STATEMENT: Trump’s Middle East Plan Risks Doing More Harm Than Good, CAP’s Brian Katulis Says

Washington, D.C. — After President Donald Trump released his Middle East peace plan, Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

President Trump’s proposed ‘deal of the century’ on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict risks doing more harm than good. It’s an obvious attempt to distract from the political crises engulfing Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The proposal itself does not pass muster; the Trump administration has not talked to key Palestinian leaders in two years. And the plan opens the door for unilateral steps to impose a solution on certain borders and Jerusalem that have for decades been widely recognized as subjects of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Issuing a report written last year is no substitute for the hard work of diplomacy necessary to achieve a lasting, just peace. Palestinian rejection of this proposal should not be taken as license by the Israeli government to take steps such as annexing parts of the West Bank that would jeopardize a two-state solution to the conflict. The reaction from Palestinians and Arab countries should not be taken as grounds to support or recognize any possible moves by Israel to annex disputed land in the West Bank.

A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains in America’s own national interest. It will be up to responsible policymakers in Congress to ensure that the possibility of such a solution remains alive until President Trump leaves office.

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