President Trump’s peace plan must be understood as a systemic impetus toward a new breakthrough rather than as a practical blueprint for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Comparing the US “peace plan” for Israel-Palestine with ECFR’s own work on future parameters illuminates how Donald Trump is departing from longstanding international consensus positions.
Most of the talk about the ravages of last month’s floods in Israel’s coastal cities concerns the responsibility of state authorities that failed to invest sufficiently in infrastructure development. But that is only part of the story. The main problem, which is repressed to the point of denial, stems from a planning failure at the macro level. This is not just a matter of flawed local planning for local drainage systems. This is a greater conceptual failure that results from ignoring the basic geographic conditions of the Land of Israel.
The Turkish admiral who masterminded Turkey’s maritime deal with Libya thinks the same agreement should also be signed with Israel. Many might be tempted to think there is too much metaphorical “bad blood” between Turkey and Israel to permit any degree of rapprochement. But subtle signs suggest this may not be the whole picture.
By Burak Bekdil
American policy on Israel and Palestine has long been stymied by contradictions. In particular, the United States professes a goal of fostering peace, but enables the processes that perpetuate conflict. This contradiction is at the heart of Washington’s sharp loss of credibility as an honest broker in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, a loss that damages U.S. standing in the Middle East at large.
Over the last decade, the gap between the military and political elites in Israel has increased and eventually peaked in 2019, when a group of senior officers who had just retired from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) formed a new party – led by three former chiefs of staff – and called for the replacement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. This gap has developed because Israel’s previous governments have represented a new kind of polarising, right-wing politics beyond what is considered a shared national common sense. The military, on the other hand, is striving to maintain the character it has acquired as a “Nation in Arms” by reflecting the entire society of Israel and acting according to its professional ethos and national statist values. The stated goal of the officers entering politics was to defend those values against perceivably partisan and polarising governmental politics. The composition of a future government is thus both: A competition over principled values of the state, but also a determination about the steps regarding the military and political leadership in Israel, as well as the military’s relations with society at large.
Israel’s air force has been unrelenting in its determination to prevent the introduction by Iran into Syria of a massive supply of precision-guided missiles to be used against Israel. The IAF is also striking consistently and forcefully at Tehran’s attempts to establish a local Iranian-run weapons armament industry in Syria. With these efforts, Israel is forcing Iran to take these projects underground. That is an expensive proposition—and all the more difficult following the reimposition of US sanctions.
The Soviet Union was the first to recognize de-jure the state of Israel
2020 is expected to be another year of fruitful cooperation for Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, which are working together to counter rising instability caused by Turkey. Their recent agreement to commit to the construction of the EastMed pipeline opens a new chapter in a friendship they have worked on for over a decade. They are taking steps to obtain American support for the trilateral scheme despite Washington’s concerns about its potential impact on the US’s long-term partnership with Ankara. Notably, the recent killing by the US of Quds commander Qassem Soleimani found Greece standing by its allies, the US and Israel, though that position risks undermining its relations with Iran.