As if on cue, 2020 Democratic presidential candidates dismissed details of the peace plan announced on Tuesday by U.S. President Donald Trump. Right away, they jumped on positions set forth in the 180-page document aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—or at least, to jump-start the process into action.

“The United States can bring unequaled leadership to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but we must use that leadership to promote a just and durable agreement. Any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and multiple U.N. resolutions,” tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “It must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ doesn’t come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable.”

“Trump’s ‘peace plan’ is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it,” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“This president’s Mideast ‘Deal of the Century,’ like so much else he’s done in foreign policy, makes complex situations worse. Peace requires both parties at the table. Not a political green light to the leader of one for unilateral annexation,” tweeted former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“A peace plan requires two sides to come together. This is a political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more. I’ve spent a lifetime working to advance the security & survival of a Jewish and democratic Israel. This is not the way,” tweeted former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a more measured, though critical, reaction.

“A negotiated two-state solution is critical to Israel’s and the Palestinians’ long-term security and well-being, and it is good that President Trump’s plan affirms that,” he said in a statement posted on his Twitter page. “Every peace plan deserves a chance, but any viable plan requires buy-in from both sides, and over the past three years, the President has done nothing but hurt the U.S.’s position as an effective broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As this process unfolds, it is critical that neither party take unilateral steps that could trigger instability and violence.”

Billionaire Tom Steyer labeled the peace plan an “insult.”

“Trump’s deal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t a ‘peace plan’ at all – it’s an insult. It does not bring all parties to the table and runs contrary to principles of international law — ceding American leadership in the Middle East peace process,” he said.

“A Palestinian state denied full sovereignty — one that has no control over its borders or air space or coastal waters — isn’t just illegal, it’s wrong,” he continued. “This plan endorses unilateral Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley, 30 percent of the West Bank, which is in violation of international law and counter to decades of US foreign policy. Endorsing partial annexation is a slippery slope to full annexation of the entire West Bank.”

Steyer lamented that the proposal doesn’t include funding to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA – an agency defunded by the Trump administration in 2018 as it was known to distribute materials that promote hatred of the Jewish state.

Steyer also said that the plan does not offer a way to reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington, D.C., which the administration shuttered in October 2018.

“This is yet another blatant attempt by Mr. Trump to manipulate American foreign policy for his own political gain. It’s nothing more than a continuation of the feckless and short-sighted approach that has characterized this administration,” said Steyer. “America needs a President with a coherent strategic vision and the judgment to make good decisions. His relentless prioritization of his personal and political interests over those of the country makes clear he has none of either.”

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