‘Trump’s peace plan is a game changer on territory, security’

For the first time, there is a plan that asks what Israel’s national interests are, according to Major General (Res.) Yitzhak ‘Jerry’ Gershon.

Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yitzhak ‘Jerry’ Gershon
US President Donald Trump’s peace plan is the first time since the 1993 Oslo Accords that the paradigm of the peace process has been changed and that shift is in Israel’s favor, Major General (Res.) Yitzhak “Jerry” Gershon told The Jerusalem Post.
“This is the first time since we signed the Oslo Agreement that [the US has] changed the paradigm of the negotiation between us and the Palestinians,” he said.
So when asked about Trump’s plan, he gave it his enthusiastic endorsement.
“I support the Trump plan 100%,” he said, adding that it was “a game changer.”
Gershon spoke with the Post while on a tour of the West Bank to highlight the security significance of the plan, as well as the importance of Israel’s ability to annex 30% of the West Bank. Gershon is one of a number of top IDF commanders and security personnel who have formed a group of some 1,000 members, known as Habithonistim, or “The Protectors of Israel” in English.
On Sunday representatives of Habithonistim traveled to strategic areas in Samaria, met with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and visited the Elon Moreh settlement, which is slated to be one of 15 Jewish communes that would become an isolated enclave under the plan.
But while Dagan and others in the settler leadership are concerned with the plan’s downsides, Gershon and others in his group said the plan is too important to ignore.
The Oslo Accords were about Israeli concessions, with the entire focus on what would Israel give up, he said.
Those accords created the first territorial shift in the status of the West Bank and Gaza since the 1967 Six-Day War, by dividing the territory into sections A, B and C. Under these terms Israel gave up 40% of the West Bank. That territory, Areas A and B, were transferred from Israeli military and civilian rule to the control of the Palestinian Authority, also created through the Oslo process, with the idea of more territorial concessions in the future.
To fulfill the expectations of withdrawals, Israel did leave Gaza in 2005, albeit unilaterally. Hamas took over, and the result was a terror state.
Trump’s plan says that Israel no longer has to make territorial concessions for peace, Gershon said. For the first time, there is a plan that asks what Israel’s national interests are.
Most significantly, he said, the plan recognizes that the IDF must retain control of the West Bank, including the Jordan River. That understanding creates an important change as well in the security paradigm, he said.
Gershon said that he understood the concerns of the settlers, including their fear that enclave settlements such as Elon Moreh would exist under conditions that would make life there unsustainable.
He also noted, however, that it was his understanding that the sovereignty map was not final and that the issue of the enclave settlements would be addressed.
The important point, he said, is that these communities would be part of sovereign Israel.
“It’s an illusion to think that Israel will give up the Jordan Valley or the settlements in Judea and Samaria. This is the first time that we can start from that point and move forward. If the Palestinians want to negotiate they are more than welcome, but if not, we won’t wait for them any more. This is the only plan that can secure peace and stability in the region,” he said.