TEL AVIV – The Arab world believes Donald Trump’s presidency presents a viable opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians that will lead to the normalization of relations between the Jewish state and other countries in the region, Arab lawmakers told MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Union).
Over the weekend, Bar met with parliamentarians from Iraq, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority, as well as Kurdish representatives, at a conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. According to the Jerusalem Post, Bar presented his vision of a two-state solution at the conference, which was organized by the leftwing Progressive Alliance.
“To my surprise … they see him as a strong president to make peace,” Bar said of Trump.
“They think the government of Israel and [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] must and can take advantage of Trump’s momentum to enter negotiations and reach a solution,” he added.
“They have high expectations of Trump, who’s seen as strong and decisive, as opposed to [former president Barack] Obama. They see how he responded to ISIS and what he did in Syria [by using military force], and they think he will try to force an agreement in our area. That’s something Israel needs to think hard about.”
According to Bar, the representatives said there was no chance of normalization with Arab nations unless the Palestinian issue is solved.
He added that several parliamentarians brought up the topic of the Arab Peace Initiative and said it was odd that Israel had not properly addressed it 15 years after it was first proposed.
“They see on one side a freeze in negotiations, with the Arab world stretching its hand out, having come a long way,” he said. “They see it as impolite and wrong that Israel isn’t responding, not even to say no. … They want cooperation and diplomatic and economic ties, but it won’t happen until there is peace with the Palestinians.”
He stated that there was overwhelming support – which surprised him – for his two-state plan in which Israel would first recognize a Palestinian state and then negotiate borders based on the pre-1967 lines with land swaps to account for the larger settlement blocs, as well as other core issues.
Bar said the representatives of Muslim states told him they were not aware there were Israeli politicians who desire a two-state solution, because “they only hear about the Right.”
Bar could not divulge the names of representatives since the conference rules forbid him from doing so.
Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Druze-Israeli Knesset minister Ayoub Kara, in a rare move, met in public with officials from Gulf states as well as a Palestinian diplomat at a swearing-in ceremony for Ecuador’s new leader.
Breitbart’s Aaron Klein previously exposed the Arab Peace Initiative, which was referred to in the past as the Saudi Initiative:
The Saudi Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, states that Israel would receive “normal relations” with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount.
The West Bank contains important Jewish biblical sites and borders central Israeli population centers, while the Golan Heights looks down on Israeli civilian zones and was twice used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.
The Saudi plan also demands the imposition of a non-binding U.N. resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the “earliest practicable date.”
Palestinians have long demanded the “right of return” for millions of “refugees,” a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel’s destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics.
When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel’s borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution.
While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle its inhabitants elsewhere.
There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs; Arabs living full-time in Jordan; and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.
According to Arab sources close to the Saudi Initiative, Arab countries are willing to come to an agreement whereby Israel absorbs about 500,000 “refugees” and reaches a compensation deal with the PA for the remaining millions of Palestinians.