“NO! God’s Word says not to divide the land.”
This was the first reaction of many believers in Yeshua/Jesus to President Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” The Israeli right-wing parties also chimed in,
“NO! there can never be a Palestinian state.
Israel’s claim to the land, including Judea and Samaria is based on the Bible and God’s promises to His people Israel. (Gen. 12:7; 15:18; 17:8; 28:13, and 35:12.) Consider, though, that in the long history of the Jewish people, God has had to repeatedly discipline His people, individually, as a nation, and as a people.
One of the most recent examples is the 2000 years of diaspora Jews spent in exile separated from the land of Israel. However, He has also promised to gather the people of Israel and bring them back to the land of Israel. Today, we witness these promises being fulfilled before our eyes. Israel has returned to the land of Israel as a nation.
While in exile, foreigners have occupied the land and lay claim to the land for themselves. Now Israel has a dilemma–how to deal with these non-Jewish occupants, all the while having the international community watching and ready to condemn any meaningful effort at compromise.
Israel liberated Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six-Day War. These are all lands Palestinians now want for a future state.
The First Plan designed with Israel’s interests as a priority
President Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley stated,
“The top priority of the plan’s architects is always the national security of Israel. We knew that we couldn’t do anything that was going to compromise the security of Israel. But we also knew that the Palestinians deserve a better way of life.”
The reality is that for years Israel and the world have tried to deal with the reality that there are a few million Palestinians living in established cities and villages in Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Every previous plan proposal focused on Palestinian interests as a priority. For the first time, there is a plan designed with Israel’s interests as a priority.
No one has been able to come up with a perfect plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. President Trump’s peace proposal is not perfect. But for Israel, there are many positive reasons to accept it.
As of today, the concept of two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace and harmony, with Israel going back to the borders of pre-1967 has never materialized. Any peace initiative suggested by world powers pressured Israel to make most of the concessions and compromises. At the same time, the Palestinians’ constant refusal was overlooked and Israel was always blamed for the failure of executing the plan. Israel has always expected to give up some land in exchange for Palestinian promises even though all previous “Land for Peace” deals have been quickly abrogated by the Palestinians.
Requirements and Conditions for the Palestinians
President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” goes against the previous formulas, and places on the Palestinians the responsibility of either accepting ALL of the conditions before any negotiations for a Palestinian state can even begin, or to have no deal. It states that the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea-Samaria must stop the incitement to violence. They must show complete financial transparency and must completely stop payments to terrorists who harm Israeli citizens, including payments to families of suicide bombers–so-called Martyrs Payments. It calls for complete demilitarization of the West Bank and the disarmament of Hamas, the terrorist organization controlling the Gaza strip, which maintains a huge arsenal of Iranian rockets and missiles. It also requires the disarmament of all other terrorist organizations, such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The Palestinian government is required to end its attempts to brand Israel as a war criminal in international courts; and mandates the elimination of the teaching of genocidal anti-Semitism in Palestinian schools and media. It requires respect for human rights and religious freedoms, by all parties, and the support of a free press. These conditions must be implemented before America’s recognition of Palestinian statehood. The conditions have an expiration period of 4 years.
There are two central conditions that Palestinians have never accepted nor will they accept. First–the recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People in the land of Israel. Second, Palestinians must give up the “right of return” to Israel for so-called Palestinian refugees, by which they mean the 1948 Arab refugees and their descendants who now reside in countries all over the world.
Trump emphasizes that historically there were similar numbers of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, whose possessions were taken by the regimes, most of them were absorbed into Israel’s population. Established after 1948, the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East, which Trump stopped supporting recently) perpetuates the refugee problem instead of solving it. The Palestinians are the only refugees in the world who have not been assimilated into the countries they immigrated to, which include many Arab countries. Trump’s Peace to Prosperity plan creates various funding structures to help Palestinian refugee families living in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria achieve citizenship where they reside.
Trump is offering the Palestinians the sum of $50 billion to build their future state’s infrastructure and boost its economy. However, they must give up their ‘destructive ideology,’ as previously explained.
Palestinian Rejection of the Deal
It is notable, the Palestinians rejected Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ even before it was announced, even before reading it. They continue to reject it. This is consistent with their rejecting any plan since partition was first proposed in 1937. Their reason for rejection has been consistent. No plan that results in a Jewish nation in the Middle East can ever be accepted. Every Palestinian leader and/or negotiator has always maintained it would mean personal political and physical death to ever accept an agreement that resulted in a Jewish state. If the Palestinians persist in rejecting negotiations, Israel will likely proceed with annexations as called for in the deal.
The plan gives Israel the right to security control of the entire territory of Judea and Samaria, including areas under Palestinian authority. This includes security at all international crossings. [Read more here about Judea and Samaria.] If there is eventually a Palestinian state (most unlikely, because they will refuse to accept ALL the conditions) it will have to be a completely demilitarized state, and Israel will have the right ‘to dismantle and destroy any facility in the State of Palestine that is used for the production of prohibited weapons or other hostile purposes.’ How will Iran and their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, feel about having their missiles removed?
The plan gives Israel sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria, to begin with, and gives an agreement-in-principle to a Palestinian state eventually (when they agree to ALL the conditions, which they will not.) They have four years to decide after which the offer expires. Israel, however, will not wait long to implement their portion of the agreement which are steps to secure and further enhance Israel’s security.
The Jordan Valley will be Israel’s permanent eastern border, based on historical Jewish settlement rights and in consideration of Israeli security needs. And Israel can declare these borders without Palestinian approval. [Read more here about the Jordan Valley.]
President Trump declared all 150 Israeli towns and settlements in Judea and Samaria legal. With the annexation of that area into the State of Israel, Israeli military rule will end (as well as the term “occupation”). Israel will be free to build more homes in these towns and settlements without restriction. Not one person will be forced out of his home, ever, anywhere in the Land of Israel.
The Next Four Years
The Palestinians have four years to fulfill these requirements. Should the Palestinians refuse to accept the conditions, resulting in no negotiations with Israel, any territories set aside as part of a future Palestinian state will revert to their current disputed status, resulting in no Palestinian state. Israel keeps the annexed territories.
In the next four years, Israel promises to freeze new settlements in 50% of what has been designated “Area C”. (Area in Judea and Samaria under Israeli military control.) This will help Israel act against pirate Jewish building as well as illegal Palestinian settlements building in strategic areas, which they have been doing illegally with the support of funds from the European Union.
As a result, it changes Area A that is currently under Palestinian security control into Area B, which is under Israeli security control. This will completely change the map of Judea and Samaria.
As complicated as it will be, the plan is to build and construct infrastructure—roads, railroads, bridges, and tunnels in Judea and Samaria—to connect Jewish towns to one another and Palestinian cities and towns to one another. This is preferable to the evacuation and transforming of Jews from their homes, as would have been required under the two states’ plan. Also, the road construction will give many Israelis as well as Palestinians, much-needed employment.
After revealing his ‘Deal of the Century’ on January 28, US President Donald Trump said among other things, “We will form a joint committee with Israel to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved. The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the State of Israel.”
That is where the misunderstanding between Israel and the US started. Israeli reporters announced right away, based on what they heard from PM Netanyahu’s aides in Washington, that the PM intends to bring the annexation issue to a cabinet vote immediately upon his return to Israel. However, it became clear to Netanyahu that he misunderstood President Trump. Trump’s statements meant ‘recognition can be immediately achieved’ only after the work is completed ‘to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering.’
Special adviser to Trump and ‘architect’ of the peace initiative, Jared Kushner came out with a statement right away for Israel to wait with the annexation. Later on, he reportedly told journalists, following a briefing at the UN Security Council, that the process could take ‘a couple of months’.
US Ambassador to Israel, David Freedman told reporters that it will be a process to correct the general map of the plan to make it more precise. The border between Israel and a possible future Palestinian state is about 800-kilometers (497-miles).
The map shows the greater Israel extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, with a small Palestinian enclave in the West Bank which is cut off from the rest of the world and surrounded on all sides by the State of Israel. This enclave, even if given the title of “state”, could never be considered one in a conventional sense.
It will have no army nor control of its border or airspace and therefore, and, in complete contrast to the wording of the proposed peace plan, would not be freely open to commerce and investments. Israel will permanently retain all Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria as well as the areas surrounding them including the Jordan Valley.
What about Jerusalem in this Deal? See the next newsletter…
Please pray for wisdom for Israeli and US leaders on how to implement the plan, complete the revision of the map with Israel’s security as a priority, and in accordance with the Word of God and His plan for the restoration of the Land of Israel and the people of Israel in the Land.