President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed a Middle East plan that he claimed was a “realistic two-state solution” but caters to nearly every major Israeli demand and was immediately rejected by Palestinians.
It lays the groundwork for Israel to immediately begin annexing all of its settlements in the West Bank with US backing and also foresees the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty after a transition period. Palestinian negotiators have not had direct contact with the Trump administration in more than two years. Under the proposal, Trump said Jerusalem “will remain Israel’s undivided capital,” but that a future Palestinian state would also have a “capital in eastern Jerusalem.” Trump did not address the question of Palestinian refugees and whether they will have a right of return to their former homes. And he said neither Palestinians nor Israelis would be uprooted from their homes under the plan.
Is the plan fair?
The Middle East peace plan that the US unveiled today is by no means fair. In fact, it is markedly more pro-Israel than any that have come before it. But the Trump administration was never aiming for a “fair” deal. Instead, it was pursuing a deal that can feasibly be implemented. In other words, it’s a deal shaped by a keen understanding of the new power balances within the region and globally.