JERUSALEM, Israel – According to media reports, Secretary of State John Kerry tried to broker a regional Mideast peace plan one year ago. The reports follow last week's meeting at the White House in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump raised the same possibility.
In early 2016, a secret meeting between Kerry, Jordan's King Abdallah, Egyptian President el-Sisi and Netanyahu took place in Aqaba, Jordan.
The purpose of the meeting was a regional peace plan based in part on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
Kerry's upgraded initiative would make Jerusalem the capital of two states and called on Israel to turn over the entire West Bank to the Palestinians in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., MK Michael Oren, today serving as deputy minister of Public Diplomacy, told CBN News he doesn't believe the Palestinians would ever recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Oren said the Palestinians don't have a state because they've rejected previous offers for one reason.
"The Palestinians hold the world record of people that has been offered a state and have turned it down, most often with violence – first beginning in 1937. Then in 1947 [and] after the  Six-Day War, Israel explored the possibilities of creating a Palestinian state. In the year 2000, [then] PM [Ehud] Barak, with [former] PM [Ehud] Olmert in 2008," Oren said.
"Again and again Palestinians were offered this state; they'd turn it down. They turned it down not because of the borders; they turned it down not because of settlements; they turned it down not even because of Jerusalem; they turned it down for one reason every single time and that is the price they have to pay for a Palestinian state is recognizing a Jewish state," he said.
According to the reports, Netanyahu rejected the offer because he did not believe his government would accept it.
Last week during their joint press conference, both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump implied that a regional peace plan might offer the best opportunity for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, without offering any details.
The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported on the proposal. The Prime Minister's Office declined to comment on the story.
Some believe the release of the information may be timed to embarrass Netanyahu as relations with the U.S. are warming.