President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu near the Oval Office of the White House, Jan 27, 2020. (JTA/Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu near the Oval Office of the White House, Jan 27, 2020. (JTA/Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Why Americans should support the Trump-Kushner peace plan

Some of us believe Donald Trump has not been an excellent president. Some of us believe otherwise. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of being corrupt and he may or may not be guilty. But no matter what, the Trump peace plan, constructed by Jared Kushner, must be considered on its own merits or demerits and not on how one views either of the two leaders.

After thoughtful consideration, we urge Americans to support it.

The new peace plan breaks the impasse over a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians by de facto creating it. It does so simply by acknowledging the situation on the ground for most people in the region, both Israelis and Palestinians.

Under this plan, Israel will have the opportunity to motivate the Palestinian people to experience peace, an opportunity they have been denied by their leadership so far. The Palestinian leaders can establish their state, or they can continue their war against Israel.

Why has the Arab-Israeli conflict been raging since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948?

Arab opponents have refused to recognize Israel as a legitimate nation and to acknowledge that they lost the war — in fact, lost multiple wars — that they initiated in an attempt to destroy Israel.

Still, the leaders of the Palestinians today don’t want peace. Why? Some suspect they cling to power only by asserting leadership over the effort to destroy Israel.

They have no other program. Despite billions of U.S. dollars, they have no operational economic plan to make the desert bloom, no plan to educate children in STEM, no functional plan to attract jobs for their unemployed young people.

Instead, the Mahmoud Abbas government in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza rejected this peace plan before it was even announced — indeed, before it was even formulated, by refusing to meet with the people working on it — as they have rejected every other path to peace in the continuing conflict.

The peace plan accepts that the current government of the Palestinians is corrupt and incompetent, but it does not seek to impose regime change. That is wise.

The Palestinian leadership has time and again rejected offers by Israel to trade land for peace, to trade economic development for peace, to trade peace for peace.

They hold tight to their fantasy that they soon will destroy Israel, seize all of its land and assets and kill all the Jews.

How can peace be negotiated when one party is still fully committed to continuing the war, including a persistent call for the destruction of the other? Negotiating peace starts with a cease-fire, then an armistice, then a negotiation, and, finally, peace.

This peace plan is needed to help the Palestinian people recognize the falsity of the hatred they have been taught since grade school —that Jews are evil monsters and seek to destroy Islam, and that some day soon their leaders will succeed in conquering Israel and pushing the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea.

Under this peace plan, which proposes billions in economic investments for the Palestinians, Israel has a chance to establish an Arabic-language commission to help its Palestinian neighbors directly.

Some suggestions: Install a free public WiFi system for everyone in both Palestine and Israeli territories. Establish a mail-in or online ballot on the allocation of local Israeli funding for pothole repair in Palestinian villages. Promote mail-in and online applications for scholarships to Israeli universities for high performing Palestinian high school students. Etc.

Let Israel bypass the Abbas government, which isn’t a democracy — Abbas last stood for election 15 years ago. Go to the Palestinian people directly.

Let’s then see what they say after a few years of partnership with Israel in peace, jobs, economic development and security.

Quentin Kopp
Quentin Kopp

Quentin Kopp is a retired California Superior Court judge, former state senator and San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, and member of J.’s board of directors. He lives in San Francisco.

Carol Ruth Silver
Carol Ruth Silver

Carol Ruth Silver is a retired San Francisco lawyer who served on the S.F. Board of Supervisors for 12 years. She was a 1961 Freedom Rider and wrote the 2014 memoir “Freedom Rider Diary: Smuggled Notes from Parchman Prison.”