As a potential “Deal of the Century,” President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan does not live up to its name. It falls well short of an ultimate deal that will break the Israeli-Palestinian gridlock and equitably resolve the conflict. It is more accurately a continuation of previous interim agreements—essentially, an Oslo C—but with a significant departure from past negotiation understandings.1 The truly innovative components of the deal bend unabashedly toward Israeli desires, without compensatory elements for Palestinian aspirations. The distortion of internal balances previously established in other U.S. frameworks seems detrimental to promoting peace or regional security.
Previous negotiations have recognized a distinction between the main Jewish settlement blocs near the pre-1967 Green Line and more isolated Jewish settlements in the heart of the West Bank, but Trump’s plan allows for Israeli annexation of all Jewish settlements.2 Though the Clinton Parameters recognized the significance of the Jordan Valley to Israeli security and would have created a six-year plan for Israeli withdrawal from it, Trump’s plan offers Israel political sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.
The plan envisions Israeli control of the Palestinian state’s airspace, sea, and electromagnetic spectrum, as well as all borders and crossing points. There are also no concessions for Palestinian sovereignty over any part of the Old City or the Temple Mount, eliciting further Palestinian scorn for the plan. Both stipulations disregard carefully crafted compromises from former negotiations—the Oslo process, Camp David, and Annapolis— which offered detailed sovereignty-sharing proposals and special security arrangements. Even worse, while the Trump plan licenses Israel to initiate annexation without any preconditions, Palestinian statehood is conditioned upon a compilation of unreasonable and impractical thresholds— all but assuring Palestinian failure.
It is worth noting that while the plan has not received strong Arab support, neither has it been rejected as strongly as the Palestinians might wish. The Arab League has dismissed the peace plan as insufficient for Palestinian independence;3 nevertheless, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have all issued statements tepidly welcoming Trump’s proposal and calling for negotiations.4 In the past, a plan like this would have received resounding criticism from all Arab parties. Today, with shifting Middle East alliances and threats—i.e., Iran—moderate Sunni states are concerned with displeasing Trump and are increasingly open to establishing relations with Israel.5
At the very least, Trump’s plan serves as a harsh reminder to the Palestinians that time is not in their favor. Yet, this should not deceive Israelis into thinking time is on their side. The Trump plan could harden the Israeli center-right to tolerate fewer compromises in future negotiations, enter a new potential spoiler into the IsraeliPalestinian peace process, and lead Israel down a perilous path to international demonization and social upheaval.
Though it is unfortunate for both sides, the Trump plan will shape the negotiation process for years to come—regardless of the results of the U.S. 2020 presidential elections. It will serve as a point of reference in future negotiations for those strongly in favor of it and those staunchly opposed, just as many other plans in the wastebasket of history have continued to influence the peace process. Since all parties involved will undoubtedly bear the consequences of the Peace to Prosperity plan, it is worth examining the implementation issues and the proposed framework, as well as how Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states can navigate the negotiation process.
Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has placed many foreign policy issues on hold as the world copes with the health crisis. This will not erase the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor the problems of the Trump plan. Rather, once the pandemic has subsided, the geopolitical challenges facing the Middle East will resurface, amplified. Then, perhaps all parties involved can utilize the post Covid-19 years to attempt resolving—or at least subduing—issues critical to the resolution of the conflict.
Annexation, Implementation, and Negotiation Non-Starters
Sequencing and Deriving Annexation
Given the total absence of Palestinian involvement in planning and implementing the deal, the current deal has no way of serving as is as a driver to resolving the conflict. Instead, it will further blur the borders between two states, as the Israeli right-wing looks to ensure a continued presence in Judea and Samaria.
Furthermore, the deal may give Israel a green light to initiate unilateral annexation— or accomplish its equivalent by “extending Israeli law”—over Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, starting July 1, 2020. Trump’s plan envisions a four-year timeline for its implementation, yet the potential sequencing of the plan—first Israeli annexation, then the rest, if at all—negates the possibility of a functional process.
The introduction of the grand deal has been marred from the start by a lack of cohesion on the part of the Trump administration regarding the timeframe for Israeli annexation of West Bank territory. Immediately after the press conference in Washington announcing the deal, Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that the Knesset would draft an annexation proposal within the week, with full support from the White House.6 Two days later, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and one of the creators of the Peace to Prosperity vision, said the Trump administration would prefer Israel wait until after the March elections to annex territory, citing a months-long process of required technical work on the vision’s map.7 Now, the target date for annexation agreed by the Netanyahu-Gantz 2020 coalition matches the political campaigning of Trump and Netanyahu. The way is open to proceed.
According to a recent INSS Insight, however, Israel must prepare for the repercussions of annexation under a Biden administration: “The former Vice President stated in August 2019 that ‘we have to put pressure constantly on the Israelis to move to a two-state solution.’ Yet the coalition agreement between Likud and Blue and White, which is the foundation for the new Israeli government, permits Netanyahu to raise the issue of annexing or extending Israeli law to sections of the West Bank as of July 1, 2020. Because such steps are viewed by Washington’s foreign policy establishment as disrupting or even preventing progress toward a two-state solution, any unilateral annexation initiatives in the West Bank by Israel under the auspices of Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ (before or during Biden’s tenure) would aggravate tensions with a future Biden administration.”8
Netanyahu and others have continued to trumpet the security strength of the plan, particularly due to the strategic necessity of the Jordan Valley.9,10 However, in previous negotiations Israel has not asked for a sovereign border in the Jordan Valley, but merely an adequate security presence and complementary arrangements with Israeli intelligence capabilities.11 Security experts agree that a gradual withdrawal from the Valley, perhaps with American or UN forces stationed as well, can provide Israel with the necessary intelligence and security to the east.12
Rather than advancing a reckless and irreversible annexation project detrimental to a two-state-for two-people solution, Israel and the U.S. should clarify and re-sequence the negotiations under the plan. They must commit to the deal as a starting point, not an endpoint. From the outset, Trump and Netanyahu must eschew unilateral action in favor of multilateral good-faith negotiations. This is necessary but not sufficient for advancing negotiations, as the deal contains significant non-starters regarding Jerusalem, Palestinian sovereignty, borders, and water rights.
Trump’s plan calls for Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of Israel and establishes a Palestinian capital comprising Abu Dis, Kafr Aqab, and Shuafat.13 The neighborhoods that would become the Palestinian capital are only nominally included in Jerusalem, and leave out what is truly important to the Palestinians: the Old City and the Temple Mount. The Trump administration has boldly proclaimed that Israel’s current capital in Jerusalem will remain, while deceptively claiming to offer the Palestinians a capital in East Jerusalem.14 Rather, the neighborhoods selected to be the Palestinian capital were chosen because they lie to the east of the security barrier.
This is a far cry from the Palestinian capital envisioned in previous U.S. proposals. Under the Clinton Parameters, the Christian and Muslim Quarters of the Old City would be under Palestinian sovereignty, and the Temple Mount would be partitioned vertically to provide Palestinian sovereignty over Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock and Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall.15 At the 2008 Annapolis talks between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas, a proposed partition of Jerusalem would have allocated Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods and Israeli sovereignty over Jewish neighborhoods. These partitioned Palestinian neighborhoods were to be declared the Palestinian capital. The Old City would have an international status and would be governed by five countries: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was outraged by the Trump administration’s treatment of Jerusalem, declaring “I will not have it recorded in my history that I have sold Jerusalem.”16 The status of Jerusalem is a grave concern for Muslims around the world, and Palestinian leaders are beholden to their Palestinian constituency and their Arab allies. Abbas cannot surrender a capital in holy Jerusalem (Al-Quds), and any sensible plan must recognize the utmost importance of Palestinian sovereignty in at least the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Such recognition was reflected in both the December 2000 Clinton parameters and the 2008 Olmert proposal.
Sovereignty and Borders
The proposed map of the “Deal of the Century” offers Palestinians a piecemeal state and renders statehood moot by proffering Palestinian autonomy without sovereign self-rule. Trump’s plan gives Israel “overriding security responsibility over the State of Palestine,” which includes responsibility for all international crossings into Palestine and control of the state’s airspace and electromagnetic spectrum.17 Israeli control of Palestinian borders and airspace undermines the essence of Palestinian sovereignty, and offers Palestinians little more than they already have: autonomy and self-governance without ultimate jurisdiction. This contravenes the Palestinian state envisioned in the Clinton Parameters, which would have retained sovereignty over its airspace with special security considerations for Israel.
The Trump plan proposes a Palestinian state fully encircled within the sovereign borders of Israel, including the Jordan Valley. Moreover, Jewish enclaves deep within Palestinian territory would be connected to Israel via complex roadways that compromise the security of Israel and the territorial contiguity of Palestine. In contrast, the Clinton Parameters proposed a Palestinian state on 94%-96% of the West Bank; the possibility of a special arrangement on up to 2% more of West Bank territory; and additional land near Gaza earmarked for a Palestinian state. The West Bank territory annexed to Israel would have allowed Israel to encompass 80% of settlements. The Jordan Valley would be sovereign Palestinian territory, but Israel would be able to maintain a military presence there for up to six years.18 Instead, Trump’s approach ensures an untenable level of daily friction by entrenching the Israeli security apparatus around a future Palestine, and within it, to secure Israeli enclaves.
The conceptual map19 of the Trump plan creates a whole host of uncertainties for Israeli security.20 Will the borders between Israel and a future Palestine have free passage? If so, how will Israel maintain border security, and if not, what will Israel do to prevent unsanctioned crossings? The proposed map adds 1,400 kilometers to Israel’s borders, not only including the Jordan Valley borders to the east (with Jordan) and the west (with Palestine), but also accounting for the Negev area offered to the Palestinians which will create a narrow Israeli corridor between Egypt and Palestine.21 How will all these borders be overseen in a secure and comprehensive manner? Furthermore, the constant friction created by settlements and the corresponding military presence drains Israeli security resources and reduces preparedness on other fronts.22
Another serious omission in the deal is reflected in the minimal discussion regarding Palestinian water rights. Access to water is a critical issue to establishing a self-sufficient and prosperous nation, especially in the arid Middle East region. Yet the Trump deal offers a meager paragraph regarding watersharing agreements, promising “mutual water rights” through “shared aquifers” and “investing in desalination and other emerging technologies.”23 It is faulty to believe that Palestinians will relinquish natural water resources and rely solely on desalination and other technologies. Water was one of the seven pillars of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace agreement and an essential component the 1995 Oslo II Accords.24 However, the water commitments included in Oslo were never effectuated as part of a permanent status agreement.
Today, Israel controls approximately 80% of water reserves in West Bank aquifers, and until 2017, all Palestinian water projects required approval by the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee (JWC).25 In 2017, Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement giving the PA autonomy over water and sewage projects in Areas A and B, and Palestinian sections of Area C.26 Despite this progress, water sharing remains a fundamental issue for the Palestinians. Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley would only exacerbate the dispute over water access in the Jordan River basin. The Economic Framework of the Peace to Prosperity plan claims to invest in the Palestinian economy but addressing fundamental water resources is part of that endeavor, especially as the environmental threats of climate change continue to rise.
What Should Israel Do and Not Do?
Advancing with Caution: No Unilateral Annexation
Israel sees the “Deal of the Century” as a historic opportunity to actualize many political and security ambitions: erasing pre-1967 borders as the core reference point for future sovereign borders between two nation states, ensuring the continued presence of Jewish settlement communities throughout the West Bank, and securing the Jordan Valley as a permanent, eastern border. With Trump’s offer on the table, these goals may be accomplished with strong support from the White House and U.S. protection from international reprisals. Nevertheless, the consequences of annexation will be swift and dangerous, and Israeli leadership would be wise to advance with extreme caution.
Annexation of Jewish settlements or the Jordan Valley would be a nearly irreversible action that could lead to international demonization and delegitimization, the collapse of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and deterioration of security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority—or dissolution of the PA altogether.27,28 It would continue and accelerate the slide toward a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, deepen the fractures of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and escalate regional instability. In short, unilateral Israeli annexation is detrimental to the fundamental vision of Israel as a Jewish, democratic, and moral state and undermines Palestinian self-determination in a viable, peaceful state.
The European Union has also expressed strong opposition to the Peace to Prosperity plan,29 while PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and President Abbas have called on the EU to recognize the State of Palestine to counter Israeli annexation schemes.30 There is growing traction for European recognition of Palestine despite Israeli criticism, and unilateral annexation could spark action.31 Wall-to-wall European recognition of a Palestinian state, outside the framework of a negotiated agreement, would be a major boon to Palestinian leverage. It would diminish the role of the U.S. as the principal “honest broker” and could drive subsequent UN recognition of Palestine. Thus, Israel must critically assess next steps to avoid major political and diplomatic blows.
Negotiation Opportunities and Unofficial Contacts
After numerous rounds of Israeli elections, there remained an unlikely possibility that a narrow coalition in the Israeli Knesset, led by Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party, could offer a strategic opportunity to navigate the “Deal of the Century” with caution. Perhaps, such a coalition could have nudged Israel’s stances on the issues of borders, security, and Jerusalem back toward the norms established in previous rounds of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. That opportunity has passed, however, after Blue and White coalition leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid separated, and Gantz became Knesset speaker as a transitional step toward establishing an emergency unity government with Netanyahu’s Likud.32 At the point in time this piece is written, Gantz will take over the premiership from Netanyahu in September 2021, but the chance of altering Israel’s course of action seems to have faded.
Regardless of the governing coalition, Israel should pursue practical and forward-thinking objectives. Israel must avoid irreversible actions and preserve the conditions for a viable two-state solution. The map envisioned in the Trump plan creates long, problematic borders and creates friction by further entangling mixed populations.
Instead, the way forward requires gradual disengagement of Israelis and Palestinians within a framework that promotes a reality of two nation-states and regional prosperity. As part of such a framework, Israel should initiate smallscale, ground-up activities that rebuild trust between parties. For example, the Israel-Hamas truce33 enacted shortly before the unveiling of the “Deal of the Century” offered one instance of hope for easing restrictions and creating goodwill.
Additionally, showing flexibility in rejecting unnecessary and contentious components of the Trump deal will open new avenues. The deal “contemplates the possibility”34 of transferring the territory inhabited by 10 Arab communities, known as the Arab Triangle, from Israel to a future Palestinian state. Transferring Arab populations has been rejected as racist and divisive,35 and both Gantz and Netanyahu have disavowed the idea.36, 37 The Arab Triangle Transfer is “subject to the agreement of both parties,”38 and Israeli negotiators should make clear they unequivocally denounce this problematic proposal.
Most importantly, an essential way to make progress is through off-the-record, backchannel negotiations. There of course needs to be a primary, visible track of negotiations as well, and Israel should work to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table publicly. Nevertheless, the substantive work of reconciling differences between the parties—at present, there are huge gaps on practically all core issues—and creating reasonable consensus within the respective societies must be accomplished in secret negotiations. Even considering unyielding Palestinian rejectionism, Israel must keep an open line of direct and indirect communication with the Palestinians in order to share information and test the waters, away from the public eye. Such a step would benefit both sides and begin to bridge the gap between conflict management and conflict resolution.
The Palestinian Track
From 1,000 “No’s” to “Yes, But”
Abbas and the Palestinians have categorically rejected Trump’s proposal with “1,000 ‘no’s,” calling it the “slap of the century.”39 Abbas has refused to discuss the plan with Netanyahu or Trump, as it sharply diverges from negotiated understandings of pre-1967 borders, Jerusalem, and Palestinian sovereignty. In February 2020, Abbas convened the Arab League to unanimously reject the plan, increasing pan-Arab pressure on moderate Arab states that supported the Trump plan as a basis for negotiations. However, Palestinian eulogies proclaiming the deal “dead on arrival”40 will not make it so: Trump’s plan will remain a point of reference in future talks, especially if Trump wins re-election.
For Palestinian leadership, responding in any manner other than flat rejection could irreparably harm their standing in the eyes of political allies and the Palestinian public. From the Palestinian perspective, any engagement with Trump or Netanyahu is tacit acceptance of the absurd proposals outlined in the Trump plan and its complete detachment from historical context or international consensus. There is also the fear that Trump will twist any Palestinian participation into a PR boon. Yet, continuing the path of eternal rejectionism jeopardizes their national objective to reaching Palestinian statehood. The Palestinians severed communication with the White House in 2017, and as a result they were left out of the process entirely. If the Palestinian Authority continues to thwart any pathway to negotiations, the Trump administration may license Israeli West Bank annexation and end the possibility for two states altogether.41
By Palestinian calculations, any incremental improvements that could be made from negotiating under the auspices of the Trump administration will ultimately strip away from the core of the Palestinian vision. Yet as the Palestinians have continued to prioritize their ideal vision for statehood over incremental changes on the ground, Israel has engineered a process of gradual de facto annexation, which may soon become de jure. At this moment, only Palestinian engagement can stave off the direst consequences of the Trump plan.
However, Palestinian involvement could take many forms, three of which are discussed herein. Instead of rejecting the Trump plan outright, the Palestinians could find benefits in saying “yes, but”— yes, we want a negotiation process for two states, but we refuse to entertain the most outrageous proposals of this plan. Or, Palestinians could actively reject the Trump deal but publicly call for talks on how to advance a mutually beneficial peace process. They could endeavor to establish terms of reference and parameters for further negotiations while partnering those with clear redlines. Perhaps one step further, the Palestinians could put forth a new, alternative plan of their own—one that goes beyond the limited confines of the Arab Peace Initiative and offers a measured way forward.
Realistically, the Palestinians cannot and will not act until after November 2020, or perhaps January 2021. Still, Palestinian political leadership must begin drafting ideas and publicly signaling a cohesive way forward that can counter momentum for the Trump plan. Waiting for an ideal proposal on behalf of the current U.S. administration is not an option.
If Trump is re-elected, Palestinian leaders must propose a well-crafted response that can capture the support of Palestinians and moderate Israelis and avert the current political risks of Palestinian leadership associating with Israel and the U.S. A backchannel could help put together such a response more comfortably. It provides a way to devise a substantial counterproposal while also staving off internal Palestinian criticism.
Even if Palestinians continue to demand that the Peace to Prosperity plan be scrapped in its entirety, this should not preclude the possibility of quiet, backchannel discussions with all parties concerned: Israel, the United States, the Europeans, and Arab states. Such tracks are an opportunity for the Palestinians to outline their positions on what may be possible, without concerns of normalizing the Trump plan.
Perhaps nothing in the immediate future offers hope of a peace agreement, but secret talks are necessary to build the infrastructure for future negotiations—or at least to preserve the conditions for an eventual two-state-for-two-people outcome. The Palestinians can counter the Trump plan by releasing an alternate roadmap, and a backchannel will strengthen its effectiveness. They can utilize off-the-record discussions to formulate a substantive peace plan that cannot be rejected on the spot by Israel and the U.S. Since a secret communication channel would be deniable, Palestinian leadership can avoid political blowback from their constituency, contain Israeli expansion on the ground, and offer a forceful rejoinder to Trump’s hollow political exploitation.
The Arab Track: A Key
Support and Incentives
Incorporating a track of Israeli negotiations with moderate Arab states is critical to the peace process for a multitude of reasons. Not only can Arab states provide important infrastructure and encouragement to IsraeliPalestinian negotiations, but Israeli-Arab normalization is a key component of any roadmap to regional peace. While some Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia have remained open to the possibility of utilizing the Trump plan as a basis for negotiations, the plan has been roundly criticized as insufficient. Encouraging Arab states to engage in the process is a necessary step in multilateral conflict resolution. Given numerous points of reference for negotiations—including the Camp David Summit, the Annapolis talks, the Arab Peace Initiative, and, of course, the Trump plan— Arab states can still encourage a negotiation process as a basis for reaching many stated objectives of the API.
According to one analysis, the Trump plan has caused a rift between Jordan and Saudi Arabia due to Saudi Arabia’s efforts to enhance its influence in Jerusalem.42 Trump’s strong relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may increase Jordanian fears of a declining role in the peace process and push Jordan to seek new avenues for reasserting its presence in the political arena. Increased JordanianSaudi tension will only diminish Trump’s leverage in rallying Arab contributions.
Proactive participation of Arab states can incentivize Israelis and Palestinians to contemplate the benefits of a viable negotiation track. In turn, the international community can facilitate Arab inclusion with a package of incentives for all parties involved. The Trump administration’s economic plan discussed in Bahrain and other regional economic plans can play a valuable role in the process, though they must be coordinated with a functional political track. An invested international community, including the international quartet of the U.S., Russia, the EU, and the UN, can help craft a package of incentives that encourages good-faith action and thwarts bad actors.
The Arab Quartet
Formalizing the role of the Arab quartet—Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—can offer stability to an eventual rocky negotiation process and incentivize both Israelis and Palestinians.43 With the support of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Egypt has attempted to facilitate the Palestinian reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas in an effort to neutralize Hamas’s role as a persistent spoiler.44 Meanwhile, the quartet can persuade Israel to consider the diplomatic and economic benefits of keeping the Arab Peace Initiative in mind.
Even if the role of the Arab quartet remains informal, the EU has considered in the past involving Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt more closely in high-level meetings.45 The Arab nations comprising the quartet occupy a unique position to normalize difficult-to-swallow compromises and maintain flexibility on all sides. Of course, strengthening the role of the quartet can also counter Iranian efforts for regional hegemony and diminish Iran’s influence along the Persian crescent. The quartet is an invaluable resource to both the U.S. and Israel, and a greater international effort should commence to involve them in brokering a deal.
Though Trump’s Deal of the Century abandons the parameters of previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and lacks coherent policy, the plan will continue to sit on the table for years to come. In as much as this deal is meant to be a bilaterally implemented plan for peace, it will fail without significant Israeli concessions, complete re-sequencing, and resourceful Palestinian initiative. Netanyahu and many on the Israeli Right see the plan as a golden opportunity to obtain long-awaited territorial and security objectives with the weight of U.S. support thwarting international opposition. Yet, Israel must not abide by foreign interference in decisions crucial to national security and domestic affairs, from allies or enemies alike.
West Bank annexation threatens a dangerous Israeli decline into a disastrous reality of one state, which will either comprise a non-Jewish majority or will be non-democratic and lacking equality between its inhabitants; it would perpetually be on the verge of civil war. Such a process will have pernicious and lasting consequences, leading Israel to an unprecedented crisis of delegitimization, enhanced demonization, and isolation.
These issues are even more concerning as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic threatens global and regional stability. Blurred boundaries, mixed populations, and problematic borders could lead to a viral outbreak that overwhelms Israeli and Palestinian health systems, an outcome that is increasingly likely without bilateral civil and security coordination. Now more than ever, Israeli and Palestinian leaders must demonstrate great caution and strong vision to proceed carefully along the precarious path that lies ahead.
1. Gilead Sher, “Let’s Call Trump’s Plan What It Is: Oslo C,” Forward, January 29, 2020, https://forward.com/opinion/439134/ lets-call-trumps-plan-what-it-is-oslo-c/.
2. Gilead Sher, “Comparing the ‘Deal of the Century’ with Previous Plans,” Institute for National Security Studies, February 2, 2020, https://www.inss.org.il/publication/ trump-deal-comparative-review/.
3. “Arab League Rejects Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan,” Deutsche Welle, February 1, 2020. https://p.dw.com/ p/3X8HD.
4. Omri Nahmias, “Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE Welcome Trump Peace Plan,” Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2020, https:// www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Saudi-ArabiaEgypt-Qatar-UAE-welcome-Trump-peaceplan-615752.
5. David May and Varsha Koduvayur, “Trump's Peace Plan and the Gulf Arab States’ Reaction,” The Hill, February 12, 2020, https://thehill.com/opinion/ international/482737-trumps-peace-planand-the-gulf-arab-states-reaction.
6. Noa Landau, “Netanyahu: First Phase of Annexation to be Brought Before Government on Sunday,” Haaretz, January 29, 2020, https://www.haaretz.com/israelnews/.premium-netanyahu-first-phaseof-annexation-to-be-brought-beforegovernment-on-sunday-1.8466207.
7. Isabel Kershner, “Israel Puts Brakes on West Bank Annexation Plan,” New York Times, February 2, 2020, https://www.nytimes. com/2020/02/02/world/middleeast/israelwest-bank-annexation.html.
8. Ari Heistein and Eldad Shavit, “Israel Must Prepare for a Biden Presidency,” Institute for National Security Studies, April 22, 2020, https://www.inss.org.il/ publication/joe-biden-israel-relationship/.
9. Aron Heller, “PM: Israel Has ‘Full Right’ to Annex Strategic Jordan Valley,” Associated Press, December 5, 2019, https://apnews. com/b83397f9c9fa49b18073420c44e980f5.
10. Uzi Dayan, “Uzi Dayan: ‘Sovereignty in the Jordan Valley is a Security Necessity,’” Jerusalem Post, February 14, 2020, https:// www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UziDayan-Sovereignty-in-the-Jordan-Valleyis-a-security-necessity-617594.
11. Sher, “Let’s Call Trump’s Plan What It Is.”
12. Ilan Goldenberg, “A Security System for the Two-State Solution,” Center for a New American Security, May 31, 2016, https:// www.cnas.org/publications/reports/ advancing-the-dialogue-a-securitysystem-for-the-two-state-solution.
13. White House, “Peace to Prosperity,” 17 (Washington, D.C: White House), January 2020, https://www.whitehouse.gov/ wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-toProsperity-0120.pdf.
14. Michael J. Koplow, “Building a Better Trump Plan,” Israel Policy Forum, January 30, 2020, https://israelpolicyforum. org/2020/01/30/building-a-better-trumpplan/.
15. Sher, “Comparing the ‘Deal of the Century.’”
16. Associated Press, “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Threatens to Cut Security Ties Over U.S. Mideast Plan,” NBC, February 1, 2020, https://www.nbcnews. com/news/world/palestinian-presidentmahmoud-abbas-threatens-cut-securityties-over-u-n1128201.
17. “Peace to Prosperity,” Appendix 2C.
18. Sher, “Comparing the ‘Deal of the Century.’”
19. “Peace to Prosperity,” Appendix 2C.
20. Gideon Biger and Gilead Sher, “What the Trump Peace Plan Doesn’t Tell Us,” Ynet, February 15, 2020, https://www.ynetnews. com/article/Hk3Fmj11X8.
22. “Security First Plan.” S. Daniel Abraham Center for Peace, https:// centerpeace.org/explore/security-first-bycommanders-for-israels-security/.
23. “Peace to Prosperity,” 29-30.
24. Keith Johnson, “The Big Missing Piece of the Kushner Plan: Water,” Foreign Policy, February 4, 2020, https://foreignpolicy. com/2020/02/04/trump-kushner-peaceplan-israelis-palestinians-water/.
25. Erika Weinthal, “Water as a Basic Human Right Within the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” American Diplomacy, October 2017, http://americandiplomacy.web.unc. edu/2017/10/water-as-a-basic-humanright-within-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/.
26. Adam Rasgon, Tovah Lazaroff, and Sharon Udasin, “Israel Gives Pal. Authority Limited Water Autonomy in West Bank,” Jerusalem Post, January 17, 2017, https:// www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/ Israel-gives-Pal-Authority-limited-waterautonomy-in-West-Bank-478672.
27. Gilead Sher and Daniel Cohen, The Repercussions of Partial or Full West Bank Annexation by Israel, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Houston, Texas, November 2019, https://www.bakerinstitute. org/research/repercussions-partial-or-fullwest-bank-annexation-israel/.
28. Commanders for Israel’s Security, Ramifications of West Bank Annexation: Security and Beyond (Commanders for Israel’s Security and Israel Policy Forum, 2018), https://israelpolicyforum.org/ annexation/.
29. Merrit Kennedy, “EU Takes a Dim View of Trump’s Controversial Mideast Peace Plan,” NPR, February 4, 2020, https:// www.npr.org/2020/02/04/802635401/ eu-takes-a-dim-view-of-trumpscontroversial-mideast-peace-plan.
30. Adam Rasgon, “PA Premier Calls on Europe to Recognize Palestine to ‘Counter’ Annexation Plan,” Times of Israel, February 20, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/ pa-premier-calls-on-eu-to-recognizepalestine-to-counter-possible-annexation/.
31. Noa Landau, “In Wake of Trump Peace Plan, EU Countries Pushing for Recognition of State of Palestine,” Haaretz, February 16, 2020, https://www.haaretz.com/israelnews/.premium-in-wake-of-trump-planeu-countries-pushing-for-recognition-ofstate-of-palestine-1.8536907.
32. Jonathan Lis, “Gantz Voted in as Knesset Speaker, Paving Way for ‘Emergency’ Unity Government With Netanyahu,” Haaretz, March 26, 2020, https://www.haaretz. com/israel-news/.premium-kahol-lavanon-verge-of-split-as-gantz-submits-hisname-for-knesset-speaker-1.8713168.
33. Daniel Estrin, “‘Like A Prisoner Being Let Free’: Israel-Hamas Truce Lends Hope To Gaza’s Jobless,” NPR, January 23, 2020, https://www.npr. org/2020/01/23/798618713/like-aprisoner-being-let-free-israel-hamastruce-lends-hope-to-gaza-s-jobless.
34. “Peace to Prosperity,” 13.
35. Lawahez Jabari and Saphora Smith, “Facing a Palestinian State, Arab Israelis Find Trump’s Mideast Plan Unworkable,” NBC, February 22, 2020, https://www.nbcnews. com/news/world/facing-palestinian-statearab-israelis-find-trump-s-mideastplan-n1140331.
36. Raoul Wootliff, “Gantz: Joint List Won’t Be Part of My Coalition, Which Will Implement Trump Plan,” Times of Israel, February 11, 2020, https://www. timesofisrael.com/gantz-joint-list-wontbe-part-of-my-coalition-which-willimplement-trump-plan/.
37. TOI Staff, “Netanyahu Disavows Trump Plan Idea to Redraw Border Around Arab Israeli Towns,” Times of Israel, February 20, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/ netanyahu-disavows-trump-plan-ideato-redraw-border-around-arab-israelitowns/.
38. “Peace to Prosperity,” 13.
39. Khaled Abu Toameh, “Abbas: 1,000 ‘No’s to the Trump Plan,” Jerusalem Post, January 28, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/ Israel-News/Peace-group-Joint-List-slamDeal-of-the-Century-615711.
40. “Trump Unveils His Middle East Plan Amid Palestinian Rejections,” Al Jazeera, January 28, 2020, https:// www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/ trump-unveils-israeli-plan-palestinianrejections-200128151735083.html.
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The authors are deeply grateful to Professor Robert H. Mnookin for his invaluable support and insightful contribution to this article.
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