President Donald Trump, with adamant support from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday rolled the dice with the hope of winning the same illusive peace between Israelis and Palestinians which had resulted in rivers of blood following every single attempt to reach this very peace in the past. This tragic and inevitable ending has nothing to do with the plan itself, which is, in fact, well thought out, as befits the work product of Jewish American businessmen. This plan will fail because there is no one on the Palestinian side with the political wherewithal, never mind the desire, to carry it through.
With that in mind, the chief benefit for Israel by the end of this latest exercise in futility will be the fact that the world would witness, yet another time, that there’s no partner for peace in Ramallah, and certainly none in Gaza. Another benefit would be the priceless, official recognition by a US administration that Israeli settlements in the 1967 liberated territories are not illegal, and that Israel is entitled to impose its sovereignty on them.
Were it not for the victims of this peace, God forbid, we would have endorsed the plan in order to gain those end-benefits. But as we shudder at the memory of the thousands of peace victims we have mourned over the past few decades, even those gains fail to give us joy.
As to the plan itself, a lot depends on what the president actually meant when he promised that no Jewish settlement would be dismantled. Most of Israel’s settlements—upwards of 400 thousand people, are clustered in blocs. But then there are those pesky “illegal outposts,” some on the eastern slopes of the Samaritan hills, which are routinely brutalized by Israeli governments. An estimated 6,000 Jews live there today. Will they count among those settlers who will not be evicted? Not likely.
Then there’s the four-year freeze on settlement construction outside the potentially annexed areas, which the Americans consider a show of good will on the part of Israel. Mind you, that freeze is expected to be kept up even as the other side initiates and finances riots, mortar and rocket fire, explosive and incendiary balloons, roadside explosive charges, car ramming of civilians, stabbing attacks, and the mother of all murders: suicide bombings – which they will do, as they have done whenever peace appeared too close for comfort for the Palestinian leadership.
One clever measure devised by the Trump plan is the requirement that the Palestinians complete a hefty checklist before they get an independent state. They must accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and disavow terrorism. Should they muster the will and the ability to stop advocating for the murder of Jews, they would be entitled to their own state, demilitarized or otherwise, on about 60 to 70 percent of Judea and Samaria, with a state capital in eastern Jerusalem.
That state could become the nightmare demographic time bomb which spells the end of the Zionist project. The current population growth in the Palestinian Authority appears to be declining, although there aren’t trustworthy statistics available from Ramallah. But an independent Palestinian state would become a gateway to prosperity in the thriving Israeli economy for millions of transplanted, homeless migrants from all over the Middle East. The Palestinians will have to give up the right of return to 1948 Israel, but not to Jenin, Hebron and Shechem. To defend against the onslaught of illegal workers, Israel would be compelled to repeat its successful measure along the Egyptian Sinai border: a massive fence blocking every inch of the border. But try doing that along the border of an independent Palestinian state. Instead of peace, Israel would be forced into an even more repressive bunker.
And while the plan is currently being offered by Israel’s greatest friend in the White House, ever, we must wonder how things would look like under, say, President Bernie Sanders. Expect the Sanders or Warren White House to look the other way as the Palestinian state violates every condition in the peace plan.
In the coming weeks, reliable analysts will surely discover how every single aspect of the Trump plan harbors potential disaster, again, not because it’s a bad plan but because it is expected to involve Palestinian politicians and gangsters (who are often the same individuals). We hope and pray that the Palestinians continue in their tradition, observed by the late Abba Eban, of not missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. We can trust that this fictional nation, which exists exclusively in the minds of misguided Europeans and Americans, will continue to be split into tribes and villages and fiefdoms and gangs, unable to produce a disciplined effort to become a state – an effort to which a leader such as David Ben Gurion measured up, but no Palestinian to date has come even close.
And, naturally, we must pray to our Father in Heaven to save us from this latest “peace plan” as He has done all the previous ones, and do so while sparing the precious lives of our brothers and sisters on both sides of the “green line” in Israel.