to the juicy details:

“The US plan has yet to be released, but it reportedly allows for Israeli sovereignty over settlements in Area C and the entire Jordan Valley, as well as a Palestinian state that would incorporate open portions of Area C, according to KAN.

“All but 15 isolated settlements would be linked contiguously, and Israel will be able to apply sovereignty immediately if it agrees to the plan, Channel 12 reported.

“Additionally, the Trump plan would reportedly leave Jerusalem undivided under Israel control, with a symbolic Palestinian presence.

“The peace plan also demands that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, demilitarize the Gaza Strip and take away Hamas’s weapons, and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Channel 12 reported.

“Under the plan, Palestinians reportedly will not have control of any borders.”

All stunning. The real fly in the ointment (and something I think is really up in the air) is what the Palestinians will do. The default position for 25 years is to genuinely reject the offer. Arafat did it, and Abbas has continued the intransigence the last 15 years.

But what if they took the deal? Personally, if I were them, I would. It would jar Israel supporters and I think shock the Israeli political establishment. Yes, on paper, such a Palestinian state would be weak and a non-player even regionally.

But remember what the Jews did in 1947 when offered a greatly shrunken state by the British and the UN?

Ben Gurion took the deal.

That bold stroke gave them a foothold in their ancestral homeland and a generation later, they achieved goals they could never have dreamed of.

I personally believe international momentum would provide headwinds for the Palestinians so that—potentially—they could set up their own realities on the ground in, say, 20 years.

What this all means is that while “the deal” seems golden for Israel, it is also moving the chess pieces prophetically, so that the world will continue to hate Israel.

This week will be fascinating and momentous!