US PRESIDENT Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they pose in the Rose Garden at the White House this week.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)
Even if the so-called "Deal of the Century" will be released in the upcoming weeks, writes Shlomo Shamir from Maariv
, the White House is working on an alternative plan that will not be released to the public yet and is much more important for the person sitting in the Oval Office, at least for now.
Until the re-do Knesset elections meant to be held on September 17, the "Deal of the Century" is going to be the "Three Months Deal," aimed to ensure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be reelected. This is not mere speculation; UN senior diplomats and established reporters in Washington share this view. In off the record talks it is seen as a natural White House reaction to the Netanyahu failure to come up with a coalition.
“Jared Kushner will change the details [of the peace plan] to aid the Israeli leader,” The New York Times recently printed.
A senior Arab diplomat told Shamir that “peace between Israel and the Palestinians is a lovely aspiration, which compliments the priorities of the White House, but nobody is deluding themselves to think peace will be easy. Netanyahu, the favorite and friend of Trump, is in trouble – ensuring his political future is the important mission that the White House sees as attainable.”
Not only the political fate of Netanyahu, who must head to a re-do election with legal cases still pending against him, Trump also faces another concern much closer to home. Even if Netanyahu wins the re-do elections and forms a coalition, Israel would only have a working government able to discuss such a peace plan in October. The new timetable means the "Deal of the Century" will be released in November, and the US Presidential race will kick off.
While it is unlikely Trump will be challenged by a GOP member, recent polls find Joe Biden is gaining support not only among Democrats but also with independent voters and even states that usually vote Republican.
A survey in Pennsylvania gave Biden a 53% approval rating and Trump got 45%. For a sitting president this is not a good figure, even if elections in the US are still a year and a half from now.
The hypothesis is Trump will appeal to his Evangelical base, and to do that, he will do a lot to keep the prime minister Evangelical Christians support, Benjamin Netanyahu, in power.
Allegedly, when Kushner and Netanyahu met just before the Knesset was dispersed that was the topic they discussed - the US's commitment to helping Netanyahu win.
The Times argued that the result will be a peace plan that will be even more biased in favor of Israeli interests. Allegedly, Kushner left the meeting with more time to release his plan and a much more defined diplomatic mission.
While Trump was in the UK and encouraging the nation to leave the EU, Kushner was meeting EU leaders in an attempt to get the EU to stand behind the "Deal of the Century" – that effort was not successful. The European position remained that the two-state plan is the only possible solution.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced a new Senate resolution calling for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) also joined it, Warren's site reports.
While it is too early to say what will be the fate of Netanyahu, the second longest serving Israeli leader after the nation’s founder David Ben-Gurion – it is likely that the Trump peace plan will not only fail, it’ll become the farce of the century.
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