The Trump Peace Sham

A roundup of analysis and statements of opposition to Trump's dangerous peace sham.

If there was ever any doubt that the Trump-Netanyahu “peace plan” was anything other than a smokescreen for annexation, it was disabused just moments after the plan’s glitzy White House announcement.

Immediately following President Trump’s announcement of a plan he claimed would chart a course to a “two-state solution,” Prime Minister Netanyahu took to the very same podium to announce his government would immediately move to impose sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and all West Bank settlements — a flagrant violation of international law.

US Ambassador David Friedman was quick to confirm that the administration had green lit annexation, telling reporters, “Israel does not have to wait at all” and “we will recognize it.”

We need to be clear: This is a “two state solution” in name only, just as it is a “peace plan” in name only.

Recommended Analysis

Trump’s Peace Plan Is a Trojan Horse That Aims to Make Israeli Occupation Permanent

By Khaled Elgindy

The plan may well have been designed to elicit a Palestinian “no,” which could then be used as pretext for Israeli annexation....

Trump Unveils the "Giveaway of the Century" on Middle East Peace

By Robin Wright

"The Palestinians will be left with a proto-state that is physically divided, economically challenged, and possibly not viable as a modern country. "

Borders Under the Trump Plan

By Dan Rothem

For Palestinians, who insist on the integrity of the 1967 lines (22% of mandated Palestine/Land of Israel) this is a non-starter. They've been willing to entertain swaps (allowing Israel to annex the largest settlements)...

Trump's Claims Vs. the Reality of the Peace Sham

J Street Analysis

Trump made a lot of bold, positive sounding claims about his annexation plan. We lay out the reality.

National Security and Foreign Policy Professionals Letter Against the Trump Proposal

Open Letter

More than two dozen former senior administration officials, including U.S. Ambassadors to Israel, noted American negotiators, and senior White House officials, released an open statement denouncing the Trump proposal.

Don't Call it a Peace Plan

By Daniel Levy

The language of peace had been cut and pasted, then put through a grinder, delivering an act of aggression dripping with the coarse syntax of racism. A hate plan, not a peace plan...

Trump's Plan: Understanding the various Ramiifications

Economic Cooperation Foundation

On February 2nd, ECF convened a brainstorming on the Trump Plan, designed to analyze its main ramifications. The discussion included an analysis of the territorial, security, economic, Jerusalem-related refugee-related aspects...

President Trump's Peace Plan Is the Latest in a Century of Outrageous Deals for the Palestinians

Rashid Khalidi

Given the blatant biases, and the bland ignorance of Middle Eastern realities, of Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, David Friedman and the other architects of this parody of a peace plan, one thing is absolutely certain.

A disaster for diplomacy and the Zionist dream

By Reps. Price, Levin, Schakowsky, Welch, Lowenthal and Haaland

The plan was conceived without diplomacy; it does not lay the groundwork for future diplomacy; and it abandons three decades of American diplomacy—diplomacy that was aimed at self-determination for Palestinians and an Israel...

Reactions from 2020 Candidates

"A peace plan requires two sides to come together. This is a political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more. I've spent a lifetime working to advance the security & survival of... Israel. This is not the way."
Vice President Joe Biden
"This president's Mideast 'Deal of the Century,' like so much else he’s done in foreign policy, makes complex situations worse.

Peace requires both parties at the table. Not a political green light to the leader of one for unilateral annexation."
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
"Unilateral implementation of this one-sided proposal will risk eliminating any remaining prospects for achievement of a peaceful and viable two-state solution."
Senator Amy Klobuchar
(From Senate Letter Below)
"Any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and... must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump's so-called 'peace deal'... will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable."
Senator Bernie Sanders
"Trump’s deal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t a ‘peace plan’ at all – it’s an insult. It does not bring all parties to the table and runs contrary to principles of international law."
Tom Steyer
"Trump's 'peace plan' is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn't diplomacy, it's a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it."
Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senate Letter Opposing the Plan

Senators Chris Van Hollen, Sherrod Brown, Tom Udall, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Martin Heinrich, Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tammy Baldwin, Amy Klobuchar, Jack Reed and Tom Carper addressed the following letter to President Trump: 

Dear President Trump,

We write to express our profound concern regarding your decision to release a one-sided Israeli-Palestinian plan forged without any Palestinian involvement or support. Unilateral implementation of this one-sided proposal will risk eliminating any remaining prospects for achievement of a peaceful and viable two-state solution.

Unilateral U.S. endorsement of Israeli sovereignty throughout Jerusalem, over all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley guarantees Palestinian rejection and paves the way for full or partial Israeli annexation of the West Bank. Such a development would disregard international law, engender stiff opposition from our allies, and undermine existing U.S. policy regarding the unilateral annexation of Crimea, eastern Ukraine, northern Cyprus and elsewhere. It will also place allies like Jordan in an untenable position.

Furthermore, this proposal violates the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and will erode the long-term security interests of Israel by placing it on a course toward either a one-state solution that undermines the vision of a democratic Jewish state or a fragmented, disconnected and deeply unequal system of Palestinian islets surrounded by Israeli territory. Neither is a sustainable solution that supports the legitimate rights and aspirations of both sides. Any attempt to label a disconnected series of Palestinian islets a “state” would betray the vision of a sovereign Palestinian state.

The timing of this proposal to coincide with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s indictment on bribery charges also raises disturbing questions about your intention to intervene in the Israeli election process. For this reason, leading Israeli politicians had called for a delay in the plan’s release until after the March 2 Israeli elections.

Your administration has already reversed decades of bipartisan U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Previous presidents of both parties successfully maintained the respect of both Israelis and Palestinians for the United States’ role as a credible player in difficult negotiations. Your one-sided actions have made that impossible. It is clear that this latest White House effort is not a legitimate attempt to advance peace. It is a recipe for renewed division and conflict in the region. We urge your administration to demonstrate a real commitment to a viable two-state solution and to lay the foundation for a future that enables Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace, freedom, security, and prosperity.

House Letter Opposing the Plan

107 representatives sent the following letter to President Trump:

We write to express our strong disapproval of your administration’s proposal, the purported aim of which is to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Our concern is both with the substance of your plan, which will exacerbate and entrench conflict rather than resolve it, and with the timing of its release.

Just last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.Res.326 with bipartisan support. That resolution indicated Congressional opposition to unilateral annexation of the West Bank, asserted longstanding U.S. opposition to settlement expansion, and reaffirmed that any viable U.S.-proposed peace plan must include support for a two-state solution. A real two-state solution is the only conflict-ending means of securing both national self-determination for Palestinians and an Israel that is secure, democratic, and a homeland for the Jewish people.

However, the “ultimate deal” that your team has incubated for the past three years is not a serious or good faith attempt to bring such a durable peace between the parties to this conflict. Of utmost concern, your proposal effectively paves the way for permanent occupation of the West Bank. It endorses unilateral annexation of Israeli settlements, as well as the Jordan Valley. While your proposal uses the language of statehood for Palestinians, it provides for far less than an actual, viable state. A collection of disconnected Palestinian enclaves – surrounded by settlements and settlement infrastructure annexed by Israel, and still under Israeli control – does not constitute statehood. Crafted by a team that has long indicated its animosity to actual Palestinian statehood, your proposal attempts to make a genuine two-state solution impossible.

We are deeply concerned that your administration developed a proposal without consulting Palestinians and that no Palestinian leadership could plausibly accept. It could result in renewed violence in Israel and across the occupied territories. It may destabilize Jordan, a vital U.S. ally, and endanger Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. It also will likely deepen animosity toward the United States throughout the broader Middle East.

In addition to the highly problematic nature of your proposal, the timing of its release suggests motives unrelated to helping solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coming just over a month before Israel’s third election in a year – against the backdrop of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictments – releasing the plan now appears to be an inappropriate intervention in a foreign election.

A U.S. proposal that promotes unilateral annexation and jettisons a real two-state solution is bad for Israel, for the shared values that have historically undergirded the U.S.-Israel relationship, and for the bipartisan consensus in the U.S. on the importance of that relationship, which Israel has long understood to be a crucial strategic asset.

Your plan will hurt Israelis and Palestinians alike, pushing them toward further conflict. It does not have our support, and the Israeli government must not take it as license to violate international law by annexing all or portions of the West Bank.

List of signers

Palestinian Responses

Opposition from Israeli Leaders

"The 'Deal of the Century' is a fraud of the century that will not lead to peace but to unilateral annexation and incitement. The immediate permission to annex vast territories and isolated, non-security justified settlements undermines the important recognition of the 2-state solution..."
MK Itzik Shmuli
Member of Knesset, Labor
"Bibi and Trump's annexation and transfer plan includes a green light to deny the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Arabs in the Triangle.... Every citizen, Arab and Jewish, who believes in democracy and peace, must resist this dangerous plan."
MK Ayman Odeh
Leader, Joint List
"A plan that enables unilateral annexation is not a peace plan but a safe recipe for peace and danger to security. A peace plan should be achieved in negotiations for two states between Israel and the Palestinians and not an election...."
MK Tamar Zandberg
Member of Knesset, Meretz
"Our position is clear: We see the importance of the US as a mediator between us and the Palestinians, but the end of unilateral measures is to deepen hostility and undermine security. Israel needs to determine its own fate, moving away from the path of annexation and towards the path of peace"
MK Amir Peretz
Leader, Labor and Former Defense Minister
"It's a joke. Seriously? Do you really believe that it's a peace plan? [...] I fear that this plan could cause chaos in the State of Israel."
Meir Sheetrit
Former Israeli Minister
"This is not a peace plan, it is a one-party plan, the prospect for violence has increased."
Nitzan Alon
Major General (Ret.)

Jewish Organizations

Ameinu

This ill-timed and misguided proposal does not aim to solve the conflict, for if it did, it would have been done in coordination and engagement with the second party to the conflict, the Palestinians....

Americans for Peace Now

The Trump plan changes the terms of reference for future Israeli-Palestinian relations. It shifts from a record that was carefully built by Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and other third-party stakeholders over the course of decades...

Israel Policy Forum

The plan is an Orwellian exercise in doublespeak in which one side gets to talk about peace and two states while actually carrying out a plan that will ultimately end with a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea...

J Street

This is a time when those who care about the future of Israel, the rights of Palestinians and the principles of US foreign policy cannot remain silent...

New Israel Fund

This plan threatens to make the occupation permanent. If it becomes reality, there will be no two-state solution...

Partners for Progressive Israel

Standing beside U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington yesterday, caretaker Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arguably became the world’s most dangerous anti-Zionist...

Reconstructing Judaism

In stark contrast with past Israeli-Palestinian agreements brokered by US administrations of both parties, the Trump-Kushner plan was presented to the public without any Palestinian leaders standing alongside their Israeli and American....

T'ruah

This plan, which annexes Jewish settlements and creates disconnected, isolated areas under Palestinian rule, violates international law, and enshrines the ways in which Palestinians under occupation are deprived of their basic civil...

Union for Reform Judaism

"Unilateral annexation is dangerous for Israel’s future and for stability and peace of the region overall."

International Reaction

Peace, Human Rights and Coexistence Organizations

Abraham Initiative

The “Deal of the Century” is challenging the basic tenets of our democracy and unfortunately we now need to re-state the obvious: Arab citizens of Israel... are all citizens with equal rights, their citizenship is unconditional...

B'Tselem

A “solution” of this sort, one that fails to ensure the human rights, liberty and equality of all people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea ...is not a legitimate solution.

The Association for Human Right in Israel

Israel and the United States are not allowed to decide for themselves the violation of international law and human rights...

Combatants for Peace

The consequences of the plan could be devastating to both sides, leading to a new wave of violence and polarization. Israelis and Palestinians should decline this “deal”, which has only Netanyahu and Trump’s best interests in mind...

EcoPeace

Any peace plan worth its name must address how Israelis and Palestinians will both be guaranteed the rights, security, and self-determination they are equally entitled to. These are the conditions necessary for societies to live...

Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement

Further entrenching the dispossession of Palestinians and perpetuating the occupation are a recipe for ongoing conflict, not peace...

Ir Amim

[Some] claim Trump’s plan includes a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem... Nothing could be further from the truth...

The Parents Circle Families Forum

The Parents Circle Families Forum opposes the U.S. plan to annex territories in the West Bank. This plan goes against international law, denies Israeli citizenship to its Arab citizens and is a unilateral move that does not include a Palest

Sikkuy

This plan has been developed without the consent of the Palestinians and without any dialogue with the elected Palestinian leadership, it completely ignores the rights of the Palestinians, and is striking the democratic foundation...

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