Israeli Left, Arab parties join in criticism of US peace proposal

We say 1,000 no’s to the Deal of the Century,” Abbas said.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

The Israeli Left largely criticized and dismissed President Donald Trump’s declaration on Tuesday of a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.

Labor leader Amir Peretz said, “The plan’s timing arrives on the eve of election in Israel, there’s no legitimacy to the current government to carry out state policies. Therefore, we should deal with this only after the elections, when a government rules that has the trust of the citizens of Israel and wins the trust of the Knesset.

Tamar Zandberg of the far-left Meretz party said, “Someone who is accused of bribery has no mandate for unilateral annexations that endanger the future of the State of Israel, that puts us in clear and immediate danger of violence and buries de facto the two-state solution.”

Reactions centered around the charge that the plan was an agreement between Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without including the Palestinians.

“This problem will be solved by these two peoples and the leaders of these two peoples, and not someone making a deal with himself,” said MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List in the Knesset. The faction, which does not recognize Israel as the Jewish State, is comprised predominantly of Arab MKs.

He echoed the argument often heard on Israel’s Left that Trump and Netanyahu, one facing an impeachment trial and the other indicted on corruption charges, were working to help each other out.

Though the plan makes way for a future Palestinian state, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas dismissed it as “nonsense” and vowed to resist it.

“We say 1,000 no’s to the Deal of the Century,” Abbas said, using a nickname for Trump’s proposal.

“We will resist the occupier and we announce our rejection of the deal,” said Hamas deputy chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya, as quoted by the terror group’s Al-Aqsa TV.

However, among Arab states, the reactions were measured.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the plan’s release, said they expected negative responses from the Palestinians but were hopeful that Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab nations to have peace treaties with Israel, would not reject it outright.

Jordan gave the plan a cool response, saying it remained committed to a two-state solution based on Israel’s pre-1967 lines. It also said it rejected any unilateral move by Israel, referring to intentions to impose Israeli sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria.

The reaction of Jordan, which would retain its responsibilities as custodian over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque under the Trump plan, is seen as particularly significant because the kingdom, which borders Judea and Samaria, is home to a large Palestinian population.

Its special role at Al-Aqsa was enshrined in the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to reach a peace deal with Israel, urged Israelis and Palestinians to study the plan carefully.

Saudi Arabia said it appreciated the Trump administration’s efforts and encouraged the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians “under the auspices of the United States.”

The European Union also said it needed to study the plan more closely.

Iran condemned the plan.