Following tonight’s (Saturday) report of what Israeli officials understand US President Donald Trump’s likely peace plan principles to be, Israeli Knesset members have responded, openly criticizing the intended plan and even threatening to quit.
Minister Uri Ariel (front-right) Photo Credit: Hadas Parush, Flash 90/Channel 2 News
As reported earlier, the main principles of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan were revealed for the first time on Channel 2 News, as understood by senior Israeli officials intimately engaged with the US negotiating team. Tonight (Saturday), the speculated proposal drew great criticism within the Israeli government and even threats to resign.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in response that the report was incorrect: “The prime minister’s answer will depend on the content of the proposal and whether it first and foremost meets the security and national interests of the State of Israel.”
Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi) threatened in response to the publication that the National Union party faction will not sit in a Knesset that recognizes a Palestinian state.
MK Yoav Kish of the Likud party and MK Bezalel Smotrich of Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi said this evening that they “will not agree in any way to the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River and/or to transfer additional territories to the Palestinian Authority.” The two MKs emphasized, “A diplomatic plan in the spirit of an Oslo III will encounter our resolute opposition.”
Trump reportedly to offer Palestinians a state Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
On the other hand, within the Israeli Opposition, the reported plan was praised, though with some reservation. MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp), who heads the Knesset lobby for Israel-US relations, responded: “Even though an American proposal has not yet been put on the table, it seems logical and based on the previously reached agreements…In any case, Israel must not be seen as the one rejecting new proposals. The beginning of dialogue is an important goal in itself.”
MK Ksenia Svetlova, also of the Zionist camp, said tonight, “The American administration’s willingness to help solve the conflict is welcome, but we must remember, and remind the prime minister, that this is first and foremost our interest. We must lead and not wait for the Palestinians and the world. The conflict has one solution: separation from the Palestinians in accordance with the formula of two states for two peoples. This is the only Zionist solution, and the only way to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Those who prevent Israel from moving forward in this direction first harm Israeli interests and those of the State of Israel.”