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Don`t call it a peace plan!
From: Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street
By mail from

For three years, J Street has urged that no one mistakenly label the
document Jared Kushner, President Trump and Ambassador Friedman are cooking
up regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a ďpeace plan.Ē

A plan to resolve conflict or achieve peace demands engaging - at a minimum
- both parties to that conflict. It involves addressing claims and concerns
in a manner that allows both sides to feel they derive benefit through

The Kushner/Friedman effort has not been a remotely legitimate attempt to
promote the interest of the United States in resolving the conflict or the
Israeli interest in gaining international recognition of its borders and in
enhancing its security. It hasnít even pretended to engage with the
Palestinians. Instead, the administration has squeezed them economically in
a vain attempt to coerce concessions.

No - the Trump teamís work must be understood for what it is: an effort to
enshrine as American policy the positions on the conflict held by Israelís
settlement movement and its nationalist right-wing.

With election campaigns in high gear in both countries, itís clear why both
Trump and Netanyahu are interested in releasing a proposal that plays to
their core political bases.

It`s also clear why they would choose to schedule a high-profile meeting on
the plan on the very day one leader is standing trial before the US Senate
and the other faces a parliamentary debate over his request for immunity
from prosecution.

What a great distraction this White House event will provide for both

Understanding the politics of the moment, the settlement movement and its
allies are trying to seize this unique opportunity to shift the goal posts
far to the right in the conversation about the conflict and its resolution.

Though the proposal to be released has no chance of achieving peace or
resolving the conflict, its publication -- possibly in the next few days --
will serve their cause forever as a significant milestone.

Such moments have shaped the discourse and framed the conversation regarding
this conflict for nearly a century: from the 1937 Peel Commission and 1947
UN partition plans through Security Council resolutions such as 242 and 338
-- and even American interventions such as the release of the Clinton
parameters in December 2000.

Sadly, this milestone will only mark a setback in legitimate efforts to
achieve peace.

We canít predict with certainty the impacts of the proposalís release. Will
it lead to an end to Palestinian security cooperation or even to a collapse
of the Palestinian Authority?

Will it lead to a break in the Jordanian-Israel relationship after nearly
three decades of peace? Will these developments snowball toward violence and
further bloodshed? Will Israel face even more trouble from international
organizations and more pressure from international boycotts?

One way or another, future American administrations and international
diplomats trying to help resolve the conflict will always have to deal with
this moment`s legacy.

Those who care deeply about the state of Israel and its future should also
recognize the danger inherent in this moment of triumph for the Israeli
right. They intend -- with the acquiescence of a far too mild opposition --
to leverage the Trump proposal and its certain rejection by the Palestinians
to realize their dream of unchallenged sovereignty between the river and the

If they are successful in implementing their vision, it would mean the
permanent subjugation of the Palestinians. Israel would lose any pretense of
being the `only democracy in the Middle East` and would instead face
international consequences for overseeing a system of different legal
statuses and rights for people based on ethnicity.

This is no peace plan. It is a peace sham -- and its acceptance by Israel
will lead only to deeper conflict, loss of democracy and ultimately
international shame.

We`ll be in touch in the coming days with updates and suggestions for how
you can push back against the #PeaceSham. Please follow us closely on
Twitter and Facebook for real-time news and analysis.

- Jeremy Ben-Ami


President Trump and Jared Kushnerís long delayed Israeli-Palestinian `plan`
is set to be unveiled at the White House tomorrow, with both Prime Minister
Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz now in Washington for the occasion.

Join us Tuesday evening as we review the proposal, its implications for
Israelis and Palestinians and how we as a pro-Israel, pro-peace movement can
On the call:

Debra Shushan, J Street Director of Government Affairs

Shibley Telhami, Brookings expert and former senior advisor to the State

Tamara Cofman Wittes, Brookings expert and former deputy assistant secretary
of state for Near Eastern affairs.
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