Dr. Qanta Ahmed: Palestinians 'walking away from an extraordinary opportunity' if they reject Trump's Middle East plan

Reacting to President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan unveiled on Tuesday, Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a Muslim scholar, said on “Fox & Friends” that “if the Palestinians don't take this, they are walking away from an extraordinary opportunity.”

Ahmed was in Washington, D.C. as President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the long-awaited Middle East peace plan meant to bring to an end the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ahmed, a Council on Foreign Relations member, said on Wednesday that it was “electrifying” to hear the announcement live at the White House, calling the unveiling an “historic moment.”

The plan, which has been opposed by the Palestinians, was touted by Trump as the “most detailed proposal ever put forward” toward a lasting peace in the region.


“My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides,” Trump said.

Long billed as the only way for the Palestinians and Israelis to actually come to terms, Trump’s plan calls for a two-state solution – with the creation of a future “state” of Palestine.

The plan would require the Palestinians to meet certain benchmarks -- rooting out terrorism, stopping "pay to slay," implementing steps toward free speech and political reforms – to become a state, but Trump promised that they would have U.S. backing if they did. It also calls for the creation of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and for more than doubling the amount of territory the Palestinians control.

According to the plan, Israel will also maintain sovereignty of the Jordan Valley east of the West Bank.

The deal calls for the construction of a tunnel connecting the West Bank and Gaza strip and $50 billion over the next 10 years in promised international investment in a new Palestinian state.

The plan calls for Israel to halt the construction of any new settlements in contested areas for four years, during which time details of a comprehensive agreement would be negotiated. The deal would also require the Palestinians to accept conditions they have been previously unwilling to consider, such as accepting West Bank settlements.


“It's very important to realize that this is the first time a Palestinian state would be internationally recognized as a sovereign nation,” Ahmed said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

“It also includes the demilitarization of Gaza specifically, the Palestinian state as a whole.”

She went on to say, “This deal is not only for the Palestinian people, it's a deal for the entire region.

“This deal could integrate the region economically, free up trade engagement,” Ahmed said. “It creates very innovative financial tools. It will elevate women. It will elevate youth. It will double or triple the GDP [Gross domestic product]. It will reduce unemployment in half and it will create, in that region, the new Palestine, a new Singapore.


“So this deal is just extraordinary and imaginative,” she added.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.