Israel, Beware the True Cost of Trump’s ‘Peace’ Plan

I believe in being honest among friends.

That principle is relevant as President Donald Trump prepares to unveil his "Deal of the Century." While its details have still not been presented, every indication is that it will envision Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley and settlement blocs, Israel’s retention of all other settlement areas, and isolated islands of limited Palestinian autonomy in perpetuity – all without any negotiations or agreements between Israelis and Palestinians. In other words, a sharp break with decades of bipartisan consensus U.S. policies across multiple administrations.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 58

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 58Haaretz

If, as expected, the Palestinians reject it, Trump may well give a green light to unilateral Israeli annexation.

So, in the spirit of openness, as Israelis prepare to respond to Trump’s proposal, they should take into account the following: no Democratic president elected in 2020 will stick with this plan, nor will they support unilateral annexation.

Now, some will say that is all the more reason to move quickly to take advantage of the opportunity Trump presents: Get these favorable terms for Israel presented as American positions while you can. Lock them in.

Palestinian houses in the village of Wadi Fukin with the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit in the background. Occupied West Bank, June, 19, 2019 NIR ELIAS/ REUTERS

Others will say: if Trump survives impeachment and is reelected, there will be no difficulty proceeding with this plan from the beginning of his second term.

But if Trump loses, adopting this plan now, or proceeding with unilateral annexation, sets Israel up for an immediate clash with the next American administration when it makes clear it is not bound by these terms.