3 February 2020   1 comment

The Trump Administration has announced its Mideast Peace Plan. It should be more appropriately be termed the Terms of Surrender for the Palestinians. The plan allows Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank, including the Jordan River Valley, and in those small parts of the West Bank allocated to the Palestinians, it permits Israeli settlements. The parts of the West Bank given to the Palestinians is not wholly contiguous and the plan calls for a tunnel to be built between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The plan is a clear violation of international law:

“The annexation of territory is prohibited under international law. The UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338 explicitly forbid any country from expanding its territory by military force.

“Eliav Lieblich, an assistant professor at Tel Aviv University, told Al Jazeera that the repeated use of the term Israeli ‘sovereignty’ in the Trump plan in relation to areas of the West Bank indicates plans to annex parts of the territory.

“‘In the past, Israel used similar language to describe its application of jurisdiction to the Golan Heights and this was universally understood as annexation,’ he said.

“‘If Palestinians reject the plan, which they will, Israel will likely move to annex the territories unilaterally,’ he added.

“To Kevin Jon Heller, a professor of international law at the University of Amsterdam, the planned annexation of the Jordan Valley and all  settlements  in the West Bank would, if implemented, undoubtedly violate international law.

“‘What this amounts to is a land grab, plain and simple. And an unlawful one,’ he said.”

Furthermore, the plan only suggests a Palestinian state–it places a number of conditions that would have to be fulfilled before a Palestinian state could be created. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, outlined those conditions: freedom of press, free and fair elections, respect for human rights for its citizens, and an independent judiciary,” in addition to “established transparent, independent, and credit-worthy financial institutions capable of engaging in international market transactions.” There is currently no Arab state that satisfies those conditions, including close US allies such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. And, mirabile dictu, the plan gives the Palestinians 4 years to satisfy those conditions which suggests that the Trump Administration would not have to even think about the process, even if Mr. Trump is re-elected.

Only three Arab states were present at the unveiling of the plan: Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. But even those three states rejected the plan after hearing its details, and the plan was rejected by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The plan is not at all serious, but one rather designed to allow the full annexation of the West Bank by Israel. It would, however, be a serious mistake if one were to think that there is united Jewish opinion on the merits of the plan.

A Partial Map of the Trump Peace Plan

CBS News ran a video on wealth inequality in the US, demonstrating that many US citizens have no idea what the actual distribution of wealth in the US is. It is a sobering look into how insidious the problem of wealth inequality is to the US political system.

Posted February 3, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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  1. Pingback: 17 February 2020 | World Politics News

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