Trump and Netanyahu's peace plan word-play

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to annex settlements in the West Bank.

He’s counting on support from U.S. President Donald Trump, whose Middle East peace plan was unveiled in January.

But the way plans are discussed by the White House versus Netanyahu’s administration aren’t quite the same.

There's some nuanced differences in the fine print that tells us a bit about how this may unfold.

It's a bit of wordplay. Observe:

[Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu saying:] "Your peace plan offers the Palestinians a pathway to a future state."

[U.S. President Trump saying:] "... a truly independent and wonderful state."

Both men say they want to see a Palestinian state.

But Netanyahu adds some caveats. He says he wants "conditional, limited sovereignty."

It may be because the idea of a Palestinian state is taboo - loathed - by some of Netanyahu's political allies.

Here's another:

[U.S. President Trump saying:] "... a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem..."

"East Jerusalem" or "eastern Jerusalem?"

East Jerusalem is what Palestinian leaders have wanted for a long time as the capital of their state. It's where religious sites for Muslims, Jews, and Christians sit.

In a tweet that day, Trump said East Jerusalem is what he wants too. A White House official said the same.

But he didn't say "east" during the January press conference. He said "eastern."

That may sound like splitting hairs but according to Netanyahu, the Palestinian capital would be actually outside the city limits of Jerusalem altogether, just east of it, in a West Bank town called Abu Dis.

Remember that Israel considers Jerusalem its own capital -- all of it.

[Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu saying:] "Too many plans tried to pressure Israel to withdraw from vital territory."

Finally, the issue immediately at play: what to do about those Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Much of the international community condemns Netanyahu’s plans as "illegal annexation."

But Netanyahu's administration uses different terminology.

[Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon saying:] "Should Israel decide to extend its sovereignty…”

It says it will be extending sovereignty by "applying Israeli law" to those territories which are presently administered by the Israeli military.

Annexation, Israel says, would mean taking land from a sovereign country.