The United States’ latest proposed peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was given its enticing name by the creator himself, Donald Trump. The plan intended to solve all land disputes and remedy the existing tension within the region. Instead, it has heightened debates and fueled protests for pro-Palestinian movements in cities around the world.
Though both Israel and the United States approved of the plan, the Palestinian government formally rejected it. The plan does not allow Palestinians to have their own military or its own foreign policy. Additionally, the plan makes all Israeli settlements legal Israeli land. Under his deal, Trump declared that Jerusalem would still be the capital of Israel, though a proposal within the document suggests a Palestinian capital in the outer skirts of East Jerusalem in Kafr Aqab and Abu Dis. These suggested locations have no historical or cultural value to the Palestinians and are also towns of poverty and overcrowding. East Jerusalem, including the Old City, is a location where many Palestinians would love to see as their capital in the future. The issue lies in the division of Jerusalem as the Trump administration explicitly mentioned the city as “undivided” in the peace plan.
A progressive element that has not received much coverage of the plan is the provision that allows for “people of every faith should be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.” The mosque has been claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians for years as a Quran cited place of worship that sits atop the Second Temple. Critics of the plan have compared the map titled “vision for peace” to “a slice of swiss cheese,” mocking the fragmented two-state solution.
The plan demonstrates the priority in which Trump’s administration treats the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Senior adviser to the President, Jared Kushner, played a lead role in the creation of the plan. Following the disappointing reaction from the Palestinian government, Kushner has since announced that the map that accompanied the original deal is subject to change at the discretion of the Palestinians. In an interview with the Egyptian MBC Masr network, he called on the Palestinian to “come and tell us where they want to draw [the border lines].”
The policy of the current administration seems to be one of action and communication. Though I do not support the President on a vast majority of his work in office, as a Zionist I appreciate the intention of the Deal of the Century.