Rev. Samuel Rodriguez praised President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East, calling it a "clear-eyed and fact-based approach."
"I want to commend the president and his team—led by Jared Kushner—for developing a remarkable vision for peace that has the actual potential to transform the lives of millions throughout the Middle East," Rodriguez said. "This plan reflects a clear-eyed and fact-based approach that takes into account the economic, religious and political complexities of the region and it demonstrates what is possible when a commitment to peace and justice transcends the allure of political power. Now, it is time for the Palestinians to do their part and come to the table, for the sake of the young people in the region who are the chief victims of the intransigence of the Palestinian leadership."
Trump announced the "Peace to Prosperity" plan Tuesday, Jan. 28, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The plan outlines a two-state solution in which a proposed Palestinian state would receive more than double the amount of territory Palestinians currently occupy.
It also gives Israel sovereignty over the Golan and lists Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestine's capital would be in East Jerusalem.
In order to become a proper state, though, the plan requires the Palestinians to meet certain criteria, including "rooting out terrorism, stopping 'pay to slay,' implementing steps toward free speech" and "political reforms," reports FOX's John Roberts.
Evangelicals' response to Trump's plan were mixed. Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver called the plan laudable but a non-starter.
"Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas will agree to a state of Israel," he said. "And history has proven that dividing the land of Israel for Palestinian control will never work."
Trump adviser Mike Evans, founder of Friends of Zion Museum, says that although he supports Trump's plan, he does not expect the Palestinians to accept it. He also points out that Trump's proposal does not outline a traditional state for the Palestinians.
"You have to understand what [Trump] means by two states," Evans says. "Number one, there is nothing in the peace plan that gives the Palestinians air space. They get no air space. Secondly, they get no army. They can't have an army. And thirdly, they can't have treaties. So, if you want to call it a state—without airspace, armies or treaties—you can, but it's not going to be a traditional state. So it's not two states, like Israel being one state and [Palestine being] a state with an army. It's not going to happen. They're going to be an autonomous home, where they can call it their state, but Israel's still going to control the security."
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