President Trump’s vision for the creation of a democratic Palestinian State in Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria under his Peace to Prosperity Plan (Trump Plan) – is a futile exercise doomed to failure.
The Trump Plan defines the proposed “State of Palestine” [page 1] in these specific terms:
STATE OF PALESTINE: Throughout the Vision, the term “State of Palestine” refers to a future state, not currently in existence that could be recognized by the United States only if the criteria described in this Vision are satisfactorily met.The prescribed criteria are:
“a predicate to the formation of a Palestinian State and must be determined to have occurred by the State of Israel and the United States, jointly, acting in good faith, after consultation with the Palestinian Authority” [page 34]The “Palestinian Authority” no longer exists under that name – having been renamed the “State of Palestine” pursuant to a written decree issued by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on 3 January 2013. This name-change enabled the UN Secretary-General to inform the General Assembly on 13 January 2013:
“On 8 January 2013, Palestine informed the Secretary-General that the Head of Government was Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, and that the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine was Riad Malki. In accordance with its request, the designation “State of Palestine” is now used in all documents of the United Nations and on nameplates to be used in United Nations meetings. Mr. Abbas is now addressed as the President of the State of Palestine, Mr. Fayyad as the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine and Mr. Malki as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine.”Even the “Palestinians” remain undefined in the Trump Plan.
These fictitious flights into semantic fantasyland will require the United States and Israel to consult with ghosts.
The criteria for recognizing the State of Palestine include “the Palestinians” having:
- Implemented a governing system that provides for freedom of the press, free and fair elections, respect for human rights for its citizens, protections for religious freedom and for religious minorities to observe their faith
- Appropriate governance in place to prevent corruption
- Ended all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbours, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity.
- Achieved civilian and law enforcement control over all of its territory and demilitarized its population.
- Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired 1,378 rockets towards Israel 1 January 2019 – 19 November 2019
- Between January 2018 and March 2019, Hamas detained 66 people for social media posts or for allegedly violating broadly worded offences such as “harming revolutionary unity” and “misuse of technology” used to punish peaceful dissent or opposition.
- Hamas authorities detained more than 1,000 Palestinians during March 2019 demonstrations against the high cost of living.
- Laws in Gaza punish “unnatural intercourse” of a sexual nature, understood to include same-sex relationships, with up to 10 years in prison.
- Between January 2018 and March 2019, 1,609 persons were detained in the West Bank for insulting “higher authorities” and creating “sectarian strife,” and 752 for social media posts.
- There is no comprehensive domestic violence law preventing abuse and protecting survivors.
Trump has given the “Palestinians” four years to replace the current two autocratic Jew-hating regimes with a democratic Palestinian State. Trump’s vision seems destined to end up in the garbage bin of history.
Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog.