Trump’s Middle East Plan: Starting Point or Dead End?

A long-awaited “deal” gives Israel’s right wing what it wants.

Comments: 198

  1. It's hardly a deal. It's something imposed on the Palestinians that is supposed to give the appearance of a deal, of statehood, but none of the substance. And can be taken away at any time. Does anyone really believe that this will stop the existing settlements, all grandfathered into this, from further annexing land at will? What recourse do the Palestinians have? None, of course. This is a sad joke, more akin to native American reservations, except without the citizenship and casinos.

  2. @George A reasonable summation. Reminder: Native American reservation boundaries were changed at the sole discretion of the U.S. government, regardless of existing treaties. Note that it took up to 200 years for the Native Americans to get casinos.

  3. @George You mean Bantustans.

  4. You might want to note that the US is not responsible for settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. And also note that this dispute has be going on for about 150 years. And that no one has ever come up with a plan that will satisfy--even imperfectly--both sides. And that maybe some other country than the US should give settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute a try. Probably the US and Don Trump aren't the only ones with no good ideas on how to resolve this problem.

  5. @Gordon Wiggerhaus This dispute has been going on for exactly the number of years since immigrant Jews began displacing Palestinian natives, and crystallized at Israeli independence and the resulting war. That is no 150 years. I am not assigning good or bad or blame. I am just correcting a strange misconception.

  6. @Gordon Wiggerhaus There have been plenty of plans, starting with the original partition. There is one on the table from the Arab League based on 1967 borders, there were the Oslo Accords (which was sabotaged by Netanyahu and made impossible by the assassination of Itzak Rabin). Many countries have tried and failed. As long as Israel gets its uncritical support from the U.S. and Britain, no solution will be forthcoming. Israel has no reason to offer anything the Palestinians can accept.

  7. @Roger Evans Since the 1930s, the Palestinians have rejected every partition compromise, starting at least with the 1937 Peel Commission Partition Plan and including the 1947 United Nations Plan of Partition. At Camp David and Taba, Ehud Barak accepted a two-state solution to the conflict, agreeing to a set of proposals, which, if implemented, would have resulted in an independent state for the Palestinians on 95% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza and a cooperative arrangement for Jerusalem. The Palestinians were not prepared to settle the conflict on these terms and instead resorted to an intifada. Ehud Olmert offered a near total withdrawal from the WB, with some land swaps in 2008. Abbas rejected the plan. What is the evidence that the Palestinians are actually in favor of a two-state solution? By the way, had Rabin not been assassinated, he would not have offered more than Barak offered in 2000 or Olmert in 2008.

  8. You would think that the Palestinians might try and come up with some sort of counteroffer or compromise rather than an outright rejection. If they truly want a state of their own, and most importantly want to make life better for their people, and there are fifty billion other reasons to consider a deal, isn’t it worth trying to have some sort of mediated discussion.

  9. @Bronx Jon Sorry Jon, but the Palestinians know that Israel and the US don't want peace. They want complete surrender! The plan was a complete insult on top of the massive injury done to the Palestinians by both nations over the decades.

  10. @Bronx Jon The deal is a nonstarter. The Palestinians wouldn’t counteroffer so much as offer an entirely new plan.

  11. @Bronx Jon , I think it fair to say that this is not a good faith offer, and that the "plan" legitimizes the settlements and the formal annexation by Israel. Look at how the land assigned to the Palestinians and how they're broken up. The checkpoints and restrictions on movement by Palestinians will continue, as will Israeli control over borders, airspace and water. Seizure of land for settlement security or expansion will likely continue as well.

  12. Without good faith negotiation, and without informed follow up, no plan can succeed. No one will implement this plan, they have simply announced it. This will not bring peace, and it will not create the conditions for peace -- the Palestinians are reduced to arpatheid conditions in it. It is expected that they will merely go extinct, thereby bringing peace. It is window dressing for the immoral leaders it was actually crafted for.

  13. Trump's Middle East Plan is the starting point and definitely not the end point. The Palestinians will have to get on board to start negotiating and be reasonable in getting a fair deal.

  14. @Girish Kotwal Starting from 10 light-years behind, as you ask the Palestinians to do, is no recipe for agreement.

  15. @Girish Kotwal This "plan" has no prospect of creating a "fair deal."

  16. @Shaun Narine: Israelis used to think, or at least some of them, that areas important to both parties could be divided (like the Old City). However, after bus-bombings (and more than 100 dead), and continued knifings, missiles, they are not willing to share sovereignty for fear of death.

  17. "the Palestinians are running out of options" Actually it is the Israelis who have discarded their own options, leaving them none. The two state solution was originally an Israeli idea, the idea for what they'd do with the Palestinians they did not want in Israel. The Palestinians long opposed the idea. As soon as the Palestinians reluctantly agreed to a separate state, the Israelis started to take back the proposal, piece by piece, keeping it always out of reach as the status quo went on. If there is no second state, then there is one state. That is exactly what the Israelis never wanted. The Palestinians were fine with being let back into Israel. It was the Israelis who wanted to keep them out. So where are they going to put them now? Bantustans don't work. The whole Helot concept does not work, not for the original Spartans, and not today. It is the Israelis who need someplace to put the Palestinians, even as they refuse all suggestions to provide such a place.

  18. @Mark Thomason You raise a very good point. The new Trump "vision" is for a one-state solution. However, there is a problem... Where do the Palestinians go...? Or to be more candid, since Israel has no intention of allowing Palestinians equal rights...how can Israel get rid of them...?

  19. So, the NYT thinks this is simply a diversion from the impeachment drama, but then mentions how it's been three years in the making. Does that mean the NYT is agreeing that the dems have been determined to impeach Mr. Trump since he was first elected?

  20. @DJOHN Oh yes, Jared's been very busy. The "deal" is a geopolitical nightmare.

  21. @DJOHN Trump announced the deal in Washington. The NYT is just covering it. Thank goodness Trump could not use Iran as an distraction this week.

  22. @DJOHN, as God is my witness. Oh, wait! Republicans don't allow witnesses. Forget it, God.

  23. bring in Judge Judy. especially for the impeachment proceedings.

  24. The maps look like a gerrymandered mess.

  25. Israel must ensure its security. It must! And the Palestinian political leadership has been woefully unable to be a reliable partner. However, the only lasting peace is a just peace. The proposed map of the West Bank is a 21st-Century version of the system of reservations imposed on Native Americans in the western United States in the 19th century. It encircles, pierces, diminishes, and isolates Palestinians from essential natural features, natural resources and from each other. Surely there is a means to share a significant part of Jerusalem - or at the very least to have a Palestinian State inhabit land that touches Jerusalem. Surely, a lasting peace must dismantle the illegal "settlements" which add insult to the injury of lack of free movement in the West Bank. To do any less is not only morally bankrupt, it is guaranteed to further foment historic resentment among Palestinian youth - thereby salting the ground for generations upon generations. Can flowers of peace grow in such ground?

  26. @Mark Keller, I think that we need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that this "plan" is actually intended to achieve "peace", much less a fair, just or stable peace. For all intents and purposes, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (whose airspace and borders Israel controls) constitute a single state where one ethnic group, in varying degrees, controls, treats harshly and discriminates against another group of more or less equal size. The Trump plan explicitly endorses that "reality" as a matter of U.S. policy, largely for domestic political advantage.

  27. @JNC If you believe that might makes right, and subscribe to social Darwinism, and that uber menschen, Nietzschean superman justification for seizing power and control, then yeah--the status quo dictates "reality." But some of us want to change that "reality" and create a better one that is more just to all concerned. Then that will become the facts on the ground, the new reality. Bernie Sanders can create that new reality.

  28. @She , I'm actually in total agreement with you. Unconditional U.S. support (driven by pro-Israel groups, some of whom should know better) is largely why Israel has had a free hand in its actions toward the Palestinians. But things are changing. The targeting of Bernie by the Democratic Majority for Israel attack ad probably indicates awareness of this.

  29. Why does it seem that all of Trump's "deals" rare hastily contrived political cons, and why on earth would anyone think that a neophyte like Kushner could deal with an issue as complex and loaded as this. Many Israeli and Palestinian lives hang in the balance because of the insensitive, arrogant pronouncements and simple-minded propositions of Trump. What does it take for people to realize how incompetent and inept this man is.

  30. @Horseshoe Crab Kushner's interview on Axios reveals how shallow, arrogant, and naive he is regarding his proposed deal, that revolves about economic incentives. His world view is too narrow(and biased) to be an effective negotiator. This nepotism is a mistake for Trump when he is blinded to the faults and shortcomings of his loved ones.

  31. @Horseshoe Crab Sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost, maybe then some people will wake up.

  32. As it is one sided in the vested/directly interested parties, it is certainly a dead-end. I am afraid now all out war will occur over there in the near future. Perhaps this will then bring some measure of sanity to the table. God help us!!!

  33. What is needed is for Trump and Netanyahu to be either criminally and/or electorally removed from office and the conflicting parties reconvening out of the public eye to discuss areas of mutual agreement and differences assisted by honest, truly neutral brokers. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner's plan is dead in water and tragically any chance of it's unilateral implementation will only further exacerbate this tragic situation.

  34. @logic Such deals will also cause more ant-Semitism too.

  35. Trump's middle east plan cements the USA's departure from the international order. Where will that lead the country? Clearly, it will strengthen the imperialist temptations, to which a powerful country is necessarily subject, and weaken its international legitimacy. And it will convey an impression that the USA's middle east diplomacy is a check book diplomacy based on business and disregarding ethics, human rights, and world peace. World regions with a memory of the 20th century disasters (totalitarians regimes, two world wars, a cold war, the Balkan war) take Trump's middle east plan for a what it is: A danger.

  36. Greetings. After many years of observation of this unique situation, the following can be offered: Change must come within the Palestinians in the West Bank from them. Other than offering to meet anytime anywhere from Israel, most of the attempts at a peace deal have come from each US administration; almost a right of passage. Ehud Olmert tried a direct approach, but Abbas rejected.

  37. @Mark It's difficult to accept deals that legitimize the stealing of palestinian land by the israelis. And israel hasn't kept deals in the past.

  38. To call it a 'Peace Plan' is disingenuous to say the least. It is unlikely to bring about peace in the Middle East and may well cause more trouble in the long term. To solve the problem the Palestinians would have to be given their land and their rights back. No matter the past and the many occasions that solutions have been offered and rejected. Isreal will never give back what was taken away after the 1947-1949 war. Telling the Palestinians that they should accept this offer as the best the can expect is like saying to the North American Indian tribes that they should accept and appreciate living in reservations on the land that was theirs for thousands of years...and they did and look what happened.

  39. @RHR Peace in the Middle East will come one way or another. The clock is ticking for the Arab world: the world is getting hotter (and they are in the hotspot already, with Riyadh and many other Gulf capitals being 110 F during the summer time), water is getting scarcer and worst of all, oil is losing its intrinsic value. The economy around most Arab countries is overwhelmingly oil dependent. Many Arab leaders already understand they need to leave the 20th century mentality behind and align closer to the West if they don't want to revert to Bedouin lifestyle; and besides, Israel is an incredibly valuable ally against Iran. It would be the Arabs - not Trump - who push the Palestinians to take this deal. Wait and see. Is this deal fair? Is this deal just? Perhaps it is not, but then treating the Palestinians and Israel as equals for the purpose of negotiation is not. Israel is overwhelmingly more powerful and this reflects on its given terms. Is the US even handed in its dealing? Of course not, but that's hardly new - US very well chose its sides between North Korea and South Korea, between Taiwan and China or between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

  40. @Armond Thank you for a most interesting reply. I agree - the reality on the ground cannot be denied and yes time is running out and not only for the Palestinians. When more urgent factors begin to come into play, the chances of an even vaguely just settlement will diminish rapidly.

  41. No justice no peace

  42. After offering almost all the West Bank and Jerusalem and getting bus bombings in return; after offering almost all with land swaps and Jerusalem, and getting "pay to slay" and knifings, as well missiles from Gaza, the Israeli people are not willing to turn over their security to the same people who gave them violence, rather than peace, despair, rather than hope. It's not a great plan for both sides (both sides want more), but it's the best the (moderate) Israeli people are NOW willing to give. As for the Times concern that such a state will not be viable: already, the "State of Palestine" has a standard of living much higher than many of its neighbors, including access to health care, food, and clean water. The economy could grow in leaps in bounds if it would only begin to cooperate rather than shun Israelis who would like to facilitate business. Accept peace or continue the war: what's the better choice?

  43. I know. Isn’t it unbelievable how long some people can hold a grudge over having their land stolen? It took settlers and the US cavalry about 250 years to finally subdue the people who were already living here, but whose land was wanted. The Israelis are hoping to achieve the same goal in less than half that time. Let’s see if the Palestinians go along.

  44. @barry, 2,000 Arabs have had their legs blown off by Jews at the Gaza fence. For the terrible crime of protesting Israeli oppression. Arabs are second class subjects of Israel, by law established. There will be no peace until you give them the same rights as you.

  45. @barry Who ceded Israel the right to determine the borders of the land Palestinians have been living on continuously since 635 CE? Israel uses battle field weapons against a civilian population that is trying to squeeze out from under the boot of Israeli occupation.

  46. Trump may as well have asked his youngest daughter or his youngest son even, to make a peace plan for the middle east. Trump blunders around apparently actually believing HE has thoughts and ideas that never occurred to people intimately involved in this conflict for decades. I'm sure Trump thinks it's just a matter of drawing lines on a map with his sharpee to "work this out". At this point, I guarantee that Tiffany's plan would be more thoughtful and workable than ANY plan our "president" endorses.

  47. The perfect symbol of Kushner's arrogant deal, two of the world's most corrupt politicians standing in the gilded East Wing presenting a Diktat to the Palestinians, exploited as they have been since 1948. Not only is this "peace" deal a misuse of power, but it is futile since the Palestinians will never accept it, nor should they. The map that shows a truncated Palestinian "state" reminds me of the Indian reserves established in the US to store the American Indians whose lands were also stolen. Is this the Wounded Knee of Palestinian hopes? That was the 19th century, but this is the 21st and it is amazing that this kind of exploitation and injustice still goes on in an age of democracy and national self-determination. And there was Kushner in an interview with Christiane Amanpour blaming the Palestinians for this outcome. Power comes with responsibility and the responsibility for this fiasco lies with Israel and the US which could produce a real peace plan if they could overcome their greed and corruption. A change of leadership is all that the Palestinians can hope for now.

  48. @John McDermott Not "two of the world's most corrupt politicians".You need to read the Palestinian scholar Edward Said's essay The Morning After. Read between the lines abuse of power and severe corruption. Historically in both Jordan and Lebanon by the PLO. Also in Palestine. Palestinian PA is also troubled with its own agitation and bad schoolbooks towards the jews. PA is probably paying hundreds of millions to terrorists. This plan would probably not fix the problems. The Palestinians urgently need new leadership, and to prepare the people towards peace. This is certainly not the case for now. For how long can the international community feed them without demanding basic peacemaking efforts. New leadership and Arabic cooperation. The plan favors Israel, but is there any other viable solution?

  49. @John McDermott Kushner daddy sent him to Harvard by buying the admissions office with five million dollars. Jared is a number one abusive slum landlord in this country. Every last one of these individuals have blood stained hands and are mired in corruption. Laugh at Jimmy Carter unlike corrupt Regan . Carter was a president everyone could be proud of as was President Obama. However it was Israeli's racist leadership towards President Obama that kept peace from moving forward. No one forgets how The GOP invited a corrupt Israeli dictator to address the Senate and ignored the Black president. So now they embrace a liar who is one of their own a old white man who has told over 16k lies That once incident by the white GOP spoke in your face of racism spoke . The treatment of the Palestinians speak volumes ho how we treat each other. When Jesus comes he is not going to be very happy at what he see's and knows in the hearts of men

  50. @John McDermott Right and the self-satisfaction on Kushner's face and his imperious speech were the proof of the vile pudding he and Netanyahu cooked up to distract from their own corruptions trials.Talk about the pot calling the kettle black?

  51. The subheadline answers the question posed in the headline. Israel's ruling hardline coalition wants a dead end, forever. Trump's "proposal" gives them a blank check for such a dead end. The blank check is as valid as any of Trump's commitments: it will hold as long as it is, on net, personally useful to The Don. How long that might be is, of course, difficult to predict. It will mainly depend on the uncertain course of the race between the incompetence of the incumbent president and the invertebracy of his domestic political opponents.

  52. @Sage I agree with "invertebracy" as you put it, of political opponents Klobuchar, Warren, and Buttigieg, but believe Biden fairer minded, less slick than aforementioned, along with Kerry, who tried to get fair deal. Bernie Sanders cannot be accused, however, of invertebracy on this issue or any other issue. He gives public respect of giving us his genuine outlooks and real convictions which we deserve and seldom get from politicians who want all our votes so talk out of two sides of their mouths. Or talk one way but co-sponsor bills or votes that disagree with fairness they espouse on campaign trail. I don't agree with some of his stands, but he's got the guts that Warren doesn't have, that Klobuchar just talks about but co-sponsors votes that contradict her spiel, and that Buttigieg may acquire one day if his sophistication doesn't keep him too slick, which is probably one of his biggest downfalls. He underestimates the intelligence and perceptions of the less educated.

  53. I almost laughed when I read about the "deal." Characteristic of the Real-Estate Developer mentality a bunch of people sit down with a map and make plans for the re-development of an area that they don't own - but have great plans for. No need to consult the people who actually live there, once the developers are done everything will be wonderfully expressed in a raft of superlatives on the marketing package. So Trumpian or should I say Kuschner-Trumpian. After all the area is settled by folks they don't want around them so, let's get underway with the redevelopment plan and make the place better by getting rid of the undesirables. The only problem is that the "undesirables" are going to fight back. But hey, Trump has an army to back him up now so it should be a cake-walk.

  54. @George N. Wells - The Muslims of Palestine have lost every war they fought against the Jews of Palestine. Like the Germans after WWII, (who the Palestinian Muslims allied with), when will they accept the victors terms and build a new nation of the land they they have left.

  55. I've listened to well educated Palestinians, with good jobs, express a deep and fiery anger at the treatment their people have received from Israel. This plan does nothing to assuage that anger, and therefore will go nowhere. Until there is recognition of how angry they are, and why, and until something is done about it, no plan will go anywhere.

  56. @Thomas Their anger is misplaced. It is their own leaders who have mistreated them all these years. If they would redirect their anger and demand fairness from their government their lives might actually improve. It's not Israel's fault.

  57. @Thomas The well-educated Palestinians I am aware of have plenty of contempt and anger for their own leaders.

  58. @Thomas They have every right to be angry - this is a two sided dispute after all. But so far, their self-righteousness has delivered multiple disastrous wars while prodding Israel into becoming a technological superpower. When the last deal, as good as they could expect, morphed into jihadist suicide-bombing, they lost any goodwill from Israelis and besmirched Abrahamic religions everywhere. When they took Shi'ite money from Iran, they eventually lost the support of the Saudis, and a disintegrating Syria is deepening a vacuum where once they had support. As for the intellectuals you describe, they generally ignore the Jewish claim to Israel even as their holy sites lie atop of the Jewish Temple's foundations. But you're right, this isn't a plan - it is a nudge to the Palestininas that it's time to get real.

  59. To be crass: this plan is designed to help Netanyahu get reelected. But the bigger picture is that the Palestinians have steadfastly refused to come to the negotiating table. There is no point in rehashing all of the opportunities they have lost by them so doing. They can choose to vehemently complain of becoming more marginalized or spark a war, or they can negotiate in good faith.

  60. @LR Minorities here in the USA have tried to gain a bigger share of the American pie and nothing has every happened for the majority of the race. Yes a few escape the Stop and Frisk of Bloomberg but the progress has been held back by the white population. Now Bloomberg has apologized because he wants votes, he hasn't changed. So don't blame the Palestinians for not taking advantage of non existent opportunities. They were smart enough to know that the politics of Israeli is to keep them suppressed as it is in America.

  61. @LR Whenever the Palestinians came to the table they were only offered the crumbs Israel was willing to give. Why come to beg for fewer crumbs. The U.S. has never been an impartial mediator.

  62. This plan is definitely a starting point, for Trump’s re-election campaign. Actually more like a middle point. Loaded with poison pills for the Palestinians and candy for what Trump hopes is an expanding base, Trump’s action begs for a new, more expressive word for pandering. If it were a starting point there would have to be more than a Trump promise of money. Trump has never ever put any time or effort into any complex issue, even his wall. Infrastructure, healthcare, the national debt, space travel, all were promised but never got more than a day or two of focus. He has help insure Netanyahu’s election, but that was to help himself. Himself is the only project to which Trump is committed.

  63. Given the relatively muted response to the latest plan, one has to wonder whether the world has lost interest? Probably some, but let’s step back from this and acknowledge a few realities. First, Netanyahu just agreed to a Palestinian State (albeit on only 70% of the West Bank). That’s progress, isn’t it? Second, there are 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who want independence and aren’t going anywhere. Third, there are over 600,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that aren’t leaving either. And fourth, Israel is a regional superpower, both militarily and economically. Yet, so long as each sides‘ minimum requirements remain in conflict, a peaceful resolution is impossible. (Whose ready to relinquish the Old City of Jerusalem?) So that leaves a recipe for a perpetual status quo. Well, at least until there is more moderate and conciliatory leadership on both sides.

  64. @Steven Even when there was more moderate leadership the PA still wouldn't agree to any plan. How many chances do they think they should get without offering any plan themselves (other than total eradication of the Jews) and refusing to negotiate?

  65. @Steven Many people don't know that the Old City was just as Jewish as it was Muslim, for centuries. That WAS Jerusalem of old. The name Al Quds is Arabic for the Holy City/Kadosh in Hebrew, as Muslims fully recognized the city was holy because of the old Temple Mount/ruins. Not until the Mufti came along in the 1920's, the architect of Arab "resistance" to any sizable Jewish community in Israel, did the Arab/Muslim world ever deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem/the Holy Land/the Temple Mount. The building of the two mosques, multiple centuries ago, wasn't to deny/cover up what had been there before, but to utilize the holy space for themselves. It will take several generations for Palestinians to rid themselves of the belief that only they are entitled to reside and govern the land that is historic Israel. If they never begin the process, explain to me, why do they automatically deserve a state of their own, carved out of Israel? Merely because they live there? The One State is bogus, as is the demand to give 5 million Palestinians "automatic" citizenship in Israel. Many, many commenters clearly state their overriding animosity to Israel, of any size, by demanding Muslim majority rule, knowing full well how they treat minorities elsewhere, never mind the Jews. I find that online hate to be chilling, however cleverly worded.

  66. No one is willing to acknowledge that the Arab armies were defeated in every war they've fought with Israel. The Palestinian Arabs may be angry, may feel mistreated, but so perhaps did the Japanese and the Germans after WW II. The defeated in a war don't get to dictate the peace terms. Israel's mistake, perhaps, was not abiding by Churchill's dictum: unconditional surrender. The Palestinian Arabs may not wish to use the word "surrender," since it will harm their dignity. But they can't make conditions for peace.

  67. @Asheville Resident unconditional surrender was not "Churchill's dictum." It came from FDR at Casablanca, and he was repeating what US military leaders had already insisted was necessary.

  68. @Tom Thanks for that clarification. Still applies.

  69. @Asheville Resident After the Allies won World War II, did they take over land from the Japanese or the Germans and settle citizens of the allied nations there? No. They respected the territorial rights and actually helped rebuild the defeated nations. Imagine after the 1967 war if Israel had stopped appropriating Palestinian property—the major provocation for the war—and instead tried recognizing that Palestinians whose lands they were taking had rights also and negotiating for a real state for Palestinians. There is no way of knowing what might have happened, of course, but perhaps history would be very different now and the Palestinians and Israelis could have been living in peace for decades.

  70. I was struck by the statement that not only bridges, but also tunnels between pieces of the Palestinian "state" would be considered. Seriously? Does anyone really believe that Israel would allow Palestinians to have tunnels (which make excellent places to bomb) under Israeli land? A map of the settlements development over time shows that Israel has long been making a concerted effort to make a Palestinian state pretty much impossible by scattering Israeli development throughout the region. Now, of course, Israel has the problem of millions of Palestinians living both inside Israel (so-called Israeli Arabs) as 2nd class citizens and in the territories surrounding and surrounded by Israeli settlements. There are no easy, or even good answers. Trump's "vision" is one more attempt to seal the fate of Palestinians as, at best, second class citizens - even in their own "state."

  71. The most important point to take away from Trump's proposal is not what the White House says, or what the Israelis say; it's what the leaders of sovereign Arab governments are saying. In September, 1967, just after the Six Day War, the major Arab powers of the day proclaimed the Khartoum Resolution, which famously said: "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel". Fast forward to 2020. The only proclamations regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict coming out of Arab capitals are warmer towards Israel than they have ever been. The Arab countries have finally recognized that Israel is not their enemy, and can be a valuable economic and foreign policy ally, whether it be about irrigation, medical technology, or Iran. Negotiations are about leverage, and the Palestinians have none.

  72. Palestinians have no leverage. But they do have rights.

  73. @G "Negotiations are about leverage" I read that in "Art of the Deal," supposedly written by the Deal Maker in Chief before the age of Twitter. The guy that actually wrote the book can tell you all about #therealdonaldtrump.

  74. The Middle East Plan is both a generational marker and an opportunity. It opens a path for Palestinians if they choose to take it. It marks the end of Western denial of Israel's victories in 1967 and 1973, and the need for Israel to place security first. It also ends the denial of the legitimacy of settler claims, especially in what is known as Area C. Trump deserves credit for the plan, regardless of how we feel about him.

  75. @Dave S What legitimacy do the claims of the settlers have? They illegally built their settlements on occupied territory.

  76. Trump deserves not but an impeachment, and three hots and a cot.

  77. It marks the end of the lie that Israel is a democracy.

  78. This so-called plan is a non-starter, or more precisely, an insult to Palestinians' right to self-determination. Trump and Netanyahu both play domestic politics at the expense of a people that has lived under occupation for more than half a century. And to make matters more disgraceful, the victim is blamed for rejecting plan after plan that gnaw at their historical land and deprive them of elementary rights. By siding unconditionally with Israel, all American administrations have failed to live up to expectations to deliver a genuine form of Palestinian sovereignty, with Jerusalem as a capital city, and internationlly recognized borders along the 1967 green line. And everyone knows it.

  79. The Palestinians love to sit back and field offers, which they then reject, expecting to get a better deal at some point in the future. In hindsight that strategy has led them directly to this point. By never stating what they would agree to other than complete capitulation by Israel, a state that holds all the actual cards on the ground they have continued to have their options circumscribed by facts on the ground. Its not going to get better for them and their dreams of a demographic time bomb are also unrealistic. If they have a deal and a map to propose, lets see them. Otherwise they will continue to lose.

  80. The League of Nations, formed to promote world peace after WW I, failed when member countries put their self interest first, and the powerful members stopped recognizing the authority of the League. This led to WW II. The same can be said about the United Nations, which was formed to promote peace after WW II, and failed for similar reasons. Will this lead to WW III ? Actually are we witnessing WW III being fought in different theaters mostly the Middle East, and being fought with different weapons: Economic (sanctions, oil, drugs, fires, sale of arms, mini wars, viruses, etc) with tragic results no less devastating than those of WW I and WW II?

  81. @Sam Interesting perspective, thanks for offering it.

  82. It is obviously a dead end for the Palestinians and any hope they may have for an independent state. It is just a further step towards Israel's ultimate goal of annexing the entire West Bank. Under the Trump plan, Palestinians would be surrounded on all sides by Israel with little contiguous land on which to carry out industrial and commercial activity. And with the Jordan Valley being ceded to Israel even their agricultural prospects are in serious doubt. So what is the basis for their social, political and economic existence? In those circumstances, the Palestinians become Israel's problem on entirely different terms than they are now. This plan is no remedy. The only people who can offer a real solution are the Israeli's who hold all the power in the equation. Unless they plan to push all the Palestinians into Jordan, they have to decide whether they want to maintain their agenda of a completely Jewish state with the Palestinians under permanent military control, or decide there is a place within a liberal democratic state for all its people.

  83. There is literally one reference to Jared Kushner in here. Don’t you think it was worth mentioning that Kushner, and his family, have aligned themselves with charities and organizations that support and further the cause of illegal settlements and the continued seizure of Palestinian land? After all, we have repeatedly been told that this is Jared’s plan. Trump did not seem to know or care about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when he took office. His son-in-law, on the other hand, holds such extreme views, he might have been labeled...an extremist...were he a muslim.

  84. No place to start or end. Another track is needed. Other players who will be accepted rather than shot by their own people for looking for what is needed in the best interests of all, not just one tribe or another.

  85. If the Palestinians do not actually support any deal, they cannot be expected to hold up their end of it.

  86. Here's a "peace" plan which specifically cuts the Palestinians, whose business this certainly is, out of the decision-making process, while the United States, a country that has no business in the matter whatsoever, stick its nose into it. The endless folly of empire.

  87. This is not a peace plan; it is a reelection strategy for two disgraced leaders. Like most of Trump's "deals," it would be great if it altered the existing stalemate, and I would be the first to welcome such an outcome. But that is highly unlikely, given the near impossibility of Palestinian acceptance. Basically, Palestinians are being told, "Here's a pile of cash to give up all historical claims, accept humiliation and defeat, and face a future as a quasi-nation, endlessly subject to the will of your Israeli overlords." The Camp David Accords of 1978 give us a template for a good peace plan: the agreements were conceived through the sincere efforts of two former warriors who exhibited historic courage and humility (one of whom was assassinated as the result of his efforts); the gestation period extended through 3 US administrations, each building on the previous one; and since its inception is the only Middle East peace treaty that has never been violated. It can be done, but it certainly won't be easy.

  88. No peace deal will ever work with only one side at the table. This is the ultimate hubris for Kushner to think he knows best for the Palestinians. It is DOA.

  89. @jfdenver Correct. And no peace plan will ever work unless it is in conformance with international law and human rights conventions.

  90. "... believe he’s offering a deal they ultimately can’t refuse, but, of course, they can..." Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Palestinians can pretend that this press conference never even happened, and most likely not be any worse for it.

  91. Your editorial has literally not a word about Hamas which governs Gaza and whose official position is that Israel should be obliterated through military action. Further, there is no mention of the fact that the Palestinian Authority like its predecessors such as the PLO, has the unalterable position unchanged since 1948, that millions of Palestinians have a "Right of Return" to Israel as opposed to a Palestinian state, which would have the effect of destroying Israel as the Jewish homeland. Yet despite this, you find that this is all Israel's fault - give me a break!

  92. It isn't a "Peace" plan. It is a carefully orchestrated Israeli geopolitical plan, but it's a plan that was germinated nearly 20 years ago in 2001; its antecedents extend even much further back. This is why, among other reasons, Trump's 11 December "Law & Order" Executive Order extending Title VI, was hailed by Kushner in the NYT as "equating anti-Zionsim with anti-Semitism" which is precisely the criticism directed at the "Deal of the Century:" a Pan-Israel expansion centered in ideological, for some, radical, Zionism. It is otherwise just the beginning, as such incremental geographic growth into contentious regions will continue, and as Iran is finally destabilized, rapidly escalate. In the meantime, the public, and congress, are distracted from deliberation. But this is old news surely. Regards.

  93. First Thomas Friedman, then Bret Stephens, and now the Editorial Board adopt the Israeli strategy of meticulously avoiding any mention of established international law, established human rights conventions, and established UNSC resolutions. They join the likes of Trump, Netanyahu, Bolsonaro, MBS, Putin, and other leaders who demonstrate utter contempt for established laws and conventions. We are now in dire need for re-affirmation of the concept of the rules-based society that our forefathers worked hard and long to create. With out it, we are in for endless loss of blood and treasure.

  94. "Mr. Trump’s plan effectively grants Israel the right to annex nearly all Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley." What is this!! How did we get to this point!! Neither Trump nor the US has any right to grant anything, or confiscate anything, outside the boundaries of the USA. The precepts of the Roman Empire died long ago.

  95. Nor a starting point, neither a dead-end – just another advance on the “road-map” to Greater Israel. On October, 11, 1995, right before Rabin was assassinated, I published in my weekly column in “Yedioth Ahronoth” an article headlined “Too Small for History”. In it I stated that given the uniquely advantageous terms of both the global and regional situations for achieving a stable settlement, the presently signed and celebrated “Oslo B” agreement was actually a missed opportunity of historical proportions. I emphasized that “Rabin and Peres seem to have decided that a bold initiative requiring settlements evictions and the drawing of permanent borders” is beyond their political abilities; and that, in parallel, the Palestinians asininely still believe and act as if time is on their side, as if Israel's power will melt away and it's nationalistic ambitions will be thwarted by international pressure. I forecasted that it’s a matter of “few years” before an intensive armed conflict will erupt in which Israel will crash the Palestinians and will go on to establish the occupation (including gradual transfer and annexations) as the “Permanent Solution” -- the “Second Intifada” started in September 2000 (the Third may erupt in few months). And here is HIstory now -- on the “Deal of the Century” sign, slouching on the road to Greater Israel.

  96. It doesn't give the Israeli "right wing" what it wants. Every mainstream Israeli party supports this deal. It recognizes reality. There was a brief moment: before September 11th, before ISIS, before the Arab Spring, before Smartphones when the Palestinians had an elected leader, when there could have been a 2 state solution but the world has changed in 20 years. The Palestinians once again missed their chance; not because it wasn't a fair deal but because they don't want to live in peace with a Jewish nation. The Clinton parameters are dead. In 20 years Israel has built a thriving economy and democracy with security not because it negotiated but precisely because it did not negotiate with a non-elected government which incites and financially supports terror. In the meantime, the Palestinians have lost most of their international support and played the terror card. They have no cards left to play. And before you cry for them, remember they had offers. Remember the response of Jamal Husseini, Arab representative to the UN's offer of partition in 1947, "we promise to drench the soil of the Holy Land with the last drop of our blood in the lawful defense of all and every inch of it." Israelis are under no obligation to stifle a democratic society waiting for the Arabs to change. Indeed why would they if the Arabs could start wars, kill and maim people, and then get the same offer? They built a nation in the meantime. It's a good starting offer. This time negotiate.

  97. The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They have rejected all offers for peace and land. They are no longer relevant if they wish to be taken seriously. Most of the other Arab lands are now done with them. This was the final offer. They are on their own now.

  98. The Board has "concerns" about Trump's Middle East policy? And the Board continues to discuss his decisions on Israel as if he were a sane, decent thoughtful person. News flash - he is not. And he never will be. So let's dispense with these tedious fictions. What is Trump's "strategy"? Does anyone honestly believe that Trump has any "foreign policy" about Israel or the greater Middle East? Trump is both incapable of and unwilling to do anything that would demonstrate productive foreign policy that is in our country's interests. What's worse - his voters know this, and they simply do not care. Trump has made some of the most disastrous foreign policy decisions in the past seventy years for only one reason: his base's racism. The fact is, his base loves any action he takes to harm brown-skinned people. Any brown-skinned people, be they of Middle Eastern descent, Hispanic, or any other group. The further marginalization of Palestinians is exactly what his rabid base wants to see. They love that he "sticks it to the Arabs". Trump is driven by only this: his racism, and his insane hatred for his predecessor as a brown skinned president vastly more intelligent, capable, and respected than he will ever be. So Trump will continue telling his base that the world's problems are caused by "all those brown people" abroad, and that he intends to make them suffer for absolutely no reason. It's really not that complicated folks. Racism drives this man's every decision.

  99. What have the Palestinians got to lose by turning down this plan? There will never be a Palestinian state All they can do now is give up any hope of a viable state of their own. Start waving Israeli flags and demand the rights that should belong to any one born and living in Israel. Let the US then justify their support for a state that denies civil rights on racial grounds.

  100. This not a deal, not an agreement- it is the 2020 version of 2 nations creating a recipe for endless war, and the horrific suffering by a third nation whose people are in the way. Why? So Israel can steal the last of the land it’s fundamentalists fervently believe is owed to them, and donald can appeal to the endtimes fantasies of the evangelicals by creating that endless war.

  101. The Board has "concerns" about Trump's Middle East policy? And the Board continues to discuss his decisions on Israel as if he were a sane, decent thoughtful person. News flash - he is not. And he never will be. So let's dispense with these tedious fictions. What is Trump's "strategy"? Does anyone honestly believe that Trump has any "foreign policy" about Israel or the greater Middle East? Trump is both incapable of and unwilling to do anything that would demonstrate productive foreign policy that is in our country's interests. What's worse - his voters know this, and they simply do not care. Trump has made some of the most disastrous foreign policy decisions in the past seventy years for only one reason: his base's racism. The fact is, his base loves any action he takes to harm brown-skinned people. Any brown-skinned people, be they of Middle Eastern descent, Hispanic, or any other group. The further marginalization of Palestinians is exactly what his rabid base wants to see. They love that he "sticks it to the Arabs". Trump is driven by only this: his racism, and his insane hatred for his predecessor as a brown skinned president vastly more intelligent, capable, and respected than he will ever be. So Trump will continue telling his base that the world's problems are caused by "all those brown people" abroad, and that he intends to make them suffer for absolutely no reason. It's really not that complicated folks. Racism drives this man's every decision.

  102. The Editorial Board started out by leaving room for this “plan” as a semi-serious attempt, only to talk itself and the reader out of it by itemizing how ridiculous the terms are. By the time we arrive at the bottom of the editorial, it is clear that Palestinians have nothing to gain by even considering this so-called plan. The minimal concessions that it appears to have in it from Israel, are illusory since they are not obligated to follow through.

  103. I am really appreciative of all the hard work going into this great and real plan for the maintenance of peace between the great and not-so-great! It might possibly suggest a federal double-nation to our kindness and in our thought: allow me to envision Palestine as some island nation-state in the quiet water of a nation-state known to be ancient, which today is referred to by its old name Israel. And the two ‘nation-states’ are to combine as one federation that would seem to be but a single state – perhaps called the One Democratic State of People Belonging Here (in This Place).

  104. Everything about this editorial demonstrates a lack of understanding about the region and its history. And this is aside from the fact that one of the Palestinian governing bodies – Hamas – will agree only the total destruction of the State of Israel, and says so openly, while the more ‘moderate’ PLO says the same through its actions; a half century of refusal to negotiate in good faith, and the rewarding of terrorists with lifetime paychecks (tot to mention its childish behavior of calling for days of tantrum every time it doesn’t get its way.) But the real secret is that three fifths of historic Israel (aka Palestine) is occupied by a corrupt and artificial Bedouin monarchy that has a population which is overwhelmingly Palestinian. Jordan's little king, who is barely literate in Arabic, spends most of his time being tricked out with splendid uniforms garnished with unearned medals, at his bespoke London tailors. That this monarchy will eventually be deposed is a given, and will be renamed Palestine. It will then absorb that part of Judea and Samaria and Gaza slated for Palestinian rule, thereby giving Palestinian Arabs sovereignty of some 80% of the historic Land of Israel. But, of course, this will still not be enough. Hence a paradigm shift is long overdue, and Trump is finally offering one.

  105. @JJ Gross -- So your solution is to expel Israel's original population to Jordan. You want it all, and your solution is to take it all, and dump the problem on someone else.

  106. Jared Kushner has no diplomatic experience and has limited knowledge of the Middle East. Does his religious background make him bias in favor of Netanyahu and the conservative party ruling Israel? This plan is a gift to the religious nationalists in Israel. Netanyahu does not believe in a two state solution. The state that this plan creates reminds one of the tribal states created by the South African government under the Boer government. Netanyahu is the puppet master and Trump is the puppet. The major mistake that Arafat made was rejecting the plan negotiated by Clinton. Arafat was a terrible leader for the Palestinians.

  107. What a sad day for Israel and the Palestinians when Trump and Netanyahu, two disgraced and disgraceul politicians roll out their plan. Jared, a man with neither expertise or experience was put in charge of this enterprise. Clearly, there was no expectation that it would succeed- and it won't.

  108. This is no peace plan. It's a bad joke. For now the joke is on Palestinians and sensible Israelis, but it will one day come back to haunt the settlers and Israeli right wing. The world doesn't take it seriously, as it doesn't take Trump seriously.

  109. Israel takes the fertile Jordan Valley, gets direct access to the Jordan river, let's the Palestinians have the desert regions, carves up what remains into little sections interconnected with roads, maintains checkpoints on those roads, keeps all of Jerusalem, and promises not to build any more settlements for four years. Such a deal! How could the Palestinians pass up such an offer? Then Trump gives them the take it or leave it, this is your last chance ultimatum. Trump was right. He is the greatest dealmaker in the world. He gets everything and you get nothing. I'm Jewish and I'm insulted! Imagine how the Palestinians feel.

  110. @Bruce Rozenblit -- Don't forget they promise to pay for it with Arab oil money the Arabs never agreed to pay, and which they've never delivered on in the past even when they seemed to promise. "I'll pay you with his money" really could not be expected to work out any better.

  111. I am really appreciative of all the hard work going into this great and real plan for the maintenance of peace between the great and not-so-great! It might possibly suggest a federal double-nation to our kindness and in our thought: allow me to envision Palestine as some island nation-state in the quiet water of a nation-state known to be ancient, which today is referred to by its old name Israel. And the two ‘nation-states’ are to combine as one federation that would seem to be but a single state – perhaps to be called the Democratic State of These Here Peoples).

  112. @M. C. Major *of People!

  113. Shalom Given the fact that I live here, in Tel Aviv , and not anywhere else , to me it seems like the best option at present is to commit to working with the PA through the conflictual points of this plan, until we reach a middle ground. It might seem easier to live elsewhere and heave platitudes at Israel, but I personally do not have that luxury For that reason I attended this weeks conference on regional security at the INSS and stay abreast of all the developments using different news sources ,so as to be best informed, but also less influenced by media or political interests

  114. This so called plan is pure showmanship of false grandeur by the empty suit called Trump. Everything is the greatest and his follow through is always a disaster, but even the disaster gets positive attributes in the form of lies. I repeat what I wrote the other day, that this plan is a vice which squeezes the Palestinians into a state of attrition, whereby they give up and move out. Devious in its simplicity. It would not surprise me that the so called Palestinian leaders would receive money under the table to coerce them to acquiesce. They have been stealing from their people all along, why stop now. And this guy Kushner. Inherits his father's real estate business, becomes wealthy, and all of a sudden he possesses the knowledge and acumen to solve all sorts of worldly problems. Kushner is the same as Trump, except he is the quiet one. You really have to look out for the quiet ones vs. the loud mouths, like Trump. The quiet ones are doing the real damage.

  115. @SLF Kush and his family have long donated to illegal settlements in the West Bank in a clear conflict of interest. All of the negotiating team was Jewish with a pre-disposition to give Israel everything it wants. Great job on that sham of a "peace plan."

  116. There are 5.8 million Palestinian Arabs and 6.2 million Jews between Jordan and the Mediterranean. There is no way that the Palestinians can be held without equal political rights indefinitely. There is no way that a uniquely Jewish state can be maintained if the Palestinians are given political equality. The solution was an indivisible West Bank providing autonomy for the Palestinians. Of course this would have included security guarantees for the Israelis-possibly guaranteed by the US. But this would have required the removal of the Jewish settlements. That did not, and is not going to happen. The Trump plan is just a formalization of the status quo. It in no way solves the problem of a politically impotent (oppressed) population numbering in the millions. Remember, in 1896 when "Der Judenstaat" (Theodor Herzl) was published in Germany there was a tiny minority of Jews living peacefully with their Arab neighbors in the area that is now Israel and the West Bank. Between then and the creation of Israel in 1948 there 3 were successive waves of Aliyah (return from diaspora) that displaced the native peoples (now called Palestinians). Many Palestinians voluntarily left Israel at that time, while vastly more were driven out. A permanent refugee population denied political rights nursing the resentments of the displaced was thus created. This is the original sin of Israel. I suspect that Israel will continue to be haunted by their founding sin just as America has been by her's.

  117. @Steve G -- Your conclusions are correct, but your numbers unintentionally are accepting the Israeli definitions of a Palestinian population. They don't count refugees. They don't count a diaspora gone abroad for work and sending back money. They use the lowest possible count of any Palestinian population, yet continue to count any Jews who have ever lived there, even if they've moved away to the EU or the US long term. The real numbers are far worse, and getting worse. Fear of the population issue has led to distortions over many years, and those keep getting worse.

  118. Perhaps what is most revealing is the uncanny similarity between the "peace plan" that Yitzhak Rabin offered for which he was branded a traitor and murdered and Trump's "peace plan" for which Bibi Netanyahu is being hailed as the Ben Gurion of our time. Once the dust settles on this plan hopefully Israelis (and Palestinians) will return to sanity and to the understanding that a shared society mindset is the way forward. And to please get religion out of politics.

  119. I never believed this proposal could be so laughable. Yet, Likud will go ahead without the Palestinians. Without a US President to put his foot down Israel can act unilaterally. This is just a notice of what Israel is about to take. Decades of Israeli tax and fiscal policy has resulted in lower taxes for the wealthy and astronomic real estate costs for the middle class. Much of the newer settlements are built for there is little to no affordable housing for young families in Israel. If Israel was truly committed to living in peace and offering the Palestinians dignified self autonomy Israel would amend its economic policy to enable affordable housing, not have Likud serve the rich and not have an insatiable need for settlements — specifically for settlements are urban sprawl. A peace deal must first incorporate a solution to the huge increasing demand for “affordable housing.” You can not slim down unless you commit to eating less.

  120. @David Wachter The lack of housing is entirely on the Israeli government, as is their "nation stretching" into the West Bank. The State of Israel owns 96% of the land within the Green Line. There is no free market in land, only long term leases from agencies pledged to Jewish-only development. A very peculiar situation for a so-called Western-style "democracy." Fact: 80% of Israelis live on just 20% of their own land within the Green Line. While they move 600,000 rabid settlers into Palestinian lands. While they strip away property rights and water rights, destroy olive groves and wall Palestinians off from farm and grazing lands they have owned for hundreds of years.

  121. This does not end anything. It merely casts in cement the idea that countries run by rogues can annex any territory they want. Rather than providing Israel with "peace", it merely postpones a future reckoning. Maybe it is time for some US citizens to start a few settlements outside Toronto.

  122. It was only the other day that the Opinion section featured an op-ed premised on the Palestinian's geo-political losses, stemming from their tendency to refuse deals others deemed worthy, but that the Palestinians saw as flawed. "Every Time Palestinians Say ‘No,’ They Lose" was the lede. Perhaps it is right that the present proposal be a starting point - it had better be. For, in the unlikely event that the Palestinian side assents to the deal as writ you might have to roll out another op-ed. With this title: "The One Time Palestinians Say ‘Yes,’ They Lose" Because, let us be honest, the "vision" presented is the equivalent of shoveling the troublesome Palestinians into District 9. But with $50 billion, as if that would last a nation's lifetime.

  123. I had thought that Kushner maintained a close relations with Saudi Arabia with minimal criticism about Yemen bombing etc to get a partner to get this done. Even that guidance on the “deal of the century” like better healthcare for less, lower taxes for the middle class, clean water, great investment in manufacturing jobs, a better Iran deal, finishing off ISIS and being the toughest President on RUSSIA are unfulfilled campaign promises. The US has given over $200b since 1949 to Israel and her neighbors obviously most for Israel and until Trump all US presidents sought sought equitable peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Never did any President from Eisenhower to Obama ever believe this proposal would be equitable nor bring the Palestinians any dignity. This is a disgrace and might even incite the Palestinians as Aria Sharons achieved on the Temple Mount twenty years ago.

  124. I albeit in my ignorance am really appreciative of all the hard work going into this great and real plan for the maintenance of peace between the great and the not-so-great! It is excellent and seems to open possibly a federation to contemplation: excellent Americans Jarod and Jason have done excellently well. I envision a Palestine like the state of Hawaii alongside and within a Pacific labeled Israel – the two shall together make up one entity – with a great constitution – called Palestine-Israel United State. It (PIUS!) seems to be pious as well as being liberal and shall monitor – its guidelines for different religions shall be high and greatly important!

  125. It’s a plan for constant conflict, just like Trump’s entire life.

  126. The history of these negotiations have never turned out well. The famous Itzak Rabin agreement with Arafat was a travesty. The Palestinians held up their end the Israelis walked away. Once Israel had achieved preponderant military and economic advantage over the Palestinians there was no basis for negotiations to the Israelis. The ugly history of Israel's mov't to apartied and mistreatment of the Palestinians has gained momentum since Trump has been President. There is no reason to believe that Trump will make the Israelis abide by any constraints.

  127. I have written optimistically on these pages about a deep-rooted cultural interconnection, and even affinity, between Jews/Israelis/Judaists and Arabs/Muslims that are a basis for eventual peace. Today's NYT editorial, in my analysis, requires readers to come to grips with the opposite, an unconscious--and perhaps not so unconscious--"Western" bias against the Israeli Right Wing nationalist religious. Far from being "irrational loonies" they are a significant critical mass of modern Israel and deserve respect as such--not that Israeli secularists don't either. The verdict of history may demonstrate in our own lifetime that it was this Right Wing Israeli strength, embodied in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that led the successful resistance against the spread of Iran's influence and in so doing benefited far more than Israel itself.

  128. It was just an announcement of a plan, something Trump is now known for, ala Ukraine corruption. No one actually thinks this is a real peace plan but rather a Palestinian capitulation plan. I do hope the sides find a way to peace and respect.

  129. Each successive “deal” or”solution” offered or unlilaterally undertaken by Israel,is met with rejection by Palestinians. The consensus opinion is always the same: the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The next Israeli “offer” is, of course, a deal the Palestinian must reject. Why are the Palestinians so blind to the benefits of those “opportunities”? Because their human, civil, legal and territorial rights of are curtailed by each such deal. The offers are incremental steps in expanding Israel’s land mass while containing the Palestinians, not liberating them from occupation. The current inferior state solution, like the others, start from the presumption that the Palestinians must accept that being in a subordinate position, Israel is being beneficent if giving them anything. For there to be an acceptable deal the parties must FIRST accept that they are EQUAL in their humanity, that as such, there are certain “inalienable rights” as we like to say here. When both sides as equals first recognize this they may begin the process of establishing a just coexistence.

  130. In the U.S. we have a "melting pot": all ethnicities, all tribes are required to live together in peace. That's the goal and, for the most part, we actually achieve it. Despite our deficiencies this model allows us to live in peace. In fact we see now that the recent surfacing of anti-semitists and anti-muslimists bodes a move in the wrong direction. Israel, on the other hand, is the complete opposite: it proclaims itself as a "Jewish state", and Palestine, whatever that is today, proclaims itself as an "Arab state". This is a "No progress" situation on the road to learning to live together, to accept one's neighbor as an individual rather than a member of a (hated) class. The Trump plan is not a serious attempt at improving the stinking mess in the Middle East, it is only an admission of a lack of a plan; the only serious plan for learning to live together is that followed in here in the U.S.: the melting pot.

  131. This deal was not three years in the making, but 20. Why should anyone be shocked by this latest proposal as the Palestinian leadership, including Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and HAMAS, have collectively rejected the Camp David II accords in 2000, the Taba accords in 2001, PM Sharon's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, PM Olmert's offer in 2008, Pres. Obama's negotiations in 2009, and Sec. Kerry's negotiations in 2016. The Palestinians have responded to every plan that offered greater amounts of territory with violence and incitement and have yet to show their ability to peacefully live with their Jewish neighbors. If the Palestinians are faced with a plight, then both they and the Times need to acknowledge that much of it is of their own making. It is the constant rejections by the Palestinians, and belief that they are the only ones with 'historic claims', that has brought them to this moment. Indeed, the idea that the Arabs can wage war for 70+ years and not face consequences for their military adventurism is the incredulous part of this story.

  132. @Jacob Blues , Palestinians reject because all peace plans under American patronage have been partial to Israel and at best offered bantunistan as a state with islands, surrounded by Israel, borders controlled and Israel's military present in Palestinian territory. What was there to accept these insane plans. The root of this insanity is that Palestinians don't donate to American politicians. Friends of Israel do. American politicians dance to the tune of the donors. No donation, no favor. Sheldon Adelson was in the audience to cheer so called peace plan. He is the donor to Trump and probably provided input to this peace plan.One state is the solution.

  133. The Times points out, the pseudo-state the Palestinians might get if they behave "would effectively remain under the oversight of the Israeli military." It's worth spelling out what that means. Israel would retain all the military control it has over the West Bank today, including over all entrance points, air traffic, communications, and would retain the right to enter Palestinian zones to carry out security missions it deems necessary to protect Israel. In other words, still an outdoor prison, except now with official status. The plan has nothing to do with peace, it is a harsh surrender document, with the implied threat that if it is not accepted, worse is to come.

  134. @Victor After several failed Intifadas, and horrific, genocidal anti-Semitism, they deserve to surrender. Not to Israel, but acceptance of the Jewish state as their permanent neighbors. It's their crazy mindset that prevents peace, cooperation, and the cessation of unnecessary hostility with intent to murder, on a wholesale level. For commenters, or any reasonable editorial board, to counsel the Palestinians to continue "resisting"/commit acts of terrorism is not only shameful, but means they become part of the problem. Instead, counsel the PA to negotiate, and let both sides understand what the other side is up against. It could take more than 4 years, but the process must begin, and that is what this peace initiative, not a total plan by any means, is about. Now, or likely never, is the time to begin working on a realistic plan.

  135. @Victor Victor sums it up correctly. The hard reality is that Israel cannot offer any independence to Palestine that doesn't allow Israel to continue to control external borders, air traffic, and other measures to insure Israeli security. Beyond its internal police force, the new state would have no military forces. This has always been the sine qua non for Israel. Now that, with the latest announced plan, the bulk of the Jordan valley would be annexed outright by Israel, the best (if slim) chance for Palestine may be to negotiate to keep the Jordan valley, as well as a halt to Israeli settlements within the borders of the new state plus a capital in East Jerusalem. This has been the reality of the possible two-state solution for a long time. I would go for it. The only alternative will be the continued de facto apartheid set-up, with the increasingly smaller Palestinian territory having some nominal autonomy within Israel but no independence.

  136. @Victor This plan has absolutely nothing to do with peace whatsoever. Jared Kushner did read 25 books before finalizing the plan. Who knew he even bothered to read. I can easily read 25 books in 2 months for light reading not to mention other reading for work.

  137. Why put all of the blame on the Israelis or President Trump? The Palestinians have rejected peace plans over and over since the 1940s. They refused to recognize the existence of the Jewish state. They have engaged in terror aimed at innocent non-combatants. Why would the same good deals stay on the table forever when they walk away and kill the children of the people they're negotiating with? The Palestinians have responsibility for the spot they are in today and they must accept that the better deals of the past simply won't be coming back any time soon.

  138. @Jack19 "...kill the children of the people they're negotiating with" You do mean the Israelis, don't you? Check out the civilian casualty stats and tell who has killed more innocent children.

  139. The editorial seems to suggest that the Palestinians should now try to negotiate the best deal possible since the rest of the world has moved on, and their "options" are limited. The basic argument being that the Palestinians have no more choices, no more "options". This is contrary to the advice and implied support given to the Palestinians over many years, which led their leadership to believe they could hold out for more concessions, despite their much weaker bargaining position, and despite not being the victor militarily, both of which are contrary to standard negotiating tactics. Lesson: the next time the 'international community' gives out advice or implied support, make sure that you, the individual, would be willing to live with the risks and consequences of the the advice and implied support eventually being wrong. Had the Palestinians been more receptive to prior overtures, then they would have had a much better deal.

  140. Nowhere but Jerusalem does the futility of repeatedly building walls to keep people out seem so absurd. And yet barriers continue to be put up. The future of a Jewish democracy — what the State of Israel was always intended to be — depends on a two-state solution, whether or not anyone is happy with the decisions made since 1967, or 1948, or time immemorial. Only Israel is in a position to correct its own injustices, and nothing about that choice would be politically convenient, or comfortable.

  141. While it is true what they say that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, while this current scheme is the worst they've been presented with, it may be the best they can ever get. It has nothing to do with great deal making on the part of Trump. That's a mirage just like everything else about him. The truth is that after three generations, the Arabs are much happier with a prosperous Israel then they would be with a Palestinian state and their interests are aligned with Israel when it comes to Iran. The Palestinians have been so marginalized by attrition, this plan will be the best they can do. Of course, if conservatives like Netanyahu prevail on into the future, because the Palestinians are marginalized, Israel will undoubtably keep chipping away at this rudimentary Palestinian state until there is nothing left. And as for the $50 billion dollars, I would ask for the money up front because a promise from Trump is worth about as much as a degree from Trump University. That Israel ceded the Jordan Valley, the most fertile part of the west bank reminds me of what the United States did when they took the best Native American land and sent the Native American on the Trail of Tears. It could end the same way.

  142. @Botwot It will only end when Israel has the last square foot of Palestinian land. Unconditional surrenders don't end well. Israel has no reason to compromise, only the Palestinian people do the suffering, and for more than 6 decades.

  143. @ARL Or vice versa. I used to believe that Israel had the moral high ground. Under Netanyahu, I am not sure that is true anymore. The leaders of both the Palestinians and Israel seem to be moral bottom feeders. All it would take for it to end well would be for reasonable people to start acting reasonably. When has that ever happened in the mideast.

  144. No one has explained how those red dots - Jewish settlements can remain in place within a Palestinian country, regardless of complete sovereignty, or lack of. The settlement blocs will be fully in Israel, but the smaller communities being surrounded by Palestinian towns seems surreal, if only for the fact that it would require vigilant policing/army presence. This is problematic. Hebron would remain a divided town, but Hebron cannot be abandoned by Israel, for many reasons. These dots require intense negotiating. This op-ed doesn't focus on the Jordan Valley issue, as it's widely understood Israel cannot pull out - security for Israel and Jordan require that the IDF maintain the border. That could of course change in the future, if the Palestinians fully engage with and accept Jewish Israel as not just a given, but a plus. If such a scenario develops, border security could be safely shared. For now, that won't happen. This op-ed also misses another major point - the horrific anti-Semitism that is widespread among Palestinians, and promoted openly by the PA. During the Holocaust remembrance events, an official PA paper actually called for a terror attack to disrupt those remembrance events, which obviously the PA found "threatening", for whatever strange reason. The main reason behind being "stingy" with the Palestinians is because they so openly espouse intense hatred of Jews, not just Israel, so distrust of them is on high alert.

  145. @Rosalie Lieberman The intense hatred runs both ways and only the blind can't see that. I dare say the Palestinians' distrust is also on high alert. Israel has never kept its commitments.

  146. @Rosalie Lieberman Let me add that this plan is a starting point for negotiations. I assume the plan allows for some give and take, safely, but the ONLY way the Palestinians can get a fair deal is by coming back to the table. Dropping the ridiculous, and not a right, "right" to return - want millions to return, even a larger Palestine couldn't handle it. Ask Jordan, once they send the Syrian refugees home, assuming that ever happens. Palestinian leaders, and some of their naive followers, still believe they will vanquish Israel. Some commenters believe the same. GET OVER IT. Israel might suffer big losses, but it can/would defend itself in a worst case scenario, with the Palestinians being defeated, period. Not annihilated, but politically defeated. They have to adjust to reality, and the NYT board should openly say so.

  147. @Rosalie Lieberman "These dots require intense negotiating." No Rosalie there can be no "negotiating" between victim and theif. Those red dots are all illegal and are to be removed in accordance with international law.

  148. The Middle East Plan is both a generational marker and an opportunity. It opens a path for Palestinians if they choose to take it. Most important, it marks the end of Western denial of Israel's victories in 1967 and 1973, and the need for Israel to place security first. It also ends the denial of the legitimacy of settler claims, especially in what is known as Area C. Trump deserves credit for the plan, regardless of how we feel about him. Its hard to see any Palestinian "ever " agreeing to any Israeli proposal - except as a deception in pursuit of their long term goal ie "free Palestine." So as a practical matter, 50 years after the 1967 war its time for Israel to establish its secure boundaries and enshrine some settler claims in the contested Area C. When and if the Palestinians are ready for peace they can negotiate the remaining issues and move toward a quasi State status. In the meantime economic integration and development will continue, faster if they engage. In the interest of long term peace, that will be more likely if most Israelis and US Democrats get behind the plan. Making support bipartisan will drive home the point to the Palestinians that its time to resolve the conflict.

  149. About the only outcome I can see of this "Plan" is to ensure continued strife in the region in the future. In essence, the Palestinians will both remain essentially dispossessed of what they consider their homeland and see it further diminished. And in the long run I don't see how it benefits Israel as it simply creates an even greater security threat requiring even more defensive expenditures. About all this plan accomplishes is to further disclose that Israel has simply become just another autocratic theocracy in a region of other autocratic theocracies.

  150. Bibi and the Israelis are doing a great job converting people to anti-Semitism by oppressing the Arabs and taking more of their land, which they'll likely use to house frightened Jews leaving Europe. What a vicious cycle of hate and greed Bibi has caused.

  151. the moral of this story for the Palestinians as for Native Americans is beware of strangers from foreign lands

  152. Two Jews go into a bar.....This plan was Jewishcentric from the get go. Why wasn't it Kushner, Greenblatt and a Palestinian or two? When unethical people like Kushner walk into said bar and say I have a great idea...isn't it logical the people who are sitting at the bar would look to see who came in and turn back to their drinks and say "Oh, it's you?" There was not even any effort to involve the other side. A "We know what's best for you" approach to 'negotiation'. This is like telling African American slave descendants "Here, we have a check for you". Wiping their hands of the dirt that is racism. You wonder why Black folks are defeatist and don't vote. Same for the Palestinians. They have been down and mistreated for so long they don't trust anyone has their best interest at heart. This reeks of the Amazon will make Queens such a great place to live and work rationalization. Why wouldn't the lifelong people of Queens buy in 100%? Surely the Palestinians must realize getting $.10 on the dollar is the best deal they could have hoped for. Everyone else Trump does business with gets that. Whatever happened to the phrase 'Consider the source'?

  153. You’re not giving Jared Kushner enough credit. Most dismiss him as a neophyte but, when it comes it Israel, he is something far more troubling, he is a zealot. What did we expect when we put two settlement supporting hardliners and a complete moron in charge of “negotiating” this deal.

  154. The two state solution is dead. It died a long time ago, due to a toxic combination of incompetent dysfunctional Palestinian leadership and Israeli greed for Palestinian land. There will be one state, with perpetual oppression of the majority population by the minority. This may in time lead to a true democracy. It may also lead to a second holocaust, with muslims being on the receiving end this time.

  155. @A Cynic I hesitate to say it; but I believe the scenario you outline is very possible. And what will eventually then evolve is that Israel will become an apartheid state not unlike was the situation in South Africa. And this then leads to the question, if Israel becomes the 21st-Century version of the old South Africa -- will the oppressed majority eventually arise to power?

  156. @A Cynic This is a ludicrous contention. For one thing, there are over a billion Muslims in the world, compared to 12 million Jews. For another thing, Jews have never declared their desire to harm, much less obliterate, Muslims. The only matter at issue is how Israel remains a state unequivocally safe for Jews (the only one in the world), and therefore what the role of the Arabs (both Muslim and Christian) living therein becomes. Where was the concern for the "Palestinians" between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan ruled the West Bank and had ample opportunity to establish a Palestinian state, as the international community had intended? Let's look at the quality of life of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel (and their Arab brethren in neighboring countries). Can you imagine how much better it would be if they stopped trying to kill Israeli civilians and ceased declaring that their goal is to wipe Israel off the map?

  157. @A Cynic -- The minority Jews could also get it again. They are certainly building up the hatreds that could do such a thing, akin to Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda. We can't see the future, but there are many ugly possibilities both ways. This is building a problem, not a solution.

  158. Unless American leadership recognizes Israel’s illegal occupations for what they are, and as long as US foreign policy is (mis)guided by a powerful Israel lobby in DC, any attempt at a resolution is futile. Especially when it is lead by criminal thugs such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump.

  159. @Arthur Except that Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank is not illegal. It came into control of the West Bank as a result of a defensive war, and under international law, it properly occupies that territory pending successful negotiation of a peace treaty The clear intent of UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the 1967 Six-Day War, and Resolution 338, passed after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, is that Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories be conditional on the establishment of peace, the total abolition of belligerency, and the establishment of secure and recognized boundaries. Until the Palestinians conclude a peace treaty with Israel that satisfies these conditions, Israel is entitled to maintain its presence in the West Bank.

  160. I mean the Palestinians never accepted any of the better offers, why should Israel keep bending over backwards. They won like five wars. To the victor go the spoils.

  161. @Biz Griz -- They never got a "better offer" if by that one means an offer anyone would ever accept. That was by design.

  162. The real reason the Palestinians reject every proposal is because peace would interfere with their ultimate goal of dismantling Israel and pushing the Jews into the sea.

  163. @sharon5101 Given the might and power of the IDF, it is completely absurd to posit the the downtrodden Palestinians could mobilize against Israel. It does provide the right wing zealots to push their draconian plan, though.

  164. Sadly the Palestinians have no real options. They are powerless in face of Israel's mighty military power and draconian restrictions. They are virtually abandoned by their coward Arab brethren and by the morally corrupt international community ( they may bark but never bite), Their fate is doomed. Israel will swallow the land piece by piece counting on blind American support. A day will come when the poor Palestinians will be thrown out of the country by hook or by crock

  165. @Rony -- Yes, probably, but even that will not end the problem. It would still fester. That Israel would never have peace with its neighbors and would always be seen as an oppressor by most of the outside world. It has no future for a small country.

  166. People who have "visions" should seek psychological help.

  167. Hardly a dead end for Israel, where all doors to unlimited annexation and exclusion are now wide open.

  168. That this question was even asked shows how far this paper as gone down the Trump rabbit hole.

  169. DOA.

  170. I can’t believe the Palestinians and Israelis speak different languages...That’s ludicrous...Whatta mess

  171. Dead end. I'm sending another donation to Palestinian refugee prisoners, since there seems to be nothing else I can do to help.

  172. Syrians are, of course, Arabs and Iranians are not. Thety are Persian. Yet because Syrians were among three countries that heklped Iran during the Iran-Iraq way, the Iranians never abandoned the Syrians in their hour of need. The Saudi, Kuwaiti, and Emirati leaders sold their Arab brothers down the river. And for what? A couple of more floors on what are already the some of the world's tallest buildings? A bigger villa in Marbella? A more ridiculously looking Rolls Royce? What? I'm not a big Netanyahoo fan and believe him to be a war criminal but I've yet to read about his Swiss bank accounts or townhouses in London.

  173. Supporters of Trump’s Middle East peace plan implicitly defend it based on the notion that might makes right. Though a basis for governmental action, rejecting it for obvious ethical reasons, we can immediately see that Trump's plan is not correct.

  174. If the Trump MidEast plan succeeds, will the NYT give Trump credit and support for other new accomplishments?

  175. The Palestinians are alternately squabbling idiots and pawns, Israel’s government appears to be run by a far-right corrupt clown with more than a thin streak of racism, and if I read right, this “deal,” says that Israel gets to name this shiny new Palestinian state. Yeah, this’ll go well. I wonder when folks are going to get it through their heads that Trump just wants the announcement, and has zero interest in following up and making anything happen? Show of hands...anybody think even that $50 billion is ever going to materialize?

  176. Knowledge, education, family culture, a private language and cohesiveness give the Jews great skills and talents. Russian pogroms and the Holocaust created what they now are as a culture and nation state. When I hear them say ‘never again’, I believe them. They would be collectively crazy to not do everything they can to push back hard on anyone who says to them ‘again is here again.’

  177. Trump thinks that the West Bank is a California financial institution. Where erudition and poise are required, are Kushner and Greenblatt the best we can do? The duo do not have the experience, training or expertise to negotiate in our name. And forgive me for my cynicism but what side deals has Kushner negotiated to save his family's failing business? Who pays the price for that? It's not like there is any adult supervision. Trump abhors the good-faith basis of international diplomacy. In the absence of good faith, what remains? Trump is all about pressing an edge. The standard line at Trump Org is "take less or sue me." What has Trump promised his evangelical Christian base? According to Christian Zionists, biblical prophecy precludes ANY division of Israel. These idiots are just flailing around. They do not know what they do not know and they have no interest in finding out. The key to effective negotiating is listening. The Trump administration hands out ear plugs.

  178. I'm getting a little tired of reasonable people discussing this plan as though it is any sort of starting point (albeit a poor one). This plan is a nonstarter. Nothing will come of this showboating and, once we have a rational being in the WH again, we will have to go back to the drawing table and start from scratch...if Israel's inevitably hard line government allows us to do so. Historically they have not been great about giving things back after having taken them, international law be damned.

  179. It’s really more of a hostage scenario for the Palestinians than a peace plan.

  180. No, this is not the best the Palestinians can do. The best they can do is to continue "losing" until they achieve "South Africa" status with zip, zero, no chance for a state-and-fake-state, uh, "two-state" solution. Then they win.

  181. "Starting point or dead end" is too generous. This is not really a peace plan at all. It's meat for Trump's pro-Israel supporters. Trump said one true thing about it: "Solving complex problems requires nuanced and fact-based solutions." Appointing his son-in-law, devoid of diplomatic experience or training or much relevant knowledge, and who openly expresses scorn for the Palestinians, meant that this was never a serious project. The process here involved shutting the Palestinians out and talking only with the Israelis. You cannot get to a peace process, or even the start of one, that way. The "plan" astoundingly one-sided, giving stuff to Israel and telling the Palestinians to suck it up. No, this is not a peace plan. It is a photo op, a campaign fund-raiser, a sham, and a shame.

  182. I live in NYC and listen to Jews using Nazii rhetoric and not including Palestinians in the equation and when I point that out it’s antisemitism. Sad that adelson and Netanyahu own trump,so no real progress can be made. There is no Palestinian leadership, so there is no response. I have NEVER heard a Jew consider that palistine is a place that the holy land is in and a Muslim place. Just the Jews homeland? I have been asking people what their ethnic background is and when they say Jewish I ask them where that is. No answer of course because there is no place called Jewish. Colonialism in the 21st century

  183. The US has gone from a dishonest broker of Middle East peace to a corrupt inept enabler of the most egregious land grab and ethnic cleansing since, I don't know, take your pick. This region will undergo more instability over the next generation and well beyond the point where the US can afford its $300 billion dollar a year war on terror. Trump and Netanyahu should be sharing a cell soon.

  184. Before this vision of peace can arrive, there must be elections on the West Bank and in Gaza that enable Palestinians to freely choose their own leaders. Before this vision of peace can arrive, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas must cease and desist their frantic preparations for war, their virulent production and dissemination of anti-Semitic materials and prepare themselves to accept Israel as the now and permanent national home of the Jewish people, alongside a demilitarized State of Palestine. How likely is that? https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15241/palestinian-leaders-sabotage

  185. Will a Likud government ever listen more, make a better effort to win win with the Palestinians, seek a better deal from Trump vs Obama, one of her voters hate Obama for he only increased the base ten year aid package from $30b to $35b or Obama wanted Israel to follow her Oslo Accords, or Likud starts a skirmish - for it is Likud’s need right before their elections, then they accuse the Palestinians of hate? I know if the behavior was win win, not me me — I know that I would personally try to help more, say it here and then maybe the world would have less resentment if not hate. It can not be only about one side. The US pays a price for every alliance. The US gave Israel 3.9 b in 2018, since 1949 about $127 b in total. I wonder when with interest it will be about $1 trillion of the US federal debt. Yet, the LIKUD supporter only cared that Trump moved the Embassy to Jerusalem, did not demand good will negotiations with the Palestinians and what do they say about Obama, they call him a muslim, Arab or far worse. Can you imagine? A country gets billions, over $125 b and from President to President they do not always get what they want and suddenly the President that says no on something he is the enemy of Likud. Did Israel remove Saddam? A soldier or a shekel? https://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2010/02/iraq-war-israel-bush-saddam

  186. This editorial indicates somewhat of a turn for the better at the New York Times in recognizing, in a highly oblique way, that the Trump/Netanyahu "Peace Plan" for Palestine/Israel is a mockery of anything approaching a plan for "Peace". Moreover, lacking in this editorial is any mention of the Palestinians striving for freedom, justice and equality over the past 70 years!

  187. No one seems to be willing to answer one question: What do you do with the 4 million Arabs living in the one state of Israel?

  188. donald trump IS NOT a deal maker. donald trump IS a bully. This is not a deal; this is 'do as I say'.

  189. The Palestinians should never cede almost half their arable land for southern desert enclaves as dry as Death Valley. How did America ever come to the state where we allow our president the unilateral decision to greenlight Israeli confiscation of land to settle their population?

  190. As always, Palestinians refuse to be committed terrorists. They did the same with Egypt and Jordan, when they had this troubling tribe in their orbit. When those two got tired of it, they attacked Israel in 1967, got trounced , ran just past the Palestinian Territories then made the UN tell Israel to stop. The most remarkable feat of getting the monkey to jump on someone else’s back in history.

  191. The Middle East has changed since 2000, and the Palestinians have changed too. Now, there is an Islamist terrorist organization running half the Palestinian territory, over in Gaza. Lebanon's Hezbollah has a hundred thousand missiles pointed at Israel, Syria is an abattoir, and both9 Jordan and Egypt are one coup away from returning to being Israel's implacable enemy. The last thing that Israel needs in Gaza and on the West Bank is a repressive state that threatens it and throws its gays off rooftops. The Palestinians show no signs of wanting to be Luxembourg to Israel's France. They need to drop that ridiculous "right" of return, and then drop designs on Jerusalem and sovereignty over the Temple Mount from which the Arabs blocked the Jews for 20 years. Israel would rather have the status quo than accede to either of those things. As for Arab villages in central Israel joining the new Palestinian State, those Arabs have been surveyed multiple times and they want to stay part of Israel. Can you blame them?

  192. Nobel Prize for Jared Kushner. May be he can run for POTUS in 2024.

  193. While White House lawyers in Trump's impeachment trial made the novel, and conclusory, assertion that he is an anti-corruption crusader, Trump was busy embracing Israel's leader Netanyahu, who is under indictment for corruption by Israeli courts. Worse Trump introduced a 'peace' plan which is preposterous on its face and corrupt to its core. As an American Jew and a Zionist, I say, friends don't let friends drive drunk. This plan, in being entirely unjust to Palestinians, is no good for Israel. Our Torah says "justice, justice you shall pursue." Our rabbis teach that 'justice' written twice means you must run after justice. We are taught that the heart of Judaism is 'not to do to others, what you would not want done to you." The Trump-Netanyahu plan for Israel shreds Jewish law, in the same way the WH lawyers shred the constitution.

  194. Dead end. Like driving in a cul-de-sac. Nothing is being accomplished, and everybody else is just getting older. This is a plan for more violence and more war.

  195. The right wing first world countries are carrying the nationalistic banner into the 2020s. Who thinks President Trump (Impeachment Dodger) is "the greatest friend Israel has ever had in the White House" (Netanyahu)? The American/Israeli deal of the century? America got a raw deal voting for Trump. Why is Donald Trump dictating manifest destiny for Israel? Why is Trump throwing the 2 state solution for the Land of Milk and Honey under an American bus? Both Impeachment and criminal indictment may be awaiting Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu this year.

  196. Regarding the map (in California terms)... Israel gets more of the fertile Sacramento Valley, while the Palestinians take over Death Valley.

  197. The only reason the Palestinians and a just peace have been "outmaneuvered by successive Israeli governments," is the positions/actions of the US government and US media (e.g., NYT). For the NYT to cite and then blithely disregard a "plan" feature that would "rid" Israel of Arab citizens by allocating where many of them live, to a Palestinian Bantustan, pretty much sums up why the root of the problem, Israeli policies, is able to carry the day. Hey, anyone plan on asking Israel's Arab citizens what they want? Nah, doesn't really matter does it. They're not really "citizens" after all, are they.

  198. The plan does not favor Israel. Israel gives up land. Remember 1922 Palestine was split in two portions. 78% of the land was given to the Palestinian arabs headed by Hussain and called Jordan; all the land east of the Jordan. The remaining 22% west of the Jordan river was to be the Jewish state. Thank Britain for reneging on the Jewish portion renaming that portion Palestine. The world then wanted to split tne new Palestine into a Jewish state and Arab state. Thanks, world, let's diminish Jews more. 1948 Jews agreed to the dwarf state of Israel. Arab nations attacked. Jordan conquers Judea and Samaria and walled Jerusalem naming all arabs in these places Jordanian citizens and calling Judea and Samaria, the west bank. Since the Judea and Samaria arabs are Jordanian citizens, let's keep them Jordanian citizens with residency status in Israel where they now live.