Trump plan rejected by Mideast countries; Kushner slams PA

It did not appear throughout the process that Kushner realized that this concept was a non-starter. Opinion

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Netanyahu and Trump
Netanyahu and Trump

During the first weekend in February while many Americans were watching the Superbowl festivities the Trump Administration released its middle-east plan at a ceremony at the White House. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in attendance, but no "Palestinians" were there, and Jared Kushner seemed to focus his anger and harsh criticism of the PA who were not involved in shaping the plan and then rejected it. While the capital market indices did not seem to follow through with additional volatility in the wake of the decision, oil prices continued to head south.

For more than three years Kushner has been working with countries throughout the Middle East to come up with a peace plan. The concepts were embraced by most Israelis, as the underlying plan would deny the "Palestinians" an independent state. The Arab League unanimously rejected it, despite Kushner’s assurances that numerous Arab states were on board. The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejected the U.S. plan on Monday.

Kushner might have had blinders on

It did not appear throughout the process that Kushner realized that this concept was a non-starter. The Trump-Kushner plan did not address PA aspirations for nationhood. The plan also has significant demands on the PA before they could even ask for a demilitarized state. The plan also denies them a capital in eastern Jerusalem. While many believed this was a failed plan from the start, it appears that Kushner never realized this.

The signals were clear

In 2019, the PA stopped discussions about a plan with the Trump administration and did not restart negotiations after Trump unilaterally announced the holy city of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. Trump then moved the U.S. embassy.

Playing politics

There are claims that the timing of the release of the plan was purely a political play for both Trump and Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister has been indicted on corruption charges, and Trump was still facing impeachment charges.

It appears that the Mideast plan does provide a path to statehood for the "Palestinian people", but they would be surrounded by Israel and have a parcel of land mixed in with Jewish settlements. It also appears that supporters of Netanyahu have grown increasingly frustrated at White House pushback over plans to immediately annex Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The Kushner plan has a delay for the annexation which has bothered the right wing of Netanyahu’s party. Currently the schedule of the annexation remains unclear. The Trump plan has many benefits that were rejected by the Palestinians including control of the Jordan Valley and most of Jerusalem. While the Trump administration is now in the process of trying to get most of the Middle East back to the negotiating table, Netanyahu wants this process to move forward immediately.