The Old Testament stipulates, “On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.” — Genesis, 15:18.

This verse of the Jewish Bible, exclusively contemplated, has very special implications since it forms the basis of the Jewish concept of a ‘Promised Land’. This is a concept that also manifests on the Israeli flag with the Star of David housed between two blue lines, representing the Nile and Euphrates rivers. The Jews retain and adhere to this concept with a high degree of religious fervour.

Jewish perseverance to implement this concept through the centuries has become the axis of the world politics revolving around it. Zionism, which implies creation and support of the Jewish State in what they refer to as the ‘Land of Israel’ or ‘Promised Land’, has sprung out of the same concept. The Christians who share the Old Testament with the Jews enthusiastically help facilitate the implementation of this concept as in their belief the second coming of Christ would happen in the apocalyptic ‘Kingdom of God,’ which entails God’s restoration of Israel.

Trump’s 180-page plan, ‘Peace for Prosperity’, for the Middle East, announced in January 2020, has been masterminded by Jared Corey Kushner—a White House Advisor as well as his son-in-law. His plan is offering overt support for the execution of the Promised Land and is thus considered to be highly favoured for Israel.

The first part of the plan is creating a political framework that allows for the border to be redrawn with a view of the Jordan Valley, thus legalising the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, declaring Al Quds al Sharif as the capital of Israel and requiring Palestine to be fully demilitarised—denying their right to return to their homeland.

The second part consists of the economic framework which envisages allocation of more than $50 billion to Palestine over a period of ten years. This includes the construction of a travel corridor to join the West Bank with the Gaza Strip as well as the construction of an artificial island off the coast of Gaza to develop a port and an airport.

As a blatant negation of International Law and the UN Resolutions on the issue, the plan envisages a ‘Two-State Solution’; an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel. Unfortunately, it has been drafted without any Palestinians’ input or inspirations. This validates Israel’s apartheid regime against the Palestinians.

The draft does not envision the immediate creation of the state of Palestine but is deferred for four years—subject to the demonstration of good behaviour. Clearly, it is based on Palestine’s emasculation and complete prioritisation of Israeli interests. It gives the illusion of ‘Conditional Limited Sovereignty’ but in reality, Israel would retain full security control of its borders, ports, airspace, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum. It grants the Palestinians the right of self-rule while stripping them of the powers that come with it.

As per media reports, the plan was supposed to be formally announced on July 1, 2020 but, to the utter disappointment of PM Netanyahu, Trump had to back out due to the overall political situation of his country. While Americans are fighting COVID 19, Trump has already lost popularity for about 11 percent according to a Gallup survey. In the wake of impending presidential elections, any such misadventure would decrease his rating further.

Even the recent Sino-American standoff, as a result of China’s trade expansion designs, has also adversely affected the US economy. It is at its lowest ebb after WWII. In contrast, China’s surging economic capability is forcing US Allies in the east to gradually change their loyalties. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker for the US House of Representatives, termed the plan as a ‘threat to the security of the USA’; she might have been expecting an explicit strong-armed reaction by the PLO, Hammas and Hibzullah as a great peril to the world peace and for the US as well.

Trump’s abandonment has put Netanyahu in a great dilemma. In 2019, during his election campaign, he had formed the Union of Right Wing Parties (URWP) to appease right-wing parties and pledged to extend Israel’s sovereignty to Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Being elected for the third time, the failure of this plan would lose him the support of the Jewish Home and Otzma Yehudit parties.

The Settler Leaders have already condemned him for the failure to announce the plan on the due date. Any plans for continuing forward unilaterally would invite America’s warning for non-provision of any support. Thus Netanyahu’s delay tactics against internal pressure may amount to be a temporary argument only.

The Jewish resolve, through the centuries, to return to the Promised Land, their tremendous sufferings; the Babylonian Exile and the diaspora as a result of the destruction of their temples and the Holocaust is stupendous and has to be attributed towards their fundamental religious beliefs.

As per the Biblical assertion, the land has been promised to the children of Abraham who had two sons, Issaq and Ishmael. The Children of Israel are the descendants of Issaq whereas the descendants of Ishmael are Arabs. This implies that the Biblical promise has already been fulfilled for the area between Nile and Euphrates as they are already inhabited by both nationalities. The Arab-Israel conflict basically emanates from diverse religious ideologies. If correctly understood, through dialogue, we may be able to resolve the decades old issue. Partisan, hardline and unjust plans giving concessions to a particular side and imposing harsh restrictions on the other would further make this world unsafe.