(RightWing.org) – President Trump has built a reputation for solving problems other presidents have failed at or not even attempted. Now he’s turned his attention to one of the most complicated and long-running foreign policy challenges in the world — ending the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
A string of US presidents and other world leaders have tried to solve the Israel-Palestine problem over the last 70 years; none have succeeded. On Tuesday, President Trump released details of the most ambitious attempt yet to end the conflict between the two groups who claim this volatile area.
- True to form, Trump has gone for a radical solution. His plan has already attracted criticism because it blows up decades of international consensus on what any solution needs to look like. The trouble is, this past consensus has completely failed to actually find a solution.
- One of the most contentious issues is Jewish settlements on land Israel conquered in 1967. Most governments — including the US until recently — viewed the settlements as a violation of international law and insisted they’d have to be removed as part of any solution. However, Israel has consistently refused to do this.
- Trump proposes allowing the settlements to remain — and, on top of that, recognize Israeli sovereignty over the settlements and around a third of the West Bank. This would considerably expand Israel’s borders, making the country much easier to defend against any attack.
- While many Palestinians have already protested that the Trump plan gives Israel land they claim as their own, it’s notable that the plan also gives the Palestinians about twice as much land as they actually control now. They would also be given land to the east of Jerusalem to build a new capital, although the existing city would stay under Israeli control.
- Under the plan, the Palestinian state would be divided between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but a tunnel would be built to link the two sections.
- The plan also includes around $50 billion in US aid to the Palestinians, allowing them to build a viable economy — and, hopefully, ending the poverty that makes it so easy for terrorist groups to recruit there.
- So far the plan has been welcomed by Israel, with both the government and opposition leaders supporting it, and has also been supported by the UK. Ambassadors from several Arab states, including Oman, Bahrain and the UAE, also attended the announcement — a sign that the plan may be attracting the Arab support it needs to succeed.
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