Middle East Peace Plan: Bullseye? Or left field?
Kaitlin Cunningham, Staff Writer
On Jan. 28, 2020, President Donald Trump officially proposed a peace plan for the Middle East that has been written, re-written, agreed upon, revised, updated, negotiated, and debated for several years. This 80-page plan for peace is what Trump presented to the world at large, and which, if enacted, would mark a dramatic change in the way Israel operates and treats the Palestinian people moving forward.
The plan includes a clause that grants Palestine a capital in east Jerusalem, with the U.S. embassy in the new “State of Palestine.” The plan would also allow Israel to extend its sovereignty over “all major settlement blocs in the west bank.”
Under this plan, Jerusalem would continue to be the undisputed capital of Israel, though the dispute between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples would move the nation to be a “two-party state”.
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has rejected the deal due to his belief that the plan was “biased towards Israel.” This plan would place a freeze on new settlement activity, and Palestinians would be given four years to establish statehood, including laws, bills, and policy decisions.They would, however, not be provided aid during this time.
The Israeli president was invited to the White House to witness the plan at its reveal and discuss means of implementation. However, President Abbas, was not invited and found out about the plan at the time of its publication.
President Abbas made a curt response to the news of President Trump’s peace plan which was recorded by the Washington Post: “The plan tells us that there is no Jerusalem, no return of refugees, no control of borders, no airport or seaport, the settlements have become legitimate, the martyrs and the detainees have become criminals, and all this for $50 billion”
Though the plan has been widely accepted and praised by the Israeli government, it has been met with scorn by much of the Palestinian government. According to several newspapers, both local and international, many of the details in this plan have yet to be fully understood. With Israel’s approval, and Palestine vehemently against the plan, a path to peace may still be out of reach for the time being.