Australia welcomes the peace plan

January 29, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australian government and Jewish leaders have reacted to the new Donald Trump Administration Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in the East Room of the White House to unveil details of the Trump administration’s Middle East Peace Plan. Photo by Shealah Craighead/White House.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne issued a statement: “Australia welcomes the release of the US “Vision for Peace” by President Trump today. We welcome any initiative that can assist the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for an end to this conflict and the agreement of a durable and resilient peace settlement.

Australia welcomes the proposal as a first step towards further discussions on the creation of a two-state solution. Australia has a long record of strong, bipartisan support for a two-state solution to the conflict.  Any peace arrangement needs to be negotiated directly between Israel and the Palestinians. We recognise that the US must play a role in any credible peace process.

Australia supports mechanisms that address the legitimate concerns of both Israel and the Palestinians, and we strongly encourage Palestinian representatives and Israel to enter into good faith discussions on a peace process. Australia calls on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from violence or other provocative actions or statements that undermine the prospects for peace.

The US Vision for Peace is a new proposal and we will consider it in detail. We note that the Vision for Peace enjoys bipartisan political support in Israel.

Australia sees the Vision for Peace as a first step, and we commend all parties to resume good-faith discussions towards peace and a two-state solution.”

“We are reviewing the plan with great interest”, said Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler. ”We are hopeful that Mr Trump’s unorthodox methods might be what is needed to restart the peace process but ultimately, a successful peace will require the sustained involvement of both sides in the process. We will pay great interest in how the plan is received regionally and internationally.”

AIJAC‘s executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said: “Everyone knew that the Trump Administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan would be rejected out of hand by both wings of a very divided Palestinian leadership and would not lead to a peace agreement in the short term. However, it is nonetheless very welcome for at least two reasons.

Firstly, it constitutes a rethink of the stale, entrenched conventional wisdom on proposed parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, which have increasingly become out of date and unworkable – such as the view that it must be based on the pre-1967 armistice lines, unthinkable after Hamas’ takeover of Gaza and the risk that such a terror state could also emerge on the West Bank, so close to the heart of Israel.

By contrast, while not perfect, and requiring difficult concessions from both parties, the Trump plan offers a pragmatic realism in meeting Israel’s security needs while addressing key Palestinian aims and still providing the possibility of a Palestinian state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem – along with the $50 billion economic plan to kickstart the Palestinian economy.

Secondly, the proposal sends a firm signal to the Palestinian leadership that time is not on their side, and their policy and long record of intransigence, rejection of compromise and, increasingly, a refusal to even negotiate, will have real, enduring costs in terms of long-term Palestinian interests.

Both Netanyahu and Gantz have appropriately welcomed this proposal, and, encouragingly, there are promising signs within the Arab Sunni world that some key states may be at the very least prepared to give the plan a chance.

For these reasons and more, despite the real obstacles ahead, the plan constitutes a positive step towards exploring and encouraging what is needed – the eventual resumption of direct negotiations between the parties in the pursuit of genuine peace. ”

Alex Ryvchin Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry commented: “The plan falls short of the maximalist demands of both sides but it is a pathway to peace and a two-state solution, and as such, deserves careful consideration. But this won’t happen as the Palestinians rejected it before it was even unveiled. The Palestinians will need to decide what is more important to them – remaining committed to the “cause” of anti-Zionism or accepting the need to compromise, seizing the chance to build a society and a national home, and accepting, as the Jewish leadership did long ago, that half a loaf is better than no bread.”

 

Comments

One Response to “Australia welcomes the peace plan”
  1. Larry Stillman says:

    Nir Hasson, an Israeli journalist, expressed the inadequacy of this plan as follows. —

    “Tomorrow, four children will be born, two at Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, one Israeli citizen, the other a Palestinian resident of Israel. The third will be born in Bethlehem, a Palestinian resident of the Occupied Territories and the fourth will be born in Gaza.

    ** Will these four people be equal to each other in 20 years? **

    Will the four of them have the right to vote in parliament that has any authority over their lives?

    Will the four of them be able to move freely, without the oversight of a foreign army within their state?

    Can all four of them go abroad without permission from a foreign government?

    Can any of the four be detained at home by a foreign government military force?

    Will the PM of these four children be able to build a road, go abroad themselves, or even visit all parts of their country without seeking permission from a foreign country?

    Will the four of them have worship rights, a right to resources, a right to space, national symbols and self-determination?

    If the answer to one of these questions is no, then this program does not solve any problem.”

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