President Trump’s summit next week with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, which is ostensibly being convened to discuss the Trump administration’s plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, is not going to accomplish its stated objective. Beyond the obvious problematic political context, coming not only in the middle of the president’s Senate impeachment trial but on the very day that the Knesset will convene the House Committee to deal with Netanyahu’s immunity request, no Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will ever be concluded without including Palestinians. Rather than provide an encouraging sign about the White House’s intentions, the optics of this summit suggest that its peace deal will be nothing more than a bilateral agreement between the United States and Israel, the timing of which is entirely driven by Trump’s and Netanyahu’s political and legal difficulties. There are plenty of arenas for U.S.-Israel bilateral agreements, but resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not one of them.

Despite the rampant speculation about the plan’s elements, we will refrain from commenting on the specifics until it is actually unveiled. But any serious plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace must hew closely to the zone of possible agreement between the two parties, rather than create circumstances that will make peace even harder to achieve. A plan that does not provide ironclad guarantees for Israel’s security; does not acknowledge that the large Israeli settlement blocs that lie close to the Green Line will be kept by Israel in return for equivalent land swaps; does not differentiate between those blocs and isolated Israeli settlements that lie deep in the West Bank; does not provide for a viable and contiguous Palestinian state in the vast majority of the area of the West Bank; does not acknowledge a Palestinian connection to Jerusalem; and does not offer some solution that provides recognition and just compensation for Palestinian refugees, simply cannot be a credible, legitimate basis for any agreement between the two sides. Trying to impose a plan on either side that does not largely conform to these general principles is guaranteed to be rejected by one of the two parties, along with the other states in the region.

If the Trump plan is historically skewed in Israel’s favor, it will understandably be welcomed by most Israelis and supported by both Netanyahu and Gantz. But the aim of this diplomatic exercise should not be to tilt the scales so heavily in Israel’s favor that any possibility of achieving a true and lasting peace between the parties is permanently out of reach . Instead, the administration’s goal obviously should be to make any agreement between Israelis and Palestinians easier to achieve. That, and that alone, should be the criteria on which any deal is judged.