Trump's New Deal for the Middle East and Netanyau's fingerprints

By Shaul Arieli, Haaretz, June 24, 2018

Netanyahu's fingerprints in the "Trump plane outline" for Middle East peace, which is taking shape these days, cannot be mistaken. It is easy to recognize the similarity between Netanyahu's positions and the expected American proposal - but this is a typical surrender to the totalitarianism of the now. Netanyahu's positions are nothing more than a repetition of Israel's positions presented since 1967 regarding the future of the West Bank. But while most of these positions eroded as starting points and were adapted to possible areas of agreement in order to reach a historic compromise, in the past 25 years Netanyahu has been stubborn in his positions, which not only prevents the settlement of the conflict but also reversed the progress achieved by his predecessors.
 
According to various sources, Trump's "ultimate deal" will include the following principles: united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (while "conceding" by Israel of four or five neighborhoods outside the separation barrier), as Netanyahu promised in the
2015 elections ("We will forever preserve a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty"). The Jordan Valley will remain under Israeli control, as Netanyahu announced in October 2017 ("The Jordan Valley will always be part of the State of Israel, we will continue to settle it"). The number of Israeli settlement blocs will rise and expand, as Netanyahu promised his ministers in June 2011 ("the blocs of the national left are not my blocs"). On the issue of security, Netanyahu's position, which was presented in his speech at the Saban conference in December 2015, was adopted ("The only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state") and Palestinian refugees will not return to Israel at all, as Netanyahu declared in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech ("The refugee problem must be resolved outside the borders of Israel ").