US Democratic presidential candidates on Tuesday condemned the Trump administration’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after its unveiling at the White House.
Former vice president Joe Biden called the outline counterproductive and warned against settlement annexations.
“A peace plan requires two sides to come together. This is a political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more. I’ve spent a lifetime working to advance the security & survival of a Jewish and democratic Israel. This is not the way,” Biden said.
Immediately after the plan’s release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to bring his plan to annex the Jordan Valley and all settlements in the West Bank, with US backing, to a vote during next week’s cabinet meeting.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said any agreement “must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ doesn’t come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable.
“The United States can bring unequaled leadership to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but we must use that leadership to promote a just and durable agreement. Any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and multiple UN resolutions,” Sanders said.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “Trump’s ‘peace plan’ is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it.”
Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg lashed US President Donald Trump for his handling of foreign affairs and censured the plan as undermining a workable solution to the conflict.
“This president’s Mideast ‘Deal of the Century,’ like so much else he’s done in foreign policy, makes complex situations worse,” Buttigieg said. “Peace requires both parties at the table. Not a political green light to the leader of one for unilateral annexation.”
Breaking with past US administrations, the plan envisions the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, a handful of neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and some areas of southern Israel on condition that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip disarm.
The plan also calls for allowing Israel to annex all settlements, granting the Jewish state sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and ongoing overall security control west of the Jordan River, and barring Palestinians entering Israel as refugees.