Trump’s Proposed Israel-Palestine Peace Plan

Kavya Weaver '20, Current Events Editor

Few controversies rage on as bitterly as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a contentious and ongoing dispute that originated in the early 20th century. The history behind this conflict is very complex, but the fighting is primarily between the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews for the right to own the piece of land both sides claim belongs to them. Currently, the area called the West Bank is technically controlled by the Palestinian Authority but is under Israeli occupation – Jewish settlements are established on 42% of the West Bank. The area of Gaza is under the control of Hamas, an Islamist fundamentalist party. The rest of the disputed territory is recognized as Israel. 

 

There are two different approaches to resolving this conflict: a “two-state solution” and a “one-state solution.” The two-state solution would establish Palestine as an independent state made up of Gaza and most of the West Bank. Although seemingly the most logical option, this solution would be extremely difficult to enact because both sides have demands they are not willing to compromise on. The one-state solution would be to take all of the land and either give it in its entirety to Palestine or to Israel. This option is generally regarded as not being an effective way to solve the conflict. However, as Israel continues to encroach on Palestinian land, it appears to be becoming a likely outcome for the future, with Israel eventually completely occupying the region. 

 

On January 28, President Trump presented his proposal for a peace plan between Israel and Palestine, a plan he claims will bring peace to the region for the next 80 years. The proposal is about 50 pages long and “defines the future of Israeli settlements, how Palestinians might conditionally form a state, and America’s view of Israel’s myriad security concerns” (Ward). Trump’s plan does not provide a “right of return” to Palestinians seeking to go back to their ancestral homes in Israel, promise any part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, or allow Palestine to create an armed force to defend itself. It doesn’t address any of the wishes of the Palestinians and was drafted without the input of any Palestinian leaders. 

 

Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised Trump for his plan, the proposal has been rejected by the broader international community and condemned by the Palestinians. As a staunch pro-Israel advocate, Trump’s clear bias towards Israel was expected in his plan. However, his blatant disregard for the rights of the Palestinians is particularly problematic as there is no way this plan could realistically be used to bring peace. Rather, its enactment would likely incite even more strife and potentially destabilize the entire region. 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/28/21083615/trump-peace-plan-map-netanyahu-israel-palestine

https://www.vox.com/2018/11/20/18080002/israel-palestine-conflict-basics

https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/50-years-illegal-settlements/index.html

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2014/07/10/from-two-wrongs-ruin

https://www.cfr.org/interactive/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/israeli-palestinian-conflict