Trump-Netanyahu legacy eclipses rancour over phone call to Biden

December 20, 2021 by David Singer
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Former US President Trump’s unforgiving anger with former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over Netanyahu’s congratulatory call to President Biden following Biden’s election win in November 2020 – must not be allowed to detract from or bury Trump’s self-styled Deal of The Century (“Vision”) released on 28 January 2020.

Trump stated at that time – with Netanyahu standing next to him in the White House:

“This vision for peace is fundamentally different from past proposals. In the past, even the most well-intentioned plans were light on factual details and heavy on conceptual frameworks. By contrast, our plan is 80 pages and is the most detailed proposal ever put forward by far. As I have seen throughout my long career as a deal-maker, complex problems require nuanced, fact-based remedies. That is why our proposal provides precise technical solutions to make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and much more prosperous. My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

Trump continued:

“Today Israel has taken a giant step toward peace. Yesterday Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that he is willing to endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations…

… This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it’s willing to make for the cause of peace and they’ve gone a long way. This is an unprecedented and highly significant development. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for having the courage to take this bold step forward…

Under this vision, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided, very important, undivided capital”

Netanyahu’s concession was indeed historic.

The conceptual map (see below) shows the areas in which Israel was prepared to allow the creation of an additional Arab state in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – for the first time ever in recorded history.

Netanyahu’s concession required him to put aside his own personal view held since at least 1978 which he expressed on 11 December 1984 to the United Nations General Assembly:

“Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate…. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.”

Trump’s Vision was – however – unequivocally rejected by the:

  • Arab League
  • Palestine Liberation Organisation President Mahmoud Abbas declaring the day it was released:

 “After the nonsense that we heard today we say a thousand no’s to the Deal of The Century” 

Biden – and the United Nations – need to endorse Trump’s Vision and persuade Abbas to discard his rejectionist stance by commencing negotiations with Israel on Trump’s conceptual map – the key to ending the 100 years-old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Trump and Netanyahu’s legacy in achieving agreement on Trump’s historic milestone will always eclipse any continuing rancour between Trump and Netanyahu over Netanyahu’s phone call to Biden.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and a foundation member of the International Analysts Network

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.

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