Israel advocates: Middle East peace plan both promising and unlikely
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Chad Groening, Jody Brown (OneNewsNow.com)
While pro-Israel activists are encouraged by the Middle East peace plan unveiled at the White House yesterday, they're also not surprised the Palestinians have soundly rejected it.
President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu made the joint announcement at the White House. The long-awaited peace plan unveiled on Tuesday calls for the creation of a State of Palestine, more than doubling the territory currently under Palestinian control. Other key elements of the plan include:
Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel.
The Palestinians must recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
Hamas must be disarmed, and the Palestinians must reject terrorism.
The so-called "refugee problem" will be settled outside the boundaries of Israel.
Israel will suspend construction in disputed territories for four years to give both sides time to implement various aspects of the deal.
The president pledged $50 billion of investment to provide hope and economic opportunity to the Palestinian people.
Gary Bauer is a long-time advocate for Israel and among the leadership of the CUFI Action Fund (Christians United for Israel). He was appointed by President Trump to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and was at the White House for the roll out of the plan.
"I'm encouraged by it," he says of the proposed peace plan. "Obviously, every president since around the time of Lyndon Johnson has tried to bring peace to the Middle East – but usually they've tried to do it by imposing on Israel a set of concessions that they would have to make because the United States was leaning on them.
"This president does not lean on Israel – he stands with Israel," Bauer emphasizes.
The Palestinian leadership has already rejected the plan, accusing Trump of being biased in favor of Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians remain committed to ending what he calls the Israeli "occupation" and to establishing a state with its capital in east Jerusalem.
"They want Israel. 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free' – that is their mantra; that is what they've held to," she informs. "They will reject anything that suggests that they have to share the land in any capacity."
While Trump and Netanyahu were already resigned to that fact that Palestinian leadership would likely nix the deal, Bauer argues the Palestinians are "never going to get a better deal" than the one just proposed.
"They've rejected other deals over the years," he points out, "and the result of all those rejections is that the Palestinian people, particularly young Palestinians, by and large do not have a future because their own leaders are corrupt – and their own leaders prosper only if there is a constant state of war going on."
Bauer isn't alone in that assessment. The Heritage Foundation, commenting on the proposed peace plan, says "essentially, the U.S. administration is trying to lay the groundwork for a political environment in which Palestinian leaders might one day put the Palestinian people first – not last."
And while Cardoza-Moore says it remains to be seen how this will affect the Israeli elections on March 2, she contends the deal can only boost President Trump come November.
"This is going to embolden the evangelical Christian vote," she predicts. "[They're] very supportive of the biblical position that President Trump has taken with regards to Israel. It is nothing short of miraculous to be alive to see a sitting president doing what no other president had the courage to do because this is the will of God."
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