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New Hope or Old Illusion

n this 1968 photo, Palestinian refugees have just arrived in Jordan as part of a continuing exodus of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (photo credit: AP/G.Nehmeh/UNRWA Photo Archives)

n this 1968 photo, Palestinian refugees have just arrived in Jordan as part of a continuing exodus of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (photo credit: AP/G.Nehmeh/UNRWA Photo Archives)

WEBPUBLICAPRESS – New York (Updated / Washington WPP) - President Donald J. Trump unveiled his plan for peace in the Middle East on Tuesday afternoon at the White House. His plan was already called by some the “Plan of the Century.”

“I was not elected to do small things or set big things on,” At the presentation of the 80-page plan, president described it – as a plan in great detail, and like no other before him, with previous US administrations have tried to present.

Mr. Trump said his vision is a “Win-Win situation” for everyone in the process. He announced the formation of a Palestinian state that would vigorously oppose terrorism.

President Trump has sparked a round of applause by announcing that Jerusalem will be the undivided capital of Israel.

“But that’s not a big deal,” he said, “because I already have done it.”

He said, as a US president – he has already done a lot for Israel: moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Plateau and most of all – canceling “a terrible Iran deal.”

AP reported president Trump has released his plan “before a pro-Israel audience at the White House with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side, acknowledged that he has done a lot for Israel,.”

President Trump  said he wanted the deal to be a “great deal for the Palestinians.” Trump said the deal is a “historic opportunity” for Palestinians to achieve an independent state of their own.

Donald Trump photo by Erol Avdovic, (Webpublica) New York September 2018

Donald Trump photo by Erol Avdovic, (Webpublica) New York September 2018

The plan more than doubles the territory currently under Palestinian control, although it also recognizes Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank, something to which the Palestinians will almost certainly object. The Palestinians have already rejected the proposal, accusing Trump of being biased in favor of Israel as he has adopted policies that bolster Israel at their expense.

It call for a four-year freeze in new Israeli settlement construction, during which time details of a comprehensive agreement would be negotiated. However, it was not immediately clear if the freeze could be extended if a final deal is not concluded in the four years, AP, reported from the White House.

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New York (WPP) -The US president’s Middle East peace Plan with the ambition to solve decades long conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is set to be unveiled  after president Trump second meeting with Israeli’s prime-minister Benjamin Netanyahu, various media sources reported.

On the eve of the deal, as AP (Associated Press) reported – there were “odds” of the Plan “taking shape, though, appear long, given the Palestinians’ preemptive rejection of the plan and Israeli prime minister Netanyahu’s shaky political standing.” AP says, “for both men, the White House summit looks to be a welcome diversion.”

Who is left in dark

According to the various sources the Palestinian leadership was not invited in preparing or advanced accepting of this Plan. Neither the United Nations in New York had full advanced knowledge of US Plan.

UN reporters asked has the UN Secretary General been given an advanced copy by the US Administration  Middle East peace plan on Monday (27. January) his spokesperson replied he was ”not aware of that.” Mr. Dujarric said: “Obviously, we have to see what the release is, and I have no other comment.”

Indeed, there are mix reactions and not very much lighten reflection on it here at the East River in New York, a Webpublicapress (WPP) reported.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric tried to strike a new political equilibrium between the Organization he represents and the Administration in Washington (not always sympathetic toward UN) that looks like left his boss Secretar General Antonio Guterres in dark when it comes to this Plan.

“Our involvement is regulated through relevant Security Council resolutions.  We have a special coordinator on the ground, Mr. (Nikola) Mladenov, and as you know, the UN has extensive humanitarian operations in the area.”

Trying to explain questioned leadership of the Secretary General i, to move things bit forward – out of that Security Council framework where big and powerful decides, Dujarric didn’t have a real answer:

“I think the Secretary General’s position on the Middle East peace process are regularly shared with you through public briefings in the Security Council,” he told WPP.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump (Reuters/K. Lamarque)

Also, SW (Deutsche Welle) reported President  Trump met separately with Israeli Mr. Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz at the White House on Monday, to discuss a Middle East peace Plan (see here DW story) that has already been rejected by the Palestinians.

Amid a heated impeachment trial and a difficult reelection campaign, Trump is devoting both Monday and Tuesday to discussing the contested plan with Netanyahu and Gantz, DW reported.

He will again host Netanyahu on Tuesday for what is set to be the official roll-out of the plan, which has been three years in the making.

Israel is set for another election in just over a month, with Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party and former military chief Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party currently running close to each other in the polls.

Middle East peace plan to be unveiled 

‘It might have a chance’

At the meeting with Netanyahu on Monday, Trump said he believed both the Israeli prime minister and Gantz would like his peace plan, which he said would be released at noon local time (1700 UTC) on Tuesday. “I think it might have a chance,” he said, predicting that the Palestinians would also end up accepting the plan.

Netanyahu said in his turn that the plan might be the “opportunity of a century.”

After talking with Trump later in the day, Gantz also praised the peace deal and said he had had a “superb meeting” with the US president.

But Israel’s most powerful adversary in the region, Iran, is less impressed with the US blueprint, with the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calling it “delusional.”

Instead of a delusional “Deal of the Century”—which will be D.O.A.—self-described “champions of democracy” would do better to accept Iran’s democratic solution proposed by Ayatollah @khamenei_ir:

A referendum whereby ALL Palestinians—Muslim, Jew or Christian—decide their future.

 Twitter
 Read moreIsraeli politics churn as Netanyahu indictment adds to chaosTrump’s peace plan met with skepticism

Widespread criticism

Critics have blasted the timing of the unveiling as a ploy to interfere with internal Israeli politics to boost approval of Netanyahu ahead of the March 2 Israeli vote.

Palestinians vehemently reject the plan, overseen by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and which has been dubbed the “Deal of the Century” in Israel. The plan would not allow for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the Palestinian state, and would also provide for official US recognition of Israel’s West Bank settlement blocs.

Read moreUS-Palestinian jailed for life over selling land to Jews

Additionally, Palestinian leadership was not invited to the White House to discuss the plan.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday said the plan “doesn’t constitute a basis for resolving the conflict.”

Trump has repeatedly called himself the most “pro-Israeli” American president in history. Trump, Netanyahu and Gantz have all openly expressed their optimism for the plan, with Netanyahu saying he is “full of hope that we can make history” and Gantz offering similar sentiments. Last Thursday, Trump described the plan as “great” and said it “really would work.”

Read moreMahmoud Abbas dismisses Donald Trump’s peace efforts as ‘slap of the century’ UN Security Council 1967 (Getty Images/Keystone)

  • A HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

    UN Security Council Resolution 242, 1967

    United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, passed on November 22, 1967, called for the exchange of land for peace. Since then, many of the attempts to establish peace in the region have referred to 242. The resolution was written in accordance with Chapter VI of the UN Charter, under which resolutions are recommendations, not orders.

A long history of failed talks

Trump’s initiative follows a history of failed peace plans since Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza strip from Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Those efforts included the 2000 Camp David Summit held between former US President Bill Clinton, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the 2007 Middle East summit held by former President George W. Bush in conjunction with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In 2010, Israel also imposed a 10-month partial moratorium on West Bank settlement construction. However, peace talks that had recently resumed broke down again because Netanyahu refused to extend the moratorium beyond the 10-month mark.

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