The Trump administration released its long-awaited plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians on January 28, 2020.  Immediately, some in the media responded with biased accounts of the history as well as certain aspects of the plan.

Predictably, most media accounts omitted both the fact that Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza in a defensive war, and the many times in the past the Palestinian and other Arab leaders have rejected offers of statehood and refused to negotiate.  Regardless of what borders were offered, Palestinian leaders have consistently refused the state they claim to want.

Another important point has been highlighted by Eugene Kontorovich.  There have already been discussions of Israeli “annexation” of West Bank land.  What is outlined under this plan is not an annexation of territory, it’s an application of Israeli sovereignty based on preexisting rights to the land.

In discussions of Jerusalem, a point that is often overlooked is that Palestinians have never had control of or sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, and it’s never been an Arab capital.  There is no historical basis for the insistence on a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem.  Yet, this plan generously provides for a Palestinian capital in the sections of Jerusalem to the north and to the east of the existing security barrier.  This is in fact a major concession by Israel.

A few reports also repeat the tired trope of “apartheid”, but the plan is clear about the rights of Palestinians, should they choose to accept it.  According to the plan, about 97% of Palestinians will live within contiguous Palestinian territory.  Those that don’t, will not be forced to move and will become citizens of the State of Palestine.  The territory that will be allocated to the Palestinians for a future state will be comparable in size to that of the pre-1967 Jordanian-controlled West Bank and Egyptian-controlled Gaza.  The plan envisions new, Palestinian controlled territory along the Israeli border with Egypt.  In other words, this plan conforms to the oft-repeated idea of “a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders with land swaps.”

It has been made clear, both in yesterday’s press conference and in the plan itself, that thee will be no forced population transfers on either side.  The plan states that Palestinians living outside of the contiguous Palestinian territory “shall have the option to remain in place unless they choose otherwise”.

Name of author

Name: Murray Rubin

Short Bio: I was born in Toronto in 1931 to a wonderful mother who divorced shortly before my birth. I owe a great deal of my success to her. I am Jewish but not at all religious, yet my culture plays an important part of my personality. I attended Harbord Collegiate and U. of T. Faculty of Pharmacy. A unique mail-order pharmacy was the first of my endeavours in the profession, followed by many stores throughout Ontario. I have a loving wife, 3 children and grand-children and I am now retired from pharmacy. But what do I write about? Everything! My topics are funny, serious, whimsical, timely, outrageous, inspiring, and inventive. I promise that if you take the time to read any one of these topics – you will not be sorry.

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