The plan for the Middle East that US President Donald Trump has presented is not a peace plan – it is a call for Palestinian surrender.
The plan violates international law, human rights and human dignity and would further erode the international legal order. No Palestinians were consulted in coming up with the plan, and basic rights have not been respected. If this plan is implemented, it will not only worsen Palestinians’ precarious situation but also formalize Israeli control over the West Bank and Gaza.
The plan is one-sided, but at least it brings clarity: the US and Israel have shown their cards. The current Israeli leadership lacks the will to work towards a viable and autonomous Palestinian state. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as by his challenger Benny Gantz have welcomed the plan with open arms.
As for the US, Washington can no longer be considered an independent peace broker. If the European Union takes its own commitment to international law and human rights seriously, it needs to come up with its own initiative. The EU can no longer just play the role of financier, hiding behind the US vision for the region.
The fact that this plan was presented at all is partly due to the EU’s wait-and-see attitude. The Trump plan should trigger the EU, including the Netherlands, to reconsider its policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Current Dutch policy is aimed at “exploiting good relations with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to maintain and implement the two-state solution” and establishing “an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state alongside a safe and internationally recognized Israel.” Given the current context, it’s not clear that this vision and related efforts are sustainable, logical or sufficient. As a champion of international law, the Netherlands should commit itself within Europe to a revised Middle East policy whereby more pressure is exerted to enforce compliance with international law and human rights.