Trump's Peace Plan Could Be Called 'Unexecutable,' Pompeo Tells Jewish Leaders

In a leaked tape from a closed-door meeting of Jewish leaders, the U.S. secretary of state said, he understands 'why people think this will be a deal that only the Israelis could love,' urges leaders to keep an open mind

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a press conference at the Castelgrande closing a bilateral meeting with Swiss counterpart in Bellinzona, Switzerland, June 2, 2019
AFP

WASHINGTON — In a private meeting with U.S. Jewish leaders last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan could be “unexecutable,” the Washington Post revealed on Sunday. 

The economic part of the plan, which will be presented at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26, is “very detailed” and will offer recommendations not only for Gaza and the West Bank but “for the entire region," Pompeo told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last Tuesday, in a tape obtained by the newspaper.

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Pompeo said he understands “why people think this will be a deal that only the Israelis could love, I understand the perception of that. I just hope everyone will just give us the space and see if in fact we have struck the right place.”

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It may be “unexecutable,” he said, because “no one believes that this will be easy.” He added: “We hope there’s enough vision here, that lots of countries will see this as an opportunity. I hope everyone will look at it and say — I think there’s at least a nugget of hope in there.”

Thus far, the plan's details remain a mystery. It will be fully revealed at the conference, which some U.S. officials are calling a workshop, and will bring together finance ministers and global and regional business leaders. Reports and predictions say it may include recognizing Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements, not guarantee Palestinian statehood and not call for a two-state solution. Rumors that the plan will call for a confederation between Israel, the West Bank and Jordan have been put to rest.   

The Palestine Liberation Organization declared last month that Palestinian officials will not be attending the conference: “Those concerned and want to serve the interest of the Palestinian people should respect this collective position,” the PLO statement read. “Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions.”

The secretary of state also confessed that “it has taken us longer to roll out the plan than I originally thought, to put it mildly.” He added that the administration is discussing different potential outcomes, including a scenario in which the plan will be rejected and Israel will declare its intentions to annex the West Bank. He did not provide details on what the Trump administration would do in such a situation.