Just after the “Deal of the Century” was released, Jared Kushner, one of the main architects of the deal, told Egyptian TV that one of the plan’s goals was to limit settlement expansion and growth in the West Bank. This week, along with his efforts to advance the peace plan in Washington D.C. and abroad, Kushner said much the same thing in a presentation to senators from the Foreign Affairs Committee. This time, however, he took things even further by saying that settlement growth is one of the issues that is blocking the chances for the peace plan’s success.
At the same time, U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman recently showed great support for the half a million Jewish residents of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in an interview with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Speaking about the peace plan, Ambassador Friedman said:
“What this plan does for Israel, is it enables Israel to absorb into its country 500,000 heroic Jews who live on the front lines of the biblical Heartland of the state of Israel.”
In November 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Israel’s settlements were not illegal or inconsistent with international law. This historic and profound statement from the American administration reversed years of anti-settlement statements and activity from world powers during the course of the last 30 years.
President Trump himself has shown great support for Israel. From recognizing Israel’s right to an eternal and undivided Jerusalem, moving the United States embassy there, and recognizing Israel’s right to the Golan Heights, the president has shown unprecedented support for the entire nation of Israel.
After experiencing such great support from the American Administration, one has to scratch his head when a senior advisor to the president, his son-in-law, an Orthodox Jew, and one of the main architects of the peace plan, says that the growth of Israel’s settlements is a problem that is prohibiting the implementation of the peace plan.
The following is according to a senior white house official, from an Axios article on March 5th:
“Kushner’s message was that every time negotiations failed, the Palestinians got more money and Israel was able to keep expanding the settlements, but the peace process became a false notion and didn’t solve anything. Both parties’ leadership just kept getting what they want without improving the lives of the people.”
Originally, the peace plan seemed to allow for the settlements to continue building and growing inside their communities, without expanding their land mass. Last week however, the community of Har Bracha (Mount of Blessing) was informed that their request for approval to build about 400 new housing units was denied. They had been working on this permission for two years, and had no reason to suspect that their request would not be approved. The reason for the denial, they were told, was that the U.S. Administration would not like it if they were approved to build these homes. Even though not official, this appears to be a partial building freeze imposed by international pressure.
Ever since the “Deal of the Century’s” release, world leaders, from many faiths, and political and non-political platforms, have been singing its praises and seeking to drum up support for its implementation. However, the Palestinians, who the plan would benefit the most, immediately rejected the plan. Ironically, Jared Kushner, in his recent presentation to senators on the Foreign Affairs Committee, listed two problems that are holding back the plan’s implementation:
- Increased dependence of Palestinian leaders on foreign aid.
- Increased expansion by Israeli leaders of settlements in the West Bank.
In other words, the Palestinians continue to reject peace with Israel, and then rely on foreign aid to not only provide for their government’s support, but also to pay terrorists monthly salaries just for murdering Jews. Lumped together with this problem is the fact that Jews want to build homes in Judea. Just like their ancestors who lived here two thousand years ago.
If you think that a Jew building a home in Judea compares with a Palestinian government who is paying salaries to those who have murdered Jews, you may need to begin reading your Bible again.
It’s time to go back to the Bible and check out God’s ideas for a peace plan.