US official links Trump Mideast plan to anti-Semitism

US official links Trump Mideast plan to anti-Semitism

Palestinians must 'come to the table and negotiate' plan Trump announced last week, says Robert O'Brien

News Service AA

Anti-Semitism in Europe and other places around the world sped up the release of a plan for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, a senior American official said Wednesday.

Speaking at the Meridian International Center, U.S. President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien defended that it is the right thing to come up with a "bold" plan for the people of Palestine and Israel.

Stating that it might not be a "perfect" plan from Palestinians' point of view, O'Brien said: "What they need to do is come to the table and negotiate the plan."

"One of the reasons we moved as quickly as we did is the Israeli birth rate is strong and is growing, because sadly, anti-Semitism in Europe and other places around the world is encouraging more Jews to return to Israel," said the top official.

He said Israeli settlements will continue to expand, adding: "If this freeze on settlements doesn't hold, if this peace process doesn't work, it may be physically impossible to have a two-state solution."

He hailed the plan as an opportunity for Palestinians.

O'Brien also touted the response from some Arab countries in the wake of the announcement of the plan.

"We have been encouraged by the reaction of Arab governments, very positive reactions from Saudis, the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and Egypt," he added.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to address the UN Security Council on Feb. 11 -- a meeting that was announced after Trump released the peace plan, which Palestinians say is biased in Israel’s favor and all but dashes their hopes of ever running a country.

Trump released the plan last week during a White House press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but with no Palestinian envoy in the room.

The plan refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank. Palestinians were offered a route to running a series of territories connected by roads and a tunnel.


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