The outright refusal by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)'s representatives, the Palestinian Authority (PA), to negotiate with Israel on President Trump’s Vision for Peace has seen Trump sideline the PLO by brokering a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Trump’s spectacular breakthrough now sees three Arab States – Egypt, Jordan and the UAE – that could replace the PLO in negotiations with Israel on Trump’s Peace Plan to end the Jewish-Arab conflict that still remains unresolved after 100 years.
The White House statement announcing the diplomatic rapprochement has ominous portents for the PLO:
“The United States and Israel recall with gratitude the appearance of the United Arab Emirates at the White House reception held on January 27, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision, and express their appreciation for United Arab Emirates’ related supportive statements. The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Significantly no mention is made of creating an independent Palestinian Arab state between Israel and Jordan - the two successor states to the League of Nations 1922 Mandate for Palestine.
The Mandate had laid the groundwork for the establishment of:
- an Arab state – Transjordan (now Jordan) - in 78% of former Palestine in 1946,
- a Jewish State – Israel - in 17% in 1948
with sovereignty still unresolved in the remaining 5% - Judea and Samaria (aka 'West Bank') and Gaza.
Trump’s Vision offered the PLO Gaza and possibly 70% of Judea and Samaria for a second Arab State in former Palestine - in addition to Jordan.
Abbas – who has been demanding 100% for the last 25 years – made his displeasure known in terms that must not have endeared him to Trump:
“I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale; all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass … We say a thousand no’s to the deal of the century,”
Trump’s offer – spurned so dismissively by Abbas - now seems destined for the dustbin of history.
The UN and European Union’s insistence that the “two-state solution” was the only solution that could end the Jewish-Arab conflict has been debunked as Israel and the UAE begin the path to peaceful co-existence.
Jordan and Egypt’s involvement after a 53 years absence becomes increasingly possible.
Israel’s planned application of sovereignty in the 30% of Judea and Samaria designated in Trump’s plan has been placed on hold – as Trump pointed out in his carefully worded White House statement:
“As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough, and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal”..
The operative word is “suspend” not “abandon”
Once again Israel has made a major concession in pursuing peace by suspending its extension of sovereignty into the Jewish People’s biblical heartland – specifically designated for reconstitution of the Jewish National Home by the Mandate and preserved until today by article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
A bigger picture beckons as other Arab states could shortly follow the UAE’s decision and establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
Trump’s incredible efforts over the past three years to achieve peace between Jews and Arabs should see his most trenchant critics eating humble pie.
David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.
Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog.