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Trump’s “greatest ever plan”may be dead


U.S. President Donald Trump

Donald Trump hyped up his self-styled “greatest ever plan” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict late last year. After many trips to the region by his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt, many confident assertions of how good the still-unreleased plan was, and many months of delay, recent press comment (here and here) now indicates that the plan may be dead.

JJP lobbied extensively against Trump’s destructive, unjust plan. We believe we played an important part in hopefully killing it. We started lobbying against the plan as soon as it was leaked in the US and Israeli press late last year, and had held 23 meetings by the time we completed the lobbying round in July. (Our Campaigns report of February 2018 is here.) The first embassies we lobbied didn’t know of the plan. They were in fact alerted to it by us. By the time we completed the round, all the embassies knew of the plan and most of them said they agreed with us, both on how destructive it was and how events would probably play out if Donald Trump proceeded with it. Almost all of them said their capitals had contacted people in the American Administration to try to persuade him to drop it.

Despite Donald Trump having moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, cutting off US aid to UNRWA and to East Jerusalem hospitals, and trying to remove refugee status from 90% of the Palestinian refugees, it appears that some understanding of reality has at last penetrated his bluster and self-regard. He appears to understand that he cannot force Mahmoud Abbas, or any conceivable Palestinian leader, to negotiate away the Palestinians’ legal right to a state based on the 1967 borders, and furthermore that neither Saudi Arabia, nor Jordan, nor Egypt, will support him if he continues to try. He may now be realising that he will have to accept the international consensus on Palestinian rights to self-determination, despite Netanyahu’s wishes, if he wants to go down in history as the man who solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

3 October 2018

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