Jared Kushner landed in Israel just under 24 hours ago and after rushing to visit the grieving Malka family over their daughter’s murder on Shabbat he wasted no time going to visit Bibi Netanyahu.
The purpose of Kushner’s visit is to push Trump’s “ultimate deal” to broker Israel-Palestinian peace. To casual observers it appears that there is really momentum towards a peace deal.
Perhaps there is, but let’s look at five reasons this could all be just a show or even more importantly a deal that has nothing to do with the Palestinians:
- Trump agrees with Israel’s rights as the sovereign in Jerusalem, “Palestinians” will never agree to that.
- Trump does not really care about “settlements,” “Palestinians” believe they must go.
- Trump has opted for regional normalization first before any agreement on final status issues.
- If Mahmoud Abbas, the “Palestinian” strongman agrees to any deal he will be killed by his own people.
- Trump agrees that Israel should have full security control over Judea and Samaria.
Given the above list, peace does not seem likely anytime soon. So what’s really going on?
Interim Deal and Normalization
Trump’s team is pushing normalization first and then an interim solution leaving out final status issues for the foreseeable future. This is essentially a rendition of Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s Stability Plan. The interim deal will see some sort of non contiguous Palestinian State arise in Area A and B where they already have some sort of autonomy. C will continued to be controlled by Israel. “Settlements” will continue in two different capacities. In the main blocks there will unrestrained building. In the rest of the Jewish communities in Area C building will continue to allow for natural growth.
Furthermore, Israeli communities across Area C will be given the same political status as any other Israeli community. This has already been established by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked earlier in the month.
So they would Abbas or the Sunni Arab world go for any of this?
Abbas doesn’t want a real deal for reasons mentioned above. He does want a long-term status quo with an upgrade for the territory he manages.
The Sunni world has never liked the Palestinians. They have created a “cause” in order to push back on Israel. Now they need Israel and they need the “cause” they created to quiet down. The interim plan is the way for this to happen.
Look for Kushner to push the beginnings of an interim solution, a solution that will be so long-term it may just be permanent.