News Roundup: U.S., Israeli and Arab Media React to Trump's "Deal of the Century"
On Tuesday January 28, President Donald Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political opponent Benny Gantz to the White House to announce the details of the “Deal of the Century,” the presidents moniker for the peace plan more than three years in the making under the supervision of his son-in-law, Jared Kershner. Today the U.S. and Middle East media covered the announcement in various ways.
News coverage in the U.S. tended to highlight the divided reaction from Arab states on support for President Trump’s plan, pointing out the attendance of the ambassadors of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE and noting the absence of Ambassadors from the only two Arab countries with peace treaties with Israel, Egypt and Jordan. Many independent observers pointed out the conspicuous timing of the event given Netenyahu’s recent indictment on corruption charges, and president Trump’s impeachment trial. The general tone of U.S. media was that the plan was favorable to Israeli interests. Pro-Israeli outlets have portrayed the administration’s plan as the best path towards ending the conflict and ushering peace.
The Arabic press noted further divisions in Arab ranks with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Oman issuing statement supporting the plan and urging parties to start negotiating under US leadership, while others such as Qatar and Kuwait reiterated the importance of Palestinian rights. The secretary general of the Arab League clearly articulated the need for a just and comprehensive peace that grants the Palestinians an independent state. Headlines in Jordanian, Egyptian, and Lebanese press were most vocal in expressing criticism of the peace plan and particularly how it impacts their national interests. North African media echoed the position of international observers, with the notable exception of Tunisia, in which multiple organizations and political parties denounced the plan.
Opinion and Analysis
Three years after he said that peace in the Middle East was “not as difficult as people have thought,” President Donald Trump unveiled a lopsided plan that gives Israel much of what it has long sought and imposes daunting requirements that the Palestinians must meet before negotiations can even begin. The President described his plan, orchestrated by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as “the last opportunity” for a Palestinian state. Yet it fails to address many of the problems that led to the collapse of earlier peace initiatives.
Simon Henderson, The Hill: Trump peace plan attracts some Gulf states, but not consensus backing
Only two Arab countries currently have peace agreements with Israel: Egypt and Jordan. Neither was represented at the White House when President Trump announced the plan with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Domestic public opinion in both countries disapproves of relations with Israel. Bahrain, Oman and the UAE are Gulf countries traditionally somewhat less concerned — at least recently — about the Palestinians.
Nathan Thrall, TheNew York Times: Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan Exposes the Ugly Truth
Mr. Trump’s plan has many severe faults: It prioritizes Jewish interests over Palestinian ones. It rewards and even incentivizes settlements and further dispossession of the Palestinians. But none of these qualities represent a fundamental break from the past. The Trump plan merely puts the finishing touches on a house that American lawmakers, Republican and Democrat alike, spent dozens of years helping to build.
David Ignatius, The Washington Post: The Trump peace plan is a squeeze play against the Palestinians. It might work.
Throughout the dense text of the peace plan that President Trump announced on Tuesday is a stark but unstated question to the Palestinians: If you reject this deal, as bad as you think it may be, what are you going to get instead?
Robert Malley and Aaron David Miller, Politico Magazine: The Real Goal of Trump’s Middle East Plan: Its Not Peace. It’s Power
The mundane reasons, first. It’s hard not to see in the timing an effort by Trump to help Netanyahu in Israel’s elections six weeks from now, and, more than that, an effort by Trump to help Trump – to shore up support from evangelicals and conservative Republicans as he heads into his re-election campaign.
Zack Beauchamp, Vox: Trump’s Israel-Palestine “peace plan” is a con
The proposal is missing a signature feature of every prior peace plan: a path to a viable Palestinian state. It divides up the Palestinian territories and surrounds them by Israel, and gives Israel total control over Palestinian security — allowing a future Palestinian government to exercise full control over its own land only when Israel deems it acceptable. It’s a kind of state-minus: a Palestine without much of its land and subservient to Israel for basic functions.
Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz: Trump’s Peace Plan Will Fail – but Its Vision Could Still Endure
The list of reasons why the Trump peace plan is destined to fail is long and practically writes itself. For starters, the plan unveiled Tuesday is ostensibly aimed at solving one of the most intractable conflicts in history. Previous plans by serious professional diplomats have failed. This one, coming from the most inept and amateurish administration in history, surely hasn’t a chance.
David E. Sanger, New York Times: A Deal That Has Two Elections, Rather Than Mideast Peace, as Its Focus
A president trying to prevail in an impeachment trial stood with an Israeli prime minister under indictment on Tuesday to announce a long-delayed plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the result sounded more like a road map for their own futures than for the Middle East.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed creating a Palestinian state as part of a Middle East peace plan, drawing Palestinian condemnation for imposing strict conditions and agreeing to let Israel maintain control of long-contested West Bank settlements.
Middle Eastern nations offered mixed reactions to President Donald Trump's long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, a framework negotiated without the participation of Palestinians, who have been engaged in a land dispute with the world's only majority-Jewish nation since its creation in 1948.
The New York Times, Trump Plan’s First Result: Israel Will Claim Sovereignty Over Part of West Bank
The only immediate consequence of the Trump peace plan — and possibly all that will ever come of it — was the green light President Trump gave to Israel Tuesday to expand its territory by effectively annexing vast stretches of land it has long coveted on the West Bank.
President Trump proposed a sweeping Middle East peace plan Tuesday that would establish a disjointed Palestinian state largely surrounded by Israel, while granting Israel most of what it has sought over decades of conflict. The proposal appears to have little chance of success.
Arab reactions to Trump’s peace plan were divided. The UAE issued a statement on its US Embassy website stating its support of the plan and noting that the plan presents a good starting point to go back to negotiations within an international framework that the U.S. leads. Qatar, on the other hand, emphasized the focus on its support of Palestinian rights while reiterating its support of all efforts to seek a just and lasting resolution of the Palestinian problem. Qatar;s statement made reference to the Arab Peace Initiative as a solid document in which all Arabs agreed to a framework to achieve a just peace.
Saudi Arabia reiterated its support for US efforts in this regard and called both parties to start negotiations with US leadership.
Egypt’s position called for a detailed assessment of the US vision to achieve peace while also stating its appreciation of all efforts to jumpstart the peace process.
Al Jazeera: World leaders react to Trump's Middle East plan
Leaders from around the world are reacting to US President Donald Trump's long-awaited Middle East plan, with some denouncing it as "aggressive" and "one-sided" and others saying the proposal initiative "could prove a positive step forward".
Al Quds Al Arabi: Netanyahu: The Palestinians Won’t Get a Better Deal (Arabic)
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised his personal relationship with American President Donald Trump, stating that the Palestinans will not receive a better deal than the one proposed by his administration.
Al Sharq Al Awsat: Palestinians Will Lose out by Rejecting Peace Talks
Talks and life have finally returned to the Palestinian issue — a good sign after a long slumber. However, reactions to the so-called “deal of the century” express the familiar. The Israelis say: The plan is a great step, although we have not got the details. The Palestinians repeat their old stance: We reject the plan even though we do not know what it is, and it may only be an attempt to save Benjamin Netanyahu from the prison threat he is facing.
President Donald Trump Tuesday unveiled long-awaited details of a US plan for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning it may represent the last chance at statehood for the Palestinians. “Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace,” Trump told a White House news conference, standing alongside visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he revealed key points of the plan already strongly rejected by the Palestinians.
Jerusalem Post:Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE welcome Trump peace plan
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE on Tuesday issued statements welcoming the Trump administration's peace plan."The Kingdom reiterates its support for all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian cause," said the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Jerusalem Post: Ex-IDF intel. chief: Trump peace plan not even basis for talks
Former IDF intelligence chief and INSS executive director Amos Yadlin said of US President Donald Trump's peace plan that, “it is not a peace plan, and I am not sure that it is even a basis for a peace plan.”
Times of Israel: Progressive lawmakers savage Trump peace plan
Progressive lawmakers from the Democratic Party on Tuesday mocked US President Donald Trump over his Middle East peace plan, while many of the party’s presidential hopefuls criticized it, primarily for its green light for Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley and other West Bank settlements.
Three Palestinians were wounded Wednesday by live Israeli fire near Ramallah in a protest against the Middle East peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
The Arabic Channel 12 revealed Wednesday evening that President Mahmoud Abbas threatened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of canceling the security coordination and breaking the rules of the game, in a sharp letter delivered by minister of civil affairs, Hussein Al-Sheikh, to the Israeli finance minister, Moshe Kahlon.
Al Rai: Jordan’s King: We are dedicating all efforts to protect the holy city
Al Ghad: Trump assassinates peace and pushes the region towards extremism
Public and party entities held a sit-in in front of the US embassy in Amman on Tuesday evening in protest against the "Deal of the Century", announced by US President Donald Trump.Sit-in participants expressed the Jordanian and Palestinian peoples' rejection of the deal, stressing that they cannot give up Palestine and Jerusalem and its holy sites. The deal will fail, they said, no matter the strength of the state behind it, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.The protesters urged Arab countries not to consider the deal as it would end in the destruction and demise of Arabs and contribute to further tension in the region if enacted.
Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement following the announcement of the US peace vision that the national interests of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its established and unwavering positions and principles towards the Palestinian issue governs the way in which the government deals with all proposals and initiatives aimed at resolving the conflict.
Egypt has called on both parties involved in the peace process in the Middle East to “carefully consider” a new US peace plan unveiled by President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday. "Egypt calls on both parties involved to carefully consider the US vision to achieve peace…and to open channels for dialogue to resume negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis where they can discuss their visions under US patronage to reach a comprehensive and fair peace agreement that meets the aspirations and hopes of the two peoples and leads to an independent Palestinian state,” read a foreign ministry statement.
Al Masry Al Youm:Aboul Gheit: Achieving Peace Won’t Take Place Through Legalized Occupation (Arabic)
The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, stated that “achieving a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinans is contingent on the will of the two parties, rather than the will of one without the other, and the peace plan that the American president announced reflects a non-binding American vision.
Shafaq News:Who Are The Three Arab Ambassadors in The Room Where Trump Announced His Peace Plan? (Arabic)
The American President, Donald Trump, announced on Tuesday that his plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will allow Israel to “take a big step towards peace”.
National Iraqi News Agency: The National Right Party Announces its Categorical Rejection of the Deal of the Century (Arabic)
The general secretariat of the National Right Party announced its categorical rejection of the so-called Deal of the Century proposed by the American President Trump last night.
Islamic Republic News Agency:Supreme Leader: Deal of Century will never materialize
"To the dismay of US politicians, the satanic, evil US policy about Palestine —the so-called #DealOfTheCentury— will never bear fruit, by the grace of God," Supreme Leader official Twitter account reported. "About the Judaization of #alQuds and saying it should be in the hands of the Jews, they’re talking foolishly & unwisely," he added. "The issue of #Palestine will never be forgotten, Supreme Leader noted. He reiterated: "The Palestinian nation and all Muslim nations will definitely stand up to them and not allow the so-called #DealOfCentury to be realized."
While expressing disgust on US President’s move in unveiling the imposed and so-called peace plan of “Deal of the century”, Larijani called on counterparts in the Islamic states to counter Trump administration’s plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which Palestinians have already dismissed. He also urged Parliament speakers in Islamic countries to support referendum and use of parliamentary diplomacy as the sole way of resolving crisis in Palestine.
Turkey expressed outrage over a unilateral peace plan by the United States for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as authorities pointed to Jerusalem as a "red line" for the country. The Turkish public, meanwhile, flocked to the streets to protest in both Washington and Tel Aviv for their "betrayal" of the Palestinians. Being one of the main countries that have maintained a clear position on the Palestinian cause, Turkey responded to the so-called "Deal of the Century" by U.S. President Donald Trump, stating that the people and land of Palestine were not for sale.
Hurriyet Daily News: Ankara says Trump’s Middle East plan ‘attempt to steal Palestinian land’
Turkey dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan on Jan. 28 in what it said was an attempt to steal Palestinian lands and kill off prospects of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. “This plan is an annexation plan that is aimed at killing the two-state solution and stealing Palestinian lands,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, describing Trump’s proposals as “stillborn.” Underlining that Jerusalem is a “red line” for Turkey, the ministry also said that the country will not let Israel “justify its occupation and persecution.”
National News Agency: Berri: Deal of The Century a Bribe to Sell Palesstinan Land With Arab Money
Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Wednesday said in a press release issued by his press office that "the deal of the century" has dashed the Palestinians' little hope of building a country of their own, with Jerusalem its capital. "This agreement is just a bribe to sell the rights, sovereignty, dignity, and Palestinian Arab lands with Arab money," Berri said. "We reconfirm that Lebanon and the Lebanese will not be false witnesses in the new death penalty against the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights, including their right to return home. We will not accept, regardless of the conditions, to be an accomplice in the sale or exchange of these rights," the statement read.
Palestinians collected their rejection of the “Deal of the Century” in the heart of one man, and their decision to confront both politically and economically, regardless of the cost.
Akhbar Al Khaleej: Trump unveils deal of the century, Abbas: the ‘conspiracy’ deal will not pass and our rights are not for sale
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry urges all sides to consider the components of the US plan for peace and lauds the United States for its intensive efforts to advance peace.
United Arab Emirates
The National: Trump Unveils Middle East Plan that Favors Israel
The National’s Editorial: Palestinians deserve a better deal
Mr Trump’s deal is, in many places, incomplete. Despite statements about creating economic opportunities for the Palestinians, the core issues of citizenship and refugees are not properly addressed. The proposal also falls short of granting Palestinians basic rights and offers no solution for more than five million of their compatriots displaced in neighbouring countries, who have been rendered stateless for generations and would not be allowed a right of return.
Al Watan: “Palestinian president: ‘We will not accept a Palestinian state without Jerusalem’... After the details of the ‘Deal of the Century’ are revealed.”
President Abbas said in his address during an emergency leadership meeting in the Palestinian Presidential headquaters in the city of Ram Allah, that Palestinian will non accept establishment of a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital, speaking after American President Donald Trump announced the details of his peace plan also known as “the Deal of the Century.”
La Nouvelle Tribune: The Peace Plan, the Trump option that can unite the Palestinians (French)
On Tuesday, during an event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah, the American president read his “Peace Plan”, the “Deal of the Centruy,” including the creation of the “new” state of Palestine which according to him should put an end to years of conflict with their immediate neighbor, Israel. The peace plan that American President, Donald Trump, read forcefully the details of the map and promises of large investments for Palestine. But the plan was immediately remarkably rejected unanimously by all the Palestian political faction. =
Echorouk: What is Trump's Middle East Peace Plan? (Arabic)
After more than 2 years American President Donald Trump proposed the resumption of peace Israeli Palestinian peace negotiations for the first time, the American president revealed, Tuesday, the details of his proposal to resolve the palestinian conflict and make peace over the coming decades.
Agence Tunis Afrique Presses: Tunisian Parties and Organizations express their condemnations for the “Deal of the Century" (Arabic)
A number of Tunisian organizations and parties denounced the announcement of American President Donald Trump Tuesday on the details of the “Deal of The Century.”
“The National Union of Tunisian Journalists denounce the president’s announcement of the new details of the Deal of the Century, and his threat against all who stand against it among the Palestinian parites and especially denounce its enticements of economic assistance to those who support the American-Zionist project.”
About the Authors
Middle East Program
The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Read more