U.S. President Donald Trump’s soon-to-be announced Middle East peace plan will call on Israel to “turn over large swaths of land in Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, and will lead to the establishment of Palestinian State.” This is according to a warning delivered by Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is currently running for Knesset alongside Education Minister Naftali Bennett as part of a right-wing party the two just founded called the New Right.
Shaked made her remarks, based on sources she says she has within the Trump administration, at a Gush Etzion parlor meeting for her party last week in front of more than 100 Israeli voters.
When asked about rumors circulating in Jerusalem indicating that the Trump plan is, in fact, one written by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu calling for a two-state solution, and which Trump would then take credit for as his own, Shaked said that she had not heard those reports.
She did, however, insist that according to her sources, the Trump administration plan “calls for a Palestinian state in most of Judea and Samaria.”
However, a senior Trump administration official responded to Shaked’s assertion that she is aware of the contents of the plan, telling JNS that “with all due respect for the Justice Minister, she has not seen the plan, and it is our practice not to respond to speculation about the plan’s contents. There are no sources authorized by the White House to discuss the plan with the Justice Minister.”
Bennett and Shaked broke off from the Jewish Home Party at the end of December in order to head towards the April 9 elections under the banner of a new right-wing party representing both secular and religious Jews.
Shaked said that “in April when the Trump plan is introduced, it will call for a P.A. state, so who will be in the government? Us or [Benny] Gantz?”
Gantz, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, is running for Knesset as head of the new center-left “Israel Resilience Party.” He hopes that his party will secure enough seats for him to become the next prime minister of Israel, unseating the 10-year leadership of Netanyahu.
Shaked is confident that Netanyahu will remain prime minister, but her concern as expressed in her quote is that Netanyahu will bring the Israel Resilience Party into the government coalition and offer Gantz the job of defense minister. Shaked would like to see Bennett receive that portfolio, in order for Israel to take a strong stand against proposals that would call for Israeli land concessions to the Palestinians.
Also speaking at the event was journalist and author Caroline Glick, who is also running for a Knesset spot on the New Right’s list.
The event was hosted at Hub Etzion, the first co-working space in Judea and Samaria. Its founder and CEO, Rachel Moore, explained that the hub “provides people with a local alternative in order to work, but also is a statement against BDS—that the people here are going to thrive and do well with local commercial routes.”
She added that “part of that is getting as many political leaders out here as possible to see how much talent and how many business resources are sitting in this region.”
Moore noted that “Shaked said that this crowd asked more questions than at any other parlor meetings. That is an accurate indication of the political concern and the character of the people who live in Gush Etzion and Efrat.”