Speculation about the yet-undisclosed Trump peace initiative, dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, has been simmering on back burner until after the upcoming elections when the plan will be revealed in full. Evangelical leaders have met with special Mideast negotiator Jason Greenblatt to express concern about the implications for Israel, only to hear vague assurances about fairness to all sides.
INN blogger and novelist Tzvi Fishman decided not to wait to see what the future brings. Organizing assistance from colleagues, he initiated a “Stop the Deal” petition on the change.org petition site to raise public awareness to the dangers of the latest assault on Israeli sovereignty.
Why have you launched the “Stop the Deal” petition campaign now, rather than waiting until the Trump plan is made public?
Any deal is not going to be good for Israel. The choice of the word “deal” is not coincidental. President Trump has a long history as a successful businessman, but there's one thing he doesn’t seem to understand. Eretz Yisrael is a gift to the Jewish People from the Al-mighty, and not a commodity for sale, nor a corporation to be divided into divergent companies. Obviously, to get the "Palestinians" to agree, Israel will have to make extensive territorial concessions and be willing to relinquish some of its sovereignty over Jerusalem, G-d forbid. On Friday, the newspaper Yisrael HaYom published an article by Nadav Shragai that reveals for the first time the general working principles of the plan. Israel is expected to agree to a Palestinian State; surrender 80% of Judea and Samaria; and to accept varying degrees of Palestinian sovereignty over wide sections of Jerusalem. Besides being a sacrilege that must be opposed, any arrangement of this sort would present a terrible security danger to Israel.
Many people say the Arabs won’t agree to any plan that doesn’t divide Jerusalem equally, therefore we needn’t worry. Like other peace proposals, this one will be trashed and forgotten as well.
Personally, I don’t think it wise to depend on the Arabs to reject the plan. They may see it as a temporary way to further their clearly-expressed goal of pushing Israel into the sea.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeated on countless occasions that Jerusalem will never be divided, nor will additional communities be dismantled. What makes you think he will cave in to American pressure over this deal?
I don’t know that he will. But he might. For the moment, when asked about the deal, he said he'd consider it carefully when it was officially presented. Perhaps he was just being politically correct, but he could've rejected it outright from the very beginning. We have to remember that Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon were also great patriots, but each one signed horrendous agreements, to the great detriment of the Jewish Nation. It could happen again. Furthermore, we can’t be sure that Netanyahu will lead the next government. The leaders of the Blue and White Party are well-meaning people, but who knows what their true colors will be when America applies mega-pressure?
What do you hope to gain by the “Stop the Deal” Internet petition campaign?
I hope it will raise public awareness to the dangers of the plan, and let the leaders of Israel and America know there's strong public opposition to it. Trump needs the Evangelical vote to be re-elected, and Netanyahu needs the people of Israel to stand behind him, to enable him to say no to President Trump. The Administration in Washington is working around the clock to further the deal. We can’t be caught sleeping.
Besides the petition campaign, are any other protest activities planned?
We will try to organize a few demonstrations, and send a protest delegation to Washington, D.C. to meet with the pro-Israel Jewish community, and with influential Republicans and Evangelical leaders, but that depends on funding. Right now, we're concentrating on a grassroots, social-protest movement via the Internet. And with the help of the Al-mighty, we're praying that the Jewish Esther in the White House will realize that just for this modern-day salvation of Israel, she was elevated to greatness.