Here at the Muqata, we have been thumbing through the text of the Deal of the Century and weighing every word we just heard Trump and Netanyahu say. We have not read and analyzed it in depth yet, so some of our initial impressions are likely to change.
Here are some of our first impressions.
1) Israeli sovereignty is applied (immediately?) to all Jewish communities. All meaning all.
2) No Jews get expelled or uprooted.
3) There will be almost no steps taken towards a Palestinian state without the Palestinian Authority taking all the required prerequisite steps the plan demands, which they are unlikely to do.
1) It sets up a path to creating and recognizing a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel and Jerusalem. We’re talking about negotiating parts of our ancient homeland away, even if the plan seems to minimize the risk of that actually happening.
2) On one hand, the plan calls for maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount. On the other hand, it seems to allow Jews to pray on our holiest site at specific times too. We’re leaving it under the bad category.
3) We are set to lose most of Judea and Samaria. We are set to lose all the areas that we will eventually need to grow into.
4) The area of the pre-67 “Triangle” might be handed over to the Palestinian State. Some might put handing over all the anti-Israel Israeli-Arabs to the PA as belonging in the “good” category. That paragraph certainly upset Ahmad Tibi who would have to join a Palestinian state, unless he picked up and moved (which is what a lot of Triangle residents would certainly do).
4) The expanded Palestinian State in Gaza will have an extended border with the ISIS infested Egyptian Sinai, even if there is some sort of Israeli security path between the two.
1) From experience, we all know that everyone is going to look the other way at PA violations, especially if/when there is a different US administration in the White House.
There’s no denying that we can all see Bernie Sanders giving them a free pass and a Palestinian state.
2) There will be more terror attacks.
3) We are relying on PA Arab rejectionism, ignoring that everyone else will ignore their rejectionism.
Good or bad aside, in a perfect world and on paper, the plan is ingenious. It is also the first time Israeli/Jewish rights and history are actually acknowledged and taken into account.
It appears that Israel immediately gets sovereignty and recognition for all our communities, while the Palestinian Authority needs to fulfill basic, civilized steps to move forward on their end – such as disarming Hamas, stopping payments to terrorists, and so on.
If they manage to do all that, then theoretically we would have a peaceful neighbor in our midst.
Of course, we all know from experience they can’t, and that’s not their goal as a society.
As individuals, PA Arabs can be and are wonderful people, but as a society, they have proved to be very sick and dangerous. It will take generations to wipe out the antisemitism that has been ingrained into their society.
So, one of two things will likely happen. (1) Terror will increase, or (2) terror will increase and the world will look away, or even worse, blame Israel.
We’ve been discussing this at the Muqata, and we aren’t yet prepared to pass judgement on the plan. It requires deeper examination.
We are very unhappy at the maps, at the entire concept of even discussing a Palestinian state, at the thought of losing parts of our ancient and modern homeland.
On the other hand, we are realistically aware that PA society can and will never meet the basic conditions of demilitarizing their society or ending support for terrorism, so the threat of a Palestinian state should remain unrealized… at least until the next US president (or Israeli prime minister) decides to look the other way (or decides to look at Gaza separately) – and that’s the real threat.
Israel has clear steps it needs to take right now… such as applying sovereignty over all our Jewish communities.
But what will the Palestinian Authority and Hamas do next? What will that cost us?
And what happens when the next president in the White House is the exact opposite of the “best friend Israel ever had?”