Opinion: As the Trump peace initiative gathers steam, we must recognize that despite regional complexity, the status quo will only lead to the end of either a Jewish or a democratic state; we ought to demand that our leaders present a clear vision for a future of Israel that is secure, Jewish and democratic.

After the failure of the Kerry peace plan, the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians stalled and the issue was sidelined. Now, five years later, it seems that the issue is about to reenter the limelight as indications emerge from Warsaw, Washington, Moscow and Riyadh.

The key to understanding the proper approach to a diplomatic process is to internalize the complicated reality. On the one hand the status quo is an imaginary concept, because on the ground, events are dynamic. This dynamic, aside from its ability to create a serious flare-up in Gaza or the West Bank in the short run, may end up creating a reality of a bi-national state, in place of a Jewish one.

Warsaw Mideast Summit (Photo: AP)
Warsaw Mideast Summit (Photo: AP)


On the other hand, illusions about the ability to reach an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by means of negotiations also lack a true grasp of the current situation in the Palestinian arena.

The leak regarding the formulation of Trump’s “Deal of the Century” received a somewhat feeble denial from the administration’s Middle East special envoy Jason Greenblatt, who joined his teammate Jared Kushner in Warsaw, where they tried to enlist the pragmatic Arab states to support their plan.

Meanwhile, they seem reluctant to accept the initiative. Mahmoud Abbas in turn rejected the proposal to go to Warsaw and instead turned to three other channels: in Gaza he is trying to incite a military confrontation between Israel and Hamas by intensifying PA sanctions on the Gaza Strip; in Moscow, President Putin’s representatives tried to appease Fatah and Hamas, which refuses to even recognize Israel within the 1967 borders; and in Riyadh Abbas met with King Salman in a desperate attempt to prevent the Saudis from signing on to the US initiative. Meanwhile, Netanyahu traveled to Warsaw, but only in order to focus on the only existential threat he sees before him — Iran.

Kushner meeting Abbas last year (Photo: Getty Images)
Kushner meeting Abbas last year (Photo: Getty Images)


Netanyahu has been steadfast and consistent in his dealing with the Iranian issue, but he also knows that the possibility of Israel becoming a bi-national state is real and places the continuation of the Zionist dream in peril. He knows that in order to benefit from any sort of normalization with the Arab world, as discussed in Warsaw, Israel must demonstrate considerable progress in its efforts to end the diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinians.

It is a shame that in today’s political climate the Palestinian issue mainly exists in election attack ads between candidates; there are no serious discussions. One would expect of the parties vying for voter support to present their vision on the matter: what kind of state do our leaders wish to see in the year 2040 or 2050? Without setting goals, Israel will slip precariously into a new reality and lose either its Jewish or democratic quality by then.

We must allow for genuine peace negotiations, based on the Trump initiative, an opportunity, even if the chances for success are small. Israel will ultimately have to shape its future — geographically, demographically, ethically and from a security perspective — according to the consistent will of about 70% of its citizens.

There is no substitute for entering into negotiations, with the support of the Americans and supporting Arab states. This is the correct strategy both, for shaping the future of the state and also for maintaining its strong political position vis-à-vis the forces that are working to isolate it and impose problematic arrangements on it.

An independent, controlled process is necessary, backed by a rigid security guarantee — not the illusion of peace, but rather to begin shaping the conditions for a future solution. On Election Day, give your vote to parties that identify with this aspiration and are prepared to adopt a political- outline and make progress. Only thus will it be possible to guarantee the preservation of a Jewish, democratic, secure and moral State of Israel. The prime minister also understands this very well.

As reported by Ynetnews