KEEP YOUR PLAN TO YOURSELF!
Jared Kushner, appointed by his father-in-law President Donald Trump to come up with what Trump called “the Ultimate Deal” for Israeli-Palestinian peace, has signaled that his “peace plan” does not aim to achieve a two-state solution. Kushner recently indicated that because past attempts to achieve a two-state solution failed, his plan focuses on “new and different ways to reach peace.” Kushner’s colleague, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, said the plan is an effort to “think outside the box.”
A peace initiative that falls short of a two-state solution is not thinking outside the box. Rather, it is boxing Israelis and Palestinians into a state of endless conflict. It is a plan that condemns Israel to becoming either a non-democratic apartheid-like state or a binational state that will lose its character as the homeland of the Jewish people. A plan like this is neither pro-peace nor pro-Israel. Instead of creating a political horizon for Israelis and Palestinians, it blocks realization of Palestinian aspirations for self-determination in a sovereign state.
Kushner and Friedman’s comments should not surprise anyone. They come after a series of blatant moves by the Trump administration to take the two-state solution off the table and set the stage for an “alternative” to what is the only viable conflict-ending solution. .
The danger of Kushner’s plan is not that it will be “dead on arrival” due to Palestinian opposition. Kushner’s plan is dangerous because even as it fails, it will move the goalposts and make it more difficult for a future US administration to return to the two-state paradigm. As his administration blames Palestinian obstructionism for the plan’s failure, Trump will have a pretext for recognizing a future Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank.
We can’t let this happen.