Radio Sputnik has discussed this with Dr. Yehuda Ben Meir, the head of the National Security and Public Opinion Project at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies.
Sputnik: The US president recently said that Israel will now have to pay a higher price in peace talks with the Palestinians after the embassy moved to the Holy City; what’s your take on this?
Yehuda Ben Meir: I think we have to see what President Trump’s plan is. No one knows when this plan will be put forth. The president spoke about it even before he was elected and since he took office in January 2017, for over a year and a half the American administration has been working on this plan. Some people call it “the plan of the century” or “the deal of the century.” But, unfortunately, so far we haven’t seen anything, and as time goes on each time they report that it’s very eminent and that very soon they will present the plan. So, I think that people are beginning to doubt whether the plan will be really presented.
I think that he has made it clear, as everyone understands it, that any plan trying to reach a peace agreement or even any permanent agreement between the Palestinians and Israel evidently has to be something which is complex and has to have features in it some of which will be more acceptable for Israel, and some will be less acceptable; and the same for the Palestinians. I think that the president has said a number of times that both sides will have to compromise; and I think any logical individual realizes that in order to reach an agreement to solve a conflict which is going on a hundred years, certainly 70 years, since the creation of the State of Israel when seven Arab states attacked us and tried to destroy the State of Israel. Basically this conflict, even for a hundred-year conflict has to be something which involves serious compromises, but I don’t think the president had anything specifically he said; it was just a general remark which basically means that both sides will have to compromise. But, as I said, we have to wait and see what the plan will be, if and when it’s presented.
Sputnik: Do you have any thoughts about the timing of the statement?
Yehuda Ben Meir: President Trump makes many statements. He is a very serious user of the social media. There are a lot of tweets and a lot of statements. I don’t think there’s anything more specific now than let’s say a week before or weeks ago. At a rally of the Republican Party, of his supporters, in preparation for the mid-term elections he spoke about the excellent relations between the United States and Israel. So probably he wanted to give a more balanced picture and maybe that’s why he said what he said. I don’t think that there’s any specific or dramatic importance of the statement. It’s more or less a self-evident statement which he thought may have been appropriate at the rally that he was speaking at.
Sputnik: When Donald Trump announced that he was moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem many critics spoke of so-called “special privileges” towards Israel from the American leader; do you think this really is the case?
Yehuda Ben Meir: As President Trump has said correctly, many previous presidents have committed themselves before they were elected to moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is recognized basically by the whole world as Israel’s capital. For all means and purposes everyone knows that Jerusalem is the capital. They meet with Israel’s prime minister in Jerusalem. They deliver their credentials of the president in Jerusalem and speak before the Knesset in Jerusalem. It was an anomaly that didn’t make any sense for historic reasons related to some resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations over 70 years ago which was never implemented regarding the internationalization of Jerusalem that these countries didn’t move their embassies to Jerusalem.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.