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‘Deal of the Century’ Saves Trump from Impeachment & Netanyahu from Corruption Charges: Washington Post

“The Mideast peace plan that President Trump unveiled at the White House Tuesday amounts, as a practical matter, to another one-sided gift to the right-wing Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump promised U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and all of the settlements Israel has constructed in the West Bank — a radical shift in a half-century-old American policy.” “Netanyahu, who gleefully pledged to immediately ‘apply Israeli law to all areas the plan recognizes,’ reciprocated by calling Trump ‘the greatest friend Israel has ever had in the White House.’ Trump can be expected to flog that endorsement as he seeks reelection this year. Netanyahu, in turn, will present himself to Israeli voters in a March election as the leader who extracted once-unimaginable concessions from Washington. Both leaders can hope to distract from ongoing scandals: Mr. Trump from his impeachment trial and Mr. Netanyahu from his indictment Tuesday on corruption charges.” According to the US newspaper, the Palestinian “state” would lack many conventional aspects of sovereignty, including control over its borders, airspace, territorial waters and international relations. “Israel would retain ‘overriding security responsibility,’ including the right to send its own forces into Palestinian territory. Tens of thousands of Israelis would go on living in settlements inside the new Arab state and would be governed by ‘Israel’. And Israel would have full sovereignty over Jerusalem, except for a few areas already outside the city’s security barrier.” “In order to obtain this highly circumscribed independence, the Palestinians would have to meet a long list of conditions, including establishing Western-style institutions, disarming the Hamas movement and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Even if the current leadership were eager to comply, which it is not, the criteria could not be met anytime in the foreseeable future. ‘It may take them a very long time to get to the beginning of that path,’ gloated Mr. Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Israel’s annexations of settlements could begin days from now.” “The only thing in the plan resembling an Israeli concession was a vague and unenforceable pledge that settlements in the territory envisioned for the future Palestine would not be expanded beyond their current footprint in the next four years. The Palestinians, for their part, will work to mobilize Arab and European governments against the scheme. If ‘Israel’ proceeds with annexations, its diplomatic relations with Jordan and perhaps other Arab states could be endangered.” “None of that matters to Trump or Netanyahu, who are preoccupied with short-term political survival. Mideast peace was an already distant prospect, but these cynical and self-seeking leaders have made it more so.”

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