President Donald Trump speaks at a White House news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jan. 28, 2020. (JTA/Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks at a White House news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jan. 28, 2020. (JTA/Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Here’s how Jewish groups on the left and right are reacting to Trump’s peace plan

Reactions to President Donald Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan unveiled Tuesday took a predictable path, with Jewish groups on the right praising the much-anticipated proposal and those on the left criticizing it.

The proposal, which Trump presented at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would allow Israel to annex its West Bank settlements while freezing the areas that the U.S. proposes as part of a future Palestinian state for four years. A Palestinian state would be made up of Gaza and the majority of the West Bank, which would be connected via high-speed rail, and have East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel would also get “overriding security responsibility and control over entire territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in a follow-up call with reporters. The White House released a 180-page document that elaborated on the details of the plan.

Here’s what Jewish groups have to say about the proposal (JTA will add add reactions as they come in).

Those who are hopeful about the plan:

The Republican Jewish Coalition endorsed the plan. Executive Director Matt Brooks said “[t]he President and his team have put together a bold and nuanced proposal that is deeply rooted in America’s core values of liberty, opportunity, and hope for the future.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said it “appreciate[s] the efforts of President Trump and his administration to work in consultation with the leaders of the two major Israeli political parties to set forth ideas to resolve the conflict in a way that recognizes our ally’s critical security needs.” AIPAC urged the “Palestinians to rejoin Israelis at the negotiating table.”

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said the group “hope[s] this will be a step towards a better future for both peoples” and that “it is ultimately up to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resolve their conflict through direct negotiations.”

Those who dislike the plan:

J Street described it as “the logical culmination of repeated bad-faith steps this administration has taken to validate the agenda of the Israeli right, prevent the achievement of a viable, negotiated two-state solution and ensure that Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank becomes permanent.”

The Israel-based group Peace Now said “[t]he insistence of a small and extreme minority to cling to every piece of land is dragging our country to perpetuate this protracted conflict to the point that it is critically threatening Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, said the proposal “threatens to make the occupation permanent” and “is not the vision of Israel’s founders.”

IfNotNow co-founder Emily Mayer slammed the plan as “totally and utterly bankrupt,” saying it “reveals the shameful way that our government has catered to the Israeli right — at the cost of Palestinian freedom — for our entire lives.”

Rabbi Alissa Wise, the acting co-executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, called it “an apartheid plan” and “a distraction ploy by two warmongers who are prioritizing their personal election campaigns over any semblance of statecraft.”

Josefin Dolsten
Josefin Dolsten

JTA Staff Writer


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.