For the past two decades, the formula underlying the Middle East peace process was to accept the Palestinian positions, turn a blind eye to their transgressions (because they were the “oppressed”), and require painful concessions of Israel.
After more than 20 years of failure despite intensive diplomatic efforts, US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” finally proposes a different approach by effectively turning the peace process on its head.
As top Israeli media commentator Amit Segal wrote: “While Israel will gain its concessions immediately and without conditions, the Palestinians now have to go through ten levels of hell” if they want to gain theirs.
So, what exactly is each side being offered?
- A green light to annex the 30% of the West Bank containing Jewish settlements, as well as the entire Jordan Valley, what is today known as “Area C”;
- Official US recognition of the annexed areas as sovereign Israeli territory, meaning an automatic veto of any UN effort to sanction Israel;
- Full security control over sea, land, air and electromagnetic space west of the Jordan River, including those areas that are part of a Palestinian state;
- Full security control over all border crossings;
- Hamas and all other independent Palestinian militias will be fully disarmed;
- The Palestinian Authority will stop all payments to terrorists and their families;
- The Palestinian Authority will halt all diplomatic activities against Israel;
- The Palestinian Authority will cease incitement against Israel in its media and schools;
- The Palestinians will recognize Israel as the Jewish state;
- The Palestinians will officially recognize Israel’s new borders after the aforementioned annexation;
- The Palestinians will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel;
- The Palestinians will waive the “right of return” for so-called Palestinian “refugees to sovereign Israel;
- While the Temple Mount will remain under Muslim custodianship, people of all faiths will be permitted to pray there.
Only after they fulfill the above obligations, the Palestinians will get:
- An independent Palestinian state on 70% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip;
- Two large parcels of land in the western Negev to compensate for the 30% of the West Bank annexed by Israel;
- Dedicated highways connecting Gaza to the Negev enclaves, and a tunnel connecting the Palestinian state in the West Bank to the Gaza Strip;
- Some outlying neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem enabling them to also claim the Holy City as their capital;
- Access to the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod;
- Generous financial incentives including extensive trade agreements with Arab neighbors, Israel and the US to boost the economy of the future Palestinian state.