Trump’s Peace Plan Will Fail – but Its Vision Could Still Endure

The list of reasons why the Trump peace plan is destined to fail is long and practically writes itself. For starters, the plan unveiled Tuesday is ostensibly aimed at solving one of the most intractable conflicts in history. Previous plans by serious professional diplomats have failed. This one, coming from the most inept and amateurish administration in history, surely hasn’t a chance.

There are the murky circumstances of its rollout – suddenly, at a time seemingly designed to help Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his internal political and legal problems, not to bring peace to the region.

– Peace to Prosperity: The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan – click to download

IN FULL: Trump’s Middle East peace plan – click to download

And of course, there’s the minor detail that one side to the conflict, the Palestinians, is not even invited to the unveiling and hasn’t had any meaningful engagement with the Trump administration for over two years.

The list goes on. This plan is a nonstarter. It is dead on arrival.

But perhaps it is wrong to judge Trump’s peace plan as you would any other diplomatic blueprint. This isn’t Bill Clinton’s “parameters” or George W. Bush’s “road map.” With President Donald Trump, it’s never the details of the deal that are important; it’s the idea he’s selling, the aspiration. That’s always been Trump’s genius: to match the dream to those who want to buy into it.

The key to understanding Trump’s plan is knowing who he’s selling it to.

The map of Israel and Palestine as proposed in Donald Trump’s peace plan.

Previous peace plans were aimed at both Israelis and Palestinians – specifically to more moderate and compromise-minded sections of those two peoples. Trump’s plan is intended for an entirely different clientele: right-wing Israelis, right-wing American Jews and, particularly, Trump’s base of evangelicals.