“The man who makes Me his refuge will inherit the land and possess My holy mountain.” Isa. 57:13
WHITE HOUSE UNVEILS MIDEAST PEACE PLAN: President Donald Trump released the US Mideast peace plan on Tues. 28 Jan. 2020. The White House statement said, “This vision is just the first step and provides the basis for historic progress toward peace. If the Palestinians have concerns with this vision, they should bring them forth in the context of good-faith negotiations with the Israelis and help make progress for the region. Mere opposition to this vision is simply a declaration of support for the hopeless status quo that is the product of decades of stale thinking. The vision aims to achieve mutual recognition of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and the future State of Palestine as the nation-state of the Palestinian people, with equal civil rights for all citizens within each state. The vision creates a path for the Palestinian people to realize their legitimate aspirations for independence, self-governance, and national dignity. Under this vision, neither Palestinians nor Israelis will be uprooted from their homes. The vision fully addresses Israel’s security requirements, does not ask Israel to take additional security risks, and enables Israel to defend itself by itself against any threats. The vision provides for a demilitarized Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel, with Israel retaining security responsibility west of the Jordan River.” PM Netanyahu said the plan recognizes Israel’s need for a buffer along the Jordan River, giving it strategic depth against enemies to the east and the ability to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the Palestinians. The Palestinian capital would be in eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods cut off by the Israeli security barrier. The plan also contemplates land swaps giving the Palestinians parts of what is now Israel including some areas of Israel that are heavily populated by Arab citizens. (White House/NY Times)
PALESTINIANS SCORN TRUMP DEAL: Palestinian Authority leaders have rejected Trump’s peace proposal outright without so much as a few moments to give the plan some thought. “After the nonsense that we heard today, we say a thousand times no to the deal of the century,” Abbas said at a press conference in the city of Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered. A day after US President Donald Trump announced his Middle East plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calls for mobilization by various Palestinian factions have gone mostly unheeded. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed popular mobilizations against the deal, as groups including the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas, which has governed the occupied Gaza Strip since 2007, called for mass protests. For the last 70 years, the cause of Palestine stirred the Arab street. Wars were fought and lost in their name. By the time Iran became the preoccupation of the US and its allies in the region, the Palestinians were cast into the unfamiliar role of playing second fiddle. The unveiling of the US peace plan has generated neither enthusiasm nor anger amongst Palestinians on the street – only apathy. (VFI News)
WORLD LEADERS RESPOND TO US PEACE PLAN: British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Tues. 28 Jan. 2020 that the US peace plan “is clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort. We encourage the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories to give these plans genuine and fair consideration and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations.” France said it welcomes President Trump’s efforts and will carefully study the peace plan he presented. Australia likewise has welcomed Trump’s “Vision for Peace” as a first step towards a two-state solution to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the UN supports two states living in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders.
Ambassadors from Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE were present when Trump unveiled the plan in the White House, marking a very public endorsement. Saudi Arabia, which once drew much of its regional clout from defending the Palestinians, was mute. The Palestinians had become a burden, financially and politically, and were no longer worth the investment, the Saudi crown prince had concluded. The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, said the plan “offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a US-led international framework. Egypt’s foreign ministry said that the plan favors a solution that restores all the “legitimate rights” of the Palestinian people through establishing an “independent and sovereign state on the Palestinian territories.” Egypt, which along with Jordan is the only Arab country to have made peace with Israel, said it appreciates the US administration’s efforts to try to resolve the decades-old conflict. Iran, of course, has immediately dismissed Trump’s Deal of the Century: Hesameddin Ashena, an adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, said on Twitter: “The shameful peace plan imposed by America on the Palestinians is the treason of the century and doomed to fail.” (VFI News)
ISRAEL’S PM: PALESTINIANS WILL HAVE NO BETTER DEAL: Israel’s PM Netanyahu urged the Palestinian Authority to accept the peace plan presented by the Trump Administration on Tues. 28 Jan. 2020, warning that they would “not get a better deal.” Netanyahu said: “President Trump provides a peace plan that will allow a deal that will give Israel and the Palestinians peace and security. We can move forward together. It’s a concrete plan that can work. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The president offers a great vision for economic development for the Palestinians, which will give hope to the youth, for the future. It is a plan that will change the Middle East,” the prime minister claimed. “I hope the Palestinians accept the agreement, the $50 billion to help them, and give up the dream of destroying Israel and living with us in peace.” Netanyahu noted that ” compromise is needed from each side, but I am ready for these compromises. Netanyahu said that under Trump’s plan the Palestinians will have to disarm Hamas, demilitarize Gaza, recognize Israel as the Jewish state and accept Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and 30% of Judea & Samaria before they are granted statehood. They also must stop paying salaries to terrorists and their families, cease “incitement against Israel,” and withdraw all complaints against Israel at the International Criminal Court. Netanyahu further commented saying, “This is a revolutionary change from previous peace proposals. Instead of pressuring Israel into making concessions, the US is now making demands of the Palestinians.” (Times of Israel/VFI News)
NIKKI HALEY: PALESTINIANS HAVE ONE LAST CHANCE: Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke on Mon. 27 Jan. 2020 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Haley addressed US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, which was unveiled the following day. “The number one priority” of the deal is “the national security of Israel,” she said. “We knew we would not do anything to compromise security, and there would be no deal if either party disagreed,” Haley added. “The goal is to get to a place where we can help the Palestinians be in better condition – without harming Israel. The US will not try to push either side. At the end of the day, it should be a decision between Israel and the Palestinians,” she stressed. “It is a plan that is doable, and I hope everyone will keep an open mind. My hope is that Arab society will want to push the matter forward. I think we’ll see a direction of openness, and that may signal to the Palestinians that this is perhaps their last chance.” (Arutz-7)
PALESTINIANS MUST FACE REALITY IN MIDEAST: Twice in 2000 and once in 2008, Israel offered Palestinians a state in exchange for a declaration of peace. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Palestinian territory of Gaza and left it to the Gazans to rule themselves. The Palestinians met both the offers and the withdrawal with multiple wars, thus giving the lie to the fantasy that all you need to achieve peace is an outstretched hand. Now the US proposes a plan that takes account of Israel’s security needs and Palestinian aspirations for sovereignty and statehood. What’s different here is that the US is no longer demanding that Israel place itself in existential jeopardy by giving up vital security territory alongside the Jordan River – or that it unilaterally surrender part of Jerusalem, just to be nice. Nor does it make the preposterous demand that the Jewish state cedes the towns and neighborhoods they have built over the past 53 years to help the Palestinians make Judea and Samaria effectively Jew-free. It says that no Palestinians and no Israelis will be uprooted from their homes. (NY Post)
KUSHNER: US PLAN WILL DOUBLE THE SIZE OF PA: Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on Tues. 28 Jan. 2020 said that the Palestinians “have a perfect track record of missing opportunities. If they screw this up, I think that they will have a very hard time looking at the international community in the face saying they’re the victim, saying they have rights. This is a great deal for them. If they come to the table and negotiate, I think they can get something excellent.” Kushner stressed that the plan would double the size of the territory of the Palestinians. He added that the Palestinians are not going to get a state “by doing a day of rage. All doing a day of rage shows is that they’re not ready to have a state. Whole-hearted rejections will show the world that they are not interested in peace, they have never been interested in peace and, quite frankly, in the Palestinian areas you have a lot of people that are very vested in the status quo.” Kushner also said on Tuesday that the US Mideast plan “is the first time that Israel has ever agreed to a Palestinian state and it’s the first time Israel has agreed to a map, so this is an amazing opportunity for the Palestinian leadership. If they truly want to create a good opportunity for their people, they’d be wise to pursue it.” (VFI News)
KNOWING WHY PALESTINIANS WILL REJECT US PEACE DEAL: The Palestinian rejection of the US peace deal will not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with their consistently expressed demands regarding any future peace deal. Cumulatively, these demands require the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Any suggested peace deal that does not meet these demands will be rejected by the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority was created as a function of the 1993 Oslo agreement. While the Palestinians were happy to assume the control and jurisdiction in Judea, Samaria and Gaza afforded to them by the accords, they had no intention whatsoever to negotiate any settlement regarding the other issues. The PLO/PA stance on Jerusalem is that the city is Islamic territory that no earthly body has the right to forfeit to non-Islamic rule. Any peace deal that suggests leaving any part of Jerusalem under non-PA/Islamic jurisdiction will be rejected. Moreover, any peace accord that does not ensure the dismantling of every “settlement,” including multiple neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and the expulsion of every Israeli from those areas, will be rejected. Any peace plan must ensure the right of every Palestinian refugee to return to the area in which he, or most likely his father/grandfather, lived in 1948. There are 5,545,540 Palestinian “refugees” registered with UNRWA. The PLO/PA understands that the influx of these refugees would signal the end of the democratic Jewish state. For years the Palestinians have consistently expressed their demands regarding any potential peace plan. Any peace plan, offered by any person, at any time, that does not capitulate, in full, to the PLO/PA’s demands, will be rejected. The PLO/PA is still living in 1947 and still reject the very existence of Israel. No appeasing of them, short of offering the destruction of Israel, will ever suffice. (PMW)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff