Jacob Magid writes in Times of Israel, “In a clear indication that the Trump administration’s peace plan will depart from the two-state solution as a framework for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian accord, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Tuesday peace efforts by previous administrations had “failed” and that the new proposal would be different. Interviewed live at a Time magazine conference in New York, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law said, “We’ve taken what I think is an unconventional approach. We’ve studied the past efforts and how they failed and why they failed… We’ve tried to do it a bit differently.”
“Asked twice if the peace plan would provide for a two-state solution, Kushner did not directly answer. Instead, he said: “We have not said today… We’re going to lay that out very clearly… If people focus on the old traditional talking points, we’re never going to make progress.” Kushner cited as a “good attempt” the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by 22 Arab states in 2002. “But if that would’ve worked, we would’ve made peace a long time ago on that basis.” The Arab Peace Initiative calls on Israel to agree to a two-state solution along the 1967 lines and an unspecified “just” solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, in exchange for Arab nations subsequently normalizing relations with Israel and declaring the Arab-Israeli conflict over.”
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that he does not want to work within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative, but is instead seeking to warm ties with Arab states even if no substantive diplomatic progress is possible with the Palestinians. He also vowed in the run-up to the April 9 elections that he would gradually apply Israeli sovereignty to all West Bank settlements — where 400,000 Israeli Jews live — and hoped to be able to do so with US agreement. Such a move would render a contiguous Palestinian state unfeasible.
“Kushner said the Trump peace plan is going to be centered around the “bottom-up” model — “which is how do you make the lives of the Palestinian people better.” He explained that efforts by previous American administrations began with a process that was designed to lead to a resolution. The Trump White House, to the contrary, “started with a proposed solution and then we’ll work on a process to try and get there.”
“The senior White House adviser said that the plan would take Israel’s security concerns into account while “deal[ing] with all the core status issues.” He added that it would also include “a robust business plan for the whole region, and I think that with the two together you have the opportunity to push forward.” (more…)