Jim Denison is the founder and CEO of the Denison Forum, a nonprofit Christian media organization that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.
I watched online yesterday as President Trump presented his Middle East peace plan. He announced his proposal alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House.
The plan calls for a two-state solution including the state of Israel and the “future” state of Palestine with a capital in East Jerusalem.
HOW THE PLAN BENEFITS PALESTINIANS
The president’s plan offers significant benefits to the Palestinians. They would have a contiguous state in the West Bank that would be connected via a tunnel with the Gaza Strip. The proposed map would more than double the Palestinian territory, according to Mr. Trump, who stated that “no Palestinians or Israelis will be uprooted from their homes.”
Israel would freeze new settlement activity for four years while Palestinian statehood is negotiated. Israel would ensure Muslim access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and respect Jordan’s role regarding holy sites. The plan also creates a $50 billion economic revival fund for Palestinians, Jordan, and Egypt.
Mr. Netanyahu and his opponent in Israel’s March 2 election, Gen. Benny Gantz, have both agreed to implement the plan. This is the first time Israel has accepted a Palestinian state with defined borders.
HOW THE TWO SIDES ARE RESPONDING
However, the plan also contains elements that are certain to meet with Palestinian objections.
The US would recognize Israeli sovereignty over major portions of biblical Judea and Samaria, including the entire Jordan Valley. The Palestinian pathway to statehood requires that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state with its capital in Jerusalem, disarm Hamas, stop payments to terrorists, and eliminate incitement in schools.
The Jerusalem Post calls the plan “the best one Israel has ever been offered.” By contrast, Palestinian leaders have already stated that the plan “doesn’t constitute a basis for resolving the conflict.” They largely broke off relations with the White House after the president moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem in 2017.
For Israel to unilaterally annex much of the West Bank carries enormous risks. It could undermine Israel’s strategic peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and could fuel Palestinian unrest or a violent reaction in the region. For the Palestinians to reject the plan or continued negotiation, however, leaves them divided between Gaza and the West Bank with no state and no road map for the future.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Headlines