סבב ברים העבודה מרצ
L-R: Democratic Union MK Tamar Zandberg, Labor Chairman Amir Peretz and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz
Photo: Moti Kimchi
L-R: Democratic Union MK Tamar Zandberg, Labor Chairman Amir Peretz and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz

Trump's peace plan is last chance at 2-state solution

Opinion: Rejection of 'Deal of the Century' by Zionist leftists and hardline right-wingers will only strengthen Palestinian cause and lead to a binational state where Jews are the minority

Ben-Dror Yemini |
Published: 01.28.20 , 23:34
A couple of days ago, Labor Chairman Amir Peretz said his party believes peace negotiations with the Palestinians should be based on a two-state solution with territorial exchanges and without any unilateral initiatives.
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  • Meretz Chairman Nitzan Horowitz also shared his thoughts on the so-called "Deal of the Century", claiming it is not the way to promote the peace process.
    Are you guys being serious?
    סבב ברים העבודה מרצסבב ברים העבודה מרצ
    L-R: Democratic Union MK Tamar Zandberg, Labor Chairman Amir Peretz and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    I can understand those on the right who always opposed a Palestinian state out of a basic principle, no matter if the Palestinians wanted 30 percent of the disputed territories or 90 percent.
    But the left? It would've been acceptable had the Palestinians accepted a state spanning on 95 percent of the lands in question and asked the peace organizations and Israel's political left to support the peace process. Except that is not the case.
    In response to the Geneva Accord (a draft Permanent Status Agreement to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict), which is probably the only peace initiative the Zionist left and the Palestinians can agree upon, countless Palestinian spokespeople have made it clear that they will not give up on the Palestinian right of return (a political position that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return to what is now the State of Israel).
    So, what exactly does the left has to propose to solve the conflict? More talks? More concessions that will be followed by even more concessions?
    U.S. President Donald Trump's Mideast peace plan, which was presented Tuesday evening in Washington, could finally separate the Israelis from the Palestinians by freezing the settlement construction in the West Bank for at least four years.
    This indicates a change in trend because the likelihood of separation between the peoples has diminished greatly over the past decade.
    The policies of the right are slowly creating a bi-national state, and their constant denial of this fact is laughable.
    The bi-national state, which will neither be Jewish nor democratic, is taking shape one settlement at a time. The deal of the century could very well be Israel right's last chance to jump on the two-state solution bandwagon.
    Conceptual map of Israel-Palestine as proposed in Trump peace planConceptual map of Israel-Palestine as proposed in Trump peace plan
    Conceptual map of Israel-Palestine as proposed in Trump peace plan
    (Photo: Twitter)
    The choice is not between past peace proposals and Trump's plan. The choice is between Trump's plan and a bi-national state where Jews will no longer be a majority.
    The truth is that the stubborn right-wing opposes the deal of the century because it kills its dream of a Greater Israel (commonly seen as Israel and the Palestinian territories).
    On the other side of the political spectrum, there's the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the radical, anti-Zionist left. They strive for a one-state solution too and I can understand them.
    But the Zionist left? Where does all this bitterness come from? After all, if Trump's peace plan doesn't end up being implemented, we will get another decade of outposts and settlements. Is that what you want?
    A better deal may have been possible, but it is nowhere in sight and even if the Democratic Party takes control of the White House after the November elections, it is unlikely to reinvent the wheel.
    The party would probably offer the Palestinians what some former Democratic presidents, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have already offered in the past.
    הבית הלבןהבית הלבן
    President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu during peace plan reveal
    (Photo: EPA)
    The current situation, however, which some mistake for "stagnation," is still very dynamic.
    After all, the hard liners on the right take advantage of the situation to advance its vision of a Greater Israel. What they don't understand is that it will result in the demise of the Jewish State and the Zionist vision.
    The historical Labor movement, which Meretz is largely a part of, built this country from nothing. It always picked the proposals presented to it on the basis of whether it will fulfill the vision of a national home for the Jewish people.
    The Trump deal shouldn't be judged based the controversies surrounding the American president or by its peculiar timing. The only relevant criteria to consider is whether the plan promotes the Jewish-democratic vision.
    The answer to that question is clear - opposition to the deal on the left will serve the opposition to the deal on the right and strengthen the Palestinian cause. This will result in one single outcome – a bi-national state.
    I implore you to adopt the deal of the century, even if your support may pose a problem for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    It will strengthen the resistance on the right and portray Netanyahu as having achieved partial annexation but also as someone who defected to the left and facilitated the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    On second thought, this might not be such a bad outcome.
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