Weekend long read

Our weekly round-up of Middle East related background reading.

1) At the INSS Gilead Sher compares the US Administration’s recently released ‘Peace to Prosperity’ proposal to previous initiatives.

“With its announcement of the “deal of the century,” the Trump administration has officially endorsed the two-state solution. The President thus continues the policy of all his predecessors in the White House over the last five decades, based principally on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), albeit with considerable deviations and disregard of longstanding internal balances. Regarding several core issues, the plan presents different models from those of previous plans, nearly all of them in Israel’s favor. This article […] offers a brief comparison with the main points of previous plans, with reference to the proposed solutions of each of the core issues in the conflict.”

2) Tony Badran gives his view of the US Administration’s proposal at the Tablet.

“President Donald Trump has finally unveiled his 180-page vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which came as a sweet balm to Washington think-tankers and Middle East opinion writers, who had been slumbering like Rip Van Winkle, waiting for a chance to rise and display their dilapidated peace-processing expertise. As if no time had passed between 1995, or 1999, or 2004, or 2007, and the present, they got right busy determining whether the president’s vision was indeed realistic and viable, and whether it measured up to the accumulated history of American peace processing, and whether it was “fair” or “just” to the Palestinians, and whether it might just “bring both sides back to the table,” and on, and on, and on.”

3) The ITIC analyses ‘initial Palestinian reactions’ to the US proposals.

“On January 28, 2020, Donald Trump, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed his plan to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, called “Peace to Prosperity” (i.e., the “deal of the century”). The plan met with strong opposition and (as expected) led to a wave of Palestinian condemnations. The Palestinian Authority (PA) began making preparations for a diplomatic and media campaign to place obstacles in the path of the plan and to undermine its legitimacy. In the meantime the PA encourages demonstrations, protests and friction with IDF soldiers. So far there has been no broad Palestinian public response in Judea and Samaria to participate in the protests.”

4) The Friends of Israel Initiative has published its assessment of the Iranian nuclear archives.

“Thanks to an awe-inspiring covert operation successfully carried out by the Israeli intelligence service, a significant part of the Iranian nuclear files, hidden by Iran, was taken and revealed to the world over a year ago. The archives exposed not only important violations by Iran of its commitments to the non-proliferation regime, but a systematic plan of deception as to the goals, achievements and the ways to keep UN inspectors blind on any relevant aspect of their military nuclear program.”

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