“It will be the peoples of those two lands who resolve this,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Mystery still surrounds the Israel-Palestinian peace plan touted by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The long-awaited Israel Palestine peace plan
During a congressional committee this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked when is the United States going to unveil the long-awaited plan.
“I think we can say in less than 20 years,” Pompeo said, laughing. “I prefer not to be more precise.”
Writing for The Washington Post, Adam Taylor remarked that Pompeo’s response was intended in jest, but highlighted an unfortunate fact: The Trump administration’s peace plan has already been a long time coming, and few details have been revealed.
So does President Trump’s belief that Kushner is the best man for the job, despite having no government or diplomatic experience prior to his position at the White House, hold any merit?
“Jared’s a very smart guy,” President Trump told the New York Times in November 2016. “I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians.”
At a pre-inauguration event in January 2017, President Trump told The Times that Kushner would lead the process. “If he can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can,” he said. In June of the same year, Kushner announced: “We are almost done.”
“There may be no solution”
However, just a few months later, leaked audio suggested Kushner didn’t have a plan at all. “There may be no solution,” he told White House interns in August 2017. “But it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on.”
Nearly two years on, despite rumbles that peace is near, still no peace plan has been presented.
Taylor writes that what really worries people about Kushner’s plan is not the wild rumors about what’s in it — it’s what has happened outside the plan already that is the problem. Since taking office, President Trump has made many moves that have squeezed and punished the Palestinian side.
Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.) highlighted these actions in a question to Pompeo on Wednesday, citing the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and other steps that have gone against the Palestinian side.
“Can you tell me how this is supposed to work?” Price asked, noting that the Palestinians were refusing to meet with U.S. officials.
Trump and Israel
President Trump’s recognition of Israeli control over the Golan Heights, a strip of land seized from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, has also further complicated matters.
During the congressional Committee on Wednesday, Pompeo didn’t answer a question as to whether the United States was still promoting a two-state solution. Instead, he said: “It will be the peoples of those two lands who resolve this.”