Opinion: The prime minister will try anything to secure the reelection he hopes will save him from a jail sentence, including accepting a viable Palestinian state on 70% of the West Bank, but as his legal woes catch up, he may also have his mind on his legacy
Sima Kadmon – www.ynetnews.com
It was not easy to remain negative in light of Tuesday’s unveiling of the U.S. peace plan.
It would be far easier to have been sitting in front of the television, watching events unfold in the White House and admiring David Ben-Gurion and Harry Truman – sorry, I mean Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump in what they themselves considered to be no less an historical event than the establishment of the State of Israel.
It would have been wonderful to revel in the knowledge that as of next week, Israel would be sovereign in the Jordan Valley, the northern part of the Dead Sea and the West Bank settlements, to be dazzled by the extremely pro-Israeli plan presented by the United States, because how do we not deserve all these gifts?
It would have been so pleasing to witness the mutual admiration expressed by the two leaders who in fact need one another more than they respect one another.
Being negative is not easy, but it is inevitable because the entire story is missing just one element – feasibility.
Even “Israel’s best friend ever in the White House” cannot guarantee that there will be no eruption of violence, no third intifada.
Trump has no way to assure Israel that its relations with Jordan will not be destroyed or that Arab countries will adopt this illegitimate brainchild that he and Netanyahu birthed.
Nor could the American president guarantee the participation of the Palestinians in aspects of the plan such as recognition of Israel as a Jewish state with a unified Jerusalem as its capital, the relinquishment of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and Israeli security control of the entire area west of the Jordan River.
In other words, this is a dream come true for Israel as far as plans go, but sadly there is no partner to agree on it with.
Netanyahu believes the $50 billion that Trump is offering the Palestinians is enough to convince them to accept the peace plan.
This is rich coming from a man who allegedly gave one man a gift of NIS 1.8 billion. Netanyahu is now facing bribery charges in Case 4000, on suspicion that he granted then-Bezeq owner Shaul Elovitch regulatory favors that made him very rich indeed, in exchange for positive coverage of the Netanyahus on Elovich’s Walla! news site.
“I am prepared to seize the moment,” the prime minister said Tuesday, adding that despite opposition, stumbling blocks and other difficulties, this was the moment of truth and the Trump plan must be adopted.
The president for his part announced he will give the Palestinians four years to achieve the benchmarks laid out in the plan, promising Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the United States would provide help every step of the way.
But Netanyahu does not have four years to see the plan implemented.
Despite the gallant effort made in Washington on Tuesday, which aimed to distract Israelis from the prime minister’s legal woes, he will soon be spending his days in court for his corruption trial.
Netanyahu’s goal is to embark on his time as a defendant as a newly re-elected prime minister.
All his recent actions and all those he is expected to do henceforth are geared towards that end.
Netanyahu will do whatever it takes to win the March 2 election, including accepting a viable Palestinian state on 70% of the West Bank, as the Trump plan lays out.
Beginning with the roll out of the Trump peace plan Tuesday, and continuing with Vladimir Putin’s release of Naama Issachar, expected to soon be pardoned from a Russian jail where she is serving a sentence for drug charges.
Everything is done for the same purpose – from Mr. Netanyahu embracing the American president to Mrs. Netanyahu holding Naama’s hand as the two disembark together from the chartered flight in Tel Aviv.
Before his death in 2018, Netanyahu’s personal attorney Jacob Weinroth suggested that his client make a grand gesture and then discuss a plea agreement with the prosecution.
Make a gesture that could be your legacy, take the plea deal, and walk away quietly, Weinroth reportedly advised the prime minister.
Perhaps that advice was on the indicted prime minister’s mind this week.
The possibility that he may be remembered for securing Israel’s hegemony all the way to the Jordan River could ensure he may be remembered as more than a criminal.