Abbas & Co. called the plan, “biased” because Trump’s peace plan demands the Palestinians stop killing Jews, respect Press, Religious, & Human Rights, adopt government transparency, and maintain a reliable judicial system to earn an endorsement for a Palestinian State.
By Boaz Bismuth
We live in historical times. The Arab Israelis, who have always been very suspicious of “occupying” Israel, now embrace Israeli rule and exclaim that they wish to remain part of Israel even if the Palestinians fulfill their national aspirations and see a state established.
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan has pledged many benefits for Israel and has set a series of preconditions the Palestinian must meet, including relinquishing all forms of terrorism and adopting proper governance practices.
As expected, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected the plan, but he certainly did not expect Israeli Arabs – and Arab states, for that matter – to deviate as much as they did from the Palestinian “line.”
This shows how well-crafted Trump’s plan is, and it further underscores the fact that the Palestinians truly have no idea how to take advantage of opportunities.
Statements about potential land swaps sparked outrage and protest among Israel’s Arab citizens, especially in the Triangle, a concentration of towns and villages adjacent to the Green Line at the Samarian foothills. That, perhaps, attests the most to the plan’s relevance on a perceptual level – as much as on the political-diplomatic level.
Trump’s plan has changed the paradigm: All previous plans urged Israel to take the proverbial plunge regardless of whether or not there was any water in the pool. Moreover, it has created a new paradigm, by which Palestinian nationalism must first and foremost be good for future Palestinian citizens – and for Israel, of course – otherwise there is no point in establishing a Palestinian state.
The plan presents specific goals and metrics that Palestinians must meet before they become “eligible” for a state, or even before they can negotiate for one.
These metrics include, among other things, values of human rights, the rule of law, and refraining from killing Jews – basic criteria that every country should uphold.
The peace plan’s critics argue that it is “grossly biased” in Israel’s favor and is therefore unfair. When the US demands the Palestinians “stop killing Jews and respect human rights,” to gain its support for a state – that’s “biased”?
If these conditions are rejected by the Palestinians, meaning they will not commit to establishing good governance and fighting terrorist organizations, then negotiations are not feasible to begin with, let along simply endorsing a Palestinian state.
Moreover, if the Palestinians are not even willing to consider land swaps; if they are unwilling to even entertain the idea that, practically, Palestinian refugees will not be able to return to Israel, it no longer matters whether they reject or accept the plan. They clearly have no interest in taking control of their own fate and they prefer to continue using Israel – and even the refugees – as a punching bag.
The Palestinians had hoped that the Arab world and Arab Israelis alike would side with them and reject the “deal of the century,” thus forcing the administration to revise it. But the moderate Arab states, which have long decided that it is better to align themselves with the US and Israel, have actually welcomed the plan.
Arab Israelis, who are concerned by fact that the US recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moved its embassy there, and the Arab parties, which often openly oppose the state, were presented with a choice: Which side do you wish to belong to – the “Israeli occupation” or the “future state of Palestine”?
They clearly prefer to be part of Israel and not part of the homeland they long for.
All this only proves to what extent Arabs Israelis do not trust the Palestinian leadership to provide them with the security and quality of life they enjoy as Israeli citizens. Arab Israelis prove, in their own way, that the parameters outlined in the American peace plan are not meant to serve Israel’s interest, but rather first and foremost to ensure the safety of the Palestinians.
No Palestinian wants to live in a country that may as well be the Wild West, even if said Wild West is supposed to embody their national aspirations.
Ironically, Arab Israelis have all but told Abbas as much: We see no reason to establish a Palestinian state before you can prove we can live there safely and without fear, as we do in Israel.
The Americans understand this, Arab Israelis understand this, and now the Israeli Left must also understand that this plan succeeded in altering the paradigms of Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians, but also of the Palestinians among themselves and between Arab Israelis and the Palestinians.
This is the best possible outcome we could have wished for – the State of Israel has become popular among voters supporting the Arab parties – the same ones who have long since ceased to represent them in lieu of representing Abbas and his interests.
It cannot be overlooked that President Trump’s peace plan is the best way for Israel to achieve all of its security aspirations in the long-term and its sovereignty aspirations in the immediate term. However, there is no real basis for the claim that the plan is solely “pro-Israeli” as it is clearly “pro-Palestinian-civilian” as well.
View original Israel Hayom publication at:
‘as a light unto the nations’