Trump plan allegedly “creates Palestinian state with east Jerusalem capital” (& Trudeau: BDS is anti-Semitic)

January 17, 2019

Hardline Israeli Likud cabinet minister Miri Regev meeting leaders in Abu Dhabi two months ago. In recent months, ties between members of the Netanyahu government and leaders from across the Arab world have been made increasingly public.



[Notes by Tom Gross]

Elements of US President Donald Trump’s long awaited “deal of the century” Israel-Palestinian peace plan (which will be made public some time after Israel’s April 9 general elections that are expected to be won by incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu) were allegedly leaked to Israel’s Channel 13 News yesterday evening.

The Israeli news report (by a former leading Haaretz journalist) claimed the Trump plan will include the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in parts of east Jerusalem. (Full report below from the Jerusalem Post.)

Jason Greenblatt, the White House special envoy for the Mideast, was quick to dismiss the Israeli TV report as “inaccurate” and “distorted”.

But I wouldn’t be so sure.

Based on my own analysis, and also based on private meetings I have been present at over the last 10 years with Saudi, Israeli and Gulf Arab officials, I believe that such a plan is indeed in the works, and that Benjamin Netanyahu will accept it, much to the anger of many on his right wing base.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will want to reject it, but unlike past offers to create a Palestinian state that Palestinian leaders Arafat and Abbas rejected under the last three US presidents, Donald Trump (in coordination with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and many other Arab countries) is likely to put serious pressure on the Palestinians to accept it.

So while most people are very skeptical that such a Trump plan could work, I think it is a real possibility.



Indeed, I have consistently predicted ever since Trump was running for president in 2015/16 that (however disagreeable Trump might be in other respects) he would oversee the creation of a Palestinian state with a capital in parts of east Jerusalem, and it will be done in close behind the scenes coordination with Netanyahu, the Saudis, Egypt and with the acquiescence of Vladimir Putin.


See, for example, my April 2017 interview on Hungarian TV, 11 weeks after Trump became president, in which I argue that Trump’s foreign approach has a greater chance of succeeding (even if those chances are still low) than the approach that had been employed by Barack Obama and John Kerry, and others before them:

Video: Tom Gross: Can Trump bring about a two state solution Maybe so

(The longer version of this interview is here.)


Or my December 2017 interview here:

After Jerusalem decision, might Trump & Netanyahu yet help create a Palestinian state?



It was announced this morning that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will travel to the African Muslim-majority country of Chad on Sunday, where the two countries will formally declare a resumption of relations after a 47 year break.



In unscripted remarks to a town hall audience of academics and students in Ontario on Tuesday (January 15, 2019), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained why the BDS campaign singling out Israel was anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitism often manifests itself not only as targeting individuals but also “against the very state of Israel,” he added.

Video here.

One only wishes that more European leaders would echo such remarks. (Britain Prime Minister Theresa May has done.)



Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah reiterated yesterday that disabled Israeli athletes will not be allowed to enter the country for the World Para Swimming Championships in July.

AFP reports that the International Paralympic Committee said it was “disappointed” with Malaysia’s decision and is considering moving the event.

Swimmers from over 70 countries are expected to compete at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in the eastern state of Sarawak from July 29-Aug. 4.

As I reported last month, the international Chess federation FIDE decided to move an international chess tournament from Saudi Arabia to Russia after the Saudis refused to allow Israeli chess players to compete.



British cabinet minster Michael Gove tore into Labour Party opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, in the final speech before Theresa May’s government won a no-confidence motion last night in the British parliament.

In a powerful speech, Gove also attacked Corbyn’s shameful record on Jews and Israel, and his seeming sympathy with terrorists:

Video here.


Michael Gove and I have known each other for many years, and have privately discussed the Middle East and international affairs on many occasions. We agree on many things though disagree on Brexit. I debated him on Brexit at a conference in Washington in 2017, above.



Brexit explained:

(This is, of course, a satirical website.)




Trump Peace Plan: Divide Jerusalem, Palestinian state on 85-90% of W. Bank

The report, based on a source who took part in a briefing in Washington on the plan, said it calls for the annexation of the large settlements and the evacuation of some settlement outposts.

By Herb Keinon
Jerusalem Post
January 16, 2019 22:00

US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” expected to be rolled out after the elections on April 9, will include a Palestinian state on 85-90% of the West Bank and the division of Jerusalem, according to a Channel 13 News report.

The report, based on a source who took part in a briefing in Washington on the plan by a senior American official, said it calls for the annexation of the large settlements and the evacuation of settlement outposts deemed illegal under Israeli law.

Isolated settlements, such as Yitzhar and Itamar, would not be evacuated under the plan, but no further building would be allowed, in order to “dry them out.”

The plan, details of which have been a closely guarded secret for months, also calls for a land swap for the land that Israel will annex, though the ratio of the swap was not immediately clear, according to the report.

Regarding Jerusalem, the report stated that the city would be divided, with west Jerusalem and some areas of east Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and east Jerusalem – including most of the Arab neighborhoods – the capital of a Palestinian state.

Israel would retain sovereignty over the Old City and its immediate environs, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, but it would be administered together with the Palestinians, Jordanians and perhaps other countries.

The report said that the White House expectation was for the Palestinians to reject the plan when it is presented, but for Israel to give a positive response. The Palestinians, who have cut off ties with the US, have said that they would reject any plan Trump would put forward.

If the report about the contours of the plan is accurate, the amount of land that would make up the Palestinian state is more than double Areas A and B, where the Palestinians today have control, but less than what Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, which he rejected.

Olmert offered a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank, proposing that Israel keep 6.3% of Judea and Samaria to incorporate the large settlement blocs, and compensate the Palestinians with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8% of the West Bank. He also proposed putting the Old City and the holy sites under international control.

A senior White House official said in response to the report, “As in the past, speculation with regards to the content of the plan is not accurate. We have no further comment.”

An official in the Prime Minister’s Office said it had “nothing to offer” on the news report.

Beit El Council head Shai Alon said, “The US president has achieved many things. He was the first [president] to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize our rights to the Holy City. But his solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, as it was revealed this evening, is filled with holes, and of course we oppose it.”

The days in which Jewish building in Judea and Samaria is frozen have come and gone, he said. “We have survived hard times in Judea and Samaria, and now we are focused on building and strengthening the place [to absorb] tens of thousands of families,” Alon said. “We say no to land swaps and no to a freeze.”

Alon rejected any talk of dividing Jerusalem. “We didn’t return to Jerusalem after thousands of years of exile, so that a Jordanian guard would inspect us at the entrance to the Western Wall.”


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All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.