President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Mideast peace plan Tuesday alongside a beaming Benjamin Netanyahu, presenting a vision that matched the Israeli leader’s hard-line, nationalist views while falling far short of Palestinian ambitions.
Trump’s plan envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel. It sides with Israel on key contentious issues that have bedeviled past peace efforts, including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements, and attaches nearly impossible conditions for granting the Palestinians their hoped-for state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plan as “nonsense” and vowed to resist it. Netanyahu called it a “historic breakthrough” equal in significance to the country's declaration of independence in 1948. Given the Palestinian opposition, the plan seems unlikely to lead to any significant breakthrough. But it could give a powerful boost to both Trump and Netanyahu who are both facing legal problems ahead of tough elections. Thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza City ahead of the announcement, burning pictures of Trump and Netanyahu and raising a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale.”
Today on AirTalk, we lay out the plan and discuss what it could mean for the Middle East and U.S. relations.
With files from the Associated Press
Michael Makovsky, president and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) who attended Tuesday’s White House briefing on the peace plan; he is a former special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the George W. Bush administration and is an expert on U.S. national security and Middle East policy; he tweets @MichaelMakovsky