News Analysis: Trump's peace plan for Palestinian-Israeli conflict expected to fail: experts

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-29 19:59:00|Editor: huaxia

CAIRO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Political experts from Egypt, Palestine and Israel agree that the peace plan announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict cannot succeed.

Trump revealed on Tuesday the long-awaited political aspect of his controversial Middle East peace plan, calling for a two-state solution while recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital."

The U.S. president outlined the 80-page plan at the White House along with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying it proposes a "realistic" two-state solution.

According to the experts, both Trump and Netanyahu announced the plan in order to mobilize support ahead of the next U.S. presidential elections and Israeli parliamentary elections.

Trump and Netanyahu also wanted to use the announcement of the plan to save themselves as Trump faces the risk of isolation by the U.S. congress, while Netanyahu is accused of corruption in Israel, the experts said.

Trump said the new plan recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital," while claiming that the Palestinians' capital will include areas of East Jerusalem.

The Trump administration has postponed several times the publication of its "Deal of the Century" for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a proposal that has been criticized repeatedly by the Palestinians who have little engagement in it.

Right after Trump's announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will change the role of the current Palestinian Authority in response to the U.S. plan. However, he did not give information about what the steps will be.

Speaking to reporters after an urgent leadership meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian president completely rejected Trump's peace plan, saying the plan "will not pass and will end in the dustbin of history."

"The Trump plan is meant to support Israel, not to make peace indeed. The timing of the announcement is very important for Trump as this will help him against the fiercest wave that threatens to isolate him in light of a parliamentary trial," said professor Mohamed Sadiq, director of the Cairo-based Arab Center for Political Studies.

"The U.S. elections will be held in November, and Trump wants to win the support of Jewish voters," Sadiq told Xinhua.

Sadiq added that the U.S. plan represents "a rescue for Netanyahu who faces corruption charges in addition to political stalemate due to the lack of agreement to form an Israeli government."

Meanwhile, Nehemia Strassler, a journalist with Israeli daily Haaretz, said that Netanyahu is under pressure, pointing out that the U.S. deal is "a political trick to save Netanyahu in the upcoming elections."

"Netanyahu has a lot of enemies in his party, and he realizes that if he loses in the next, he will be brought to justice and could possibly be sent to prison. He is trying to prevent this by backing Trump's plan," Strassler said.

Palestinian political observer Mohsen Abu Ramadan also agreed that the aim of announcing the U.S. plan is to save Trump and Netanyahu from their predicaments.

"Thus, Netanyahu could save Trump from the congress trial that could lead to his removal from power as well as backing him in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections," Abu Ramadan told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Sadiq said that Israel and the United States may exercise economic and security pressure on the Palestinians in order to push them to the negotiation table.

He added that the coming days may witness acts of violence between the Palestinians and Israelis, especially since the Palestinians announced their complete rejection of the plan, which they described as "a U.S. gift to Israel."

For his part, Strassler, the Israeli analyst, said it is certain that the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and Arab countries will oppose the U.S. plan because "it represents a violation of all international agreements."

"The U.S. deal is not a peace plan that can be internationally accepted," he said, adding that if Israel tries to annex the Palestinian territories by force, a violent war will erupt and the security situation will get worse.

The experts agreed that the Trump plan is "a failure," and it only serves Israel's interests.

"I do not think the plan will succeed, because it violates international legitimacy and does not give the Palestinian people their rights," Abu Ramadan, the Palestinian expert, told Xinhua, adding that the United States is no longer a fair peace sponsor.

Washington's role as an Israeli-Palestinian conflict mediator has been questioned with the Trump administration's pro-Israeli policies in the past three years such as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moving the U.S. embassy to the city, and slashing hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.