Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO
President Trump, Jared Kushner, meet Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.

Haaretz political commentator and investigative reporter Raviv Drucker on Monday suggested President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the century” peace proposal was more likely to end up being the Charlatanism of the century. Drucker says that then Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace plan, during President Barack Obama’s second term in office, was much better defined and designed, relying on years of work by General John Allen with a large team of the Israeli defense establishment, headed by General Nimrod Sheffer – and accepted by the PA.

In comparison, the current White House plan appears to be little more than a house of cards, because, according to Drucker, not only is Israel’s right opposed to it, and with more power on its side than back in 2015 – Benny Gantz, leader of the up-and-coming Blue and White party, doesn’t like it either.

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Drucker says that Ganz thinks a peace settlement can only be achieved with the leadership that will follow PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas, for his part, is too obsessed with his own past positions on a peace deal. And, in this context, Ya’alon, one of Gantz’s party’s co-leaders, is further to the right than Benjamin Netanyahu, who was prepared at one point to consider a Palestinian State along the 1967 border, with territorial exchanges of equal proportions.

Drucker sounds the alarm about the real winner of the current peace round: “It is even more important to kill the new spin of Bennett et al,” he warns. “The tense New Right chairman has drawn his lessons from the trauma of the 2015 elections (when he allowed Netanyahu to siphon as many as 5 Knesset seats from Habayit Hayehudi, by saying it didn’t matter which right-wing party his constituency voted for), and today he is trying to build a case that explains why [right-wing Israelis] should vote for him and not for Netanyahu.”

“Bennett tries to create a feeling that Trump is coming very soon with a Clinton-type plan of retreat and would surely apply hysterical pressure to get a positive response [from Israel],” Drucker writes, explaining: “The subtext being: Netanyahu must have a strong Bennett next to him.”

Drucker quotes one of the American insiders of the “Deal of the century,” who was asked, Why not offer a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital? He replied: Netanyahu will not agree.

“This is not a plan, the administration insiders explain, it’s more a ‘vision,'” Drucker reports.

What’s the difference? He asks and cites the Americans who say: “We have no intention of imposing anything.”

“Trump’s team is so eager not to confront Netanyahu,” Drucker explains, “That they are even considering postponing revealing the plan until after the coalition is formed. They will certainly decide based on what’s better for Netanyahu.. It is already clear that there will not be an explicit mention of the establishment of a Palestinian state, and certainly no talk about a capital in eastern Jerusalem or along the 1967 lines.”

Drucker rejects as pathetic the Americans’ suggestion that, although the top PA echelon would certainly reject their offers, below that level there are many who would be happy to embrace them.

He may be right.

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