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Better a state with the Jews than half Palestine | TIME ONLINE


As Donald Trump Introducing his vision of a Palestinian state, Siba Khoury takes a large piece of sponge cake from the showcase. It is just after 7 p.m. In the Educational Bookshop, a bookshop with a café and a popular meeting place for intellectuals in East Jerusalem, the temporary worker and her colleagues watch the livestream of how the US President wants to bring peace to the Middle East. The 30-year-old has black hair braided close to her head and a gold necklace on which a pendant hangs in the outline of the historical area of ​​Palestine. "Such a bullshit, such an asshole," Khoury calls and laughs pointedly.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is arguably the most complicated of the present. The very fact that Donald Trump of all people wants to solve him causes ridicule in the bookshop. The international community also reacted cautiously to the "deal of the century" after the US Jerusalem would be recognized as the undivided capital of the Jewish state and Israel would be able to annex large parts of the West Bank. The plan breaks with United Nations decisions and international law. Accordingly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted to the 80-page paper. Trump's plan would "end up in the trash can of history," he poisoned.

"Trump's plan is a reality"

But while the political leadership protests loudly, most Palestinians remain silent – except for a few demonstrations. Even if the situation can escalate quickly, hardly anyone believes in a violent uprising.

"What Trump presents as a plan is already a reality for us," says Ahmad Muna after the live stream has ended. The tall 29-year-old man also works in the educational bookshop. If he does not recommend his clients specialized literature on the conflict or brings coffee with cardamom to the table, he discusses politics. For example with his colleague Khoury. "We are far from getting our own state at all," he says.

After Trump's Middle East plan was announced, the US president initially supported a Palestinian state. Indeed, it becomes clear from a careful reading of the paper that what would be granted to the Palestinians would be difficult to build a full-fledged state. First, because Israel is likely to annex many existing settlements that continue as enclaves in one state Palestine remained. And even in the part that would remain for the Palestinians, Israel would have sovereignty over large parts of the infrastructure. For Ahmad Muna, little would actually change, he fears.

While Germany and the European Union continue to cling to the fact that both Jews and Palestinians get their own state, realities in the region have long since shifted.

"Israel will no longer allow us a piece of land," believes Muna. The Palestinians would therefore have to compromise with the Israelis. "If you want our country, then you should take our people and give us rights." A one-state solution, so to speak. Just with the same rights for everyone.

The next morning at the Kalandia checkpoint, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The sky is as gray as the wall that separates Israel from the occupied territory. It is a day like any other. No particularly visible military presence, no protests. Traffic is slowly moving into the center of the city. Aziz Abu Sarah is sitting in the breakfast room of the Royal Court Hotel, one of the more modern hotels with a sushi bar in the Palestinian administrative capital, and tells how he started reading Trump's Middle East plan the previous evening. "After 40 pages I couldn't do it anymore, it's just too ridiculous. Trump doesn't want a two-state solution, but a one-and-a-half state solution."


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