Artist Lior Shurin in Bat Ayin. (Flash90/Tamar Wiseberg) Flash90/Tamar Wiseberg
Artist Lior Shurin in Bat Ayin.

The worldwide spike in anti-Semitism “is encouraging more Jews to return to Israel,” said U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien on Wednesday.

By Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser warned Palestinians on Wednesday that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will continue to expand because rising anti-Semitism around the world means more Jews will immigrate to Israel.

Addressing many hot-button global issues in a speech and discussion with foreign diplomats to the United States, Robert O’Brien defended Trump’s Mideast peace plan, which was embraced by Israel but rejected by the Palestinians. O’Brien said the plan is not “perfect,” but urged the Palestinians to negotiate terms of the proposed deal. The deal offers economic benefits that would allow Palestine to become the “Singapore of the Middle East,” he said.

In response to Trump’s plan, which offers $50 billion in incentives to the Palestinians, protesters have rioted, thrown firebombs at Israeli troops, burned U.S. and Israeli flags, and torched posters of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stood with Trump at the White House when he rolled out the plan last week.

“This could be the last opportunity for a two-state solution,” O’Brien said at the Meridian International Center. “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. [Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria] are going to continue to expand. If this freeze on [community building] doesn’t hold. If this peace process doesn’t work, it may be physically impossible to have a two-state solution.”

Trump’s plan would foresee the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, but would allow Israel to annex all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

U.S. officials had discouraged Netanyahu from proceeding with plans to immediately annex any territory and had played down the possibility that the release of the plan would make any such move imminent.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said a U.S.-Israeli committee would need to be formed to ensure that any move matches up with the Trump administration’s “conceptual map.” Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a chief architect of the plan, said Israel should wait until after the March 2 Israeli elections before annexing territory.

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