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Trump’s ‘deal of the Century’ Won’t Bring Peace – That Was the Plan
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Much of Donald Trump’s long-trailed “deal of the century” came as no surprise. Over the past 18 months, Israeli officials had leaked many of its details.

The so-called “Vision for Peace” unveiled on Tuesday simply confirmed that the US government has publicly adopted the long-running consensus in Israel: that it is entitled to keep permanently the swaths of territory it seized illegally over the past half-century that deny the Palestinians any hope of a state.

The White House has discarded the traditional US pose as an “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian leaders were not invited to the ceremony, and would not have come had they been. This was a deal designed in Tel Aviv more than in Washington – and its point was to ensure there would be no Palestinian partner.

Importantly for Israel, it will get Washington’s permission to annex all of its illegal settlements, now littered across the West Bank, as well as the vast agricultural basin of the Jordan Valley. Israel will continue to have military control over the entire West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his intention to bring just such an annexation plan before his cabinet as soon as possible. It will doubtless provide the central plank in his efforts to win a hotly contested general election due on March 2.

The Trump deal also approves Israel’s existing annexation of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians will be expected to pretend that a West Bank village outside the city is their capital of “Al Quds”. There are incendiary indications that Israel will be allowed to forcibly divide the Al Aqsa mosque compound to create a prayer space for extremist Jews, as has occurred in Hebron.

Further, the Trump administration appears to be considering giving a green light to the Israeli right’s long-held hopes of redrawing the current borders in such a way as to transfer potentially hundreds of thousands of Palestinians currently living in Israel as citizens into the West Bank. That would almost certainly amount to a war crime.

The plan envisages no right of return, and it seems the Arab world will be expected to foot the bill for compensating millions of Palestinian refugees.

A US map handed out on Tuesday showed Palestinian enclaves connected by a warren of bridges and tunnels, including one between the West Bank and Gaza. The only leavening accorded to the Palestinians are US pledges to strengthen their economy. Given the Palestinians’ parlous finances after decades of resource theft by Israel, that is not much of a promise.

All of this has been dressed up as a “realistic two-state solution”, offering the Palestinians nearly 70 per cent of the occupied territories – which in turn comprise 22 per cent of their original homeland. Put another way, the Palestinians are being required to accept a state on 15 per cent of historic Palestine after Israel has seized all the best agricultural land and the water sources.

Like all one-time deals, this patchwork “state” – lacking an army, and where Israel controls its security, borders, coastal waters and airspace – has an expiry date. It needs to be accepted within four years. Otherwise, Israel will have a free hand to start plundering yet more Palestinian territory. But the truth is that neither Israel nor the US expects or wants the Palestinians to play ball.

That is why the plan includes – as well as annexation of the settlements – a host of unrealisable preconditions before what remains of Palestine can be recognised: the Palestinian factions must disarm, with Hamas dismantled; the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas must strip the families of political prisoners of their stipends; and the Palestinian territories must be reinvented as the Middle East’s Switzerland, a flourishing democracy and open society, all while under Israel’s boot.

Instead, the Trump plan kills the charade that the 26-year-old Oslo process aimed for anything other than Palestinian capitulation. It fully aligns the US with Israeli efforts – pursued by all its main political parties over many decades – to lay the groundwork for permanent apartheid in the occupied territories.

Trump invited both Netanyahu, Israel’s caretaker prime minister, and his chief political rival, former general Benny Gantz, for the launch. Both were keen to express their unbridled support.

Between them, they represent four-fifths of Israel’s parliament. The chief battleground in the March election will be which one can claim to be better placed to implement the plan and thereby deal a death blow to Palestinian dreams of statehood.

On the Israeli right, there were voices of dissent. Settler groups described the plan as “far from perfect” – a view almost certainly shared privately by Netanyahu. Israel’s extreme right objects to any talk of Palestinian statehood, however illusory.

Nonetheless, Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition will happily seize the goodies offered by the Trump administration. Meanwhile the plan’s inevitable rejection by the Palestinian leadership will serve down the road as justification for Israel to grab yet more land.

There are other, more immediate bonuses from the “deal of the century”.

By allowing Israel to keep its ill-gotten gains from its 1967 conquest of Palestinian territories, Washington has officially endorsed one of the modern era’s great colonial aggressions. The US administration has thereby declared open war on the already feeble constraints imposed by international law.

Trump benefits personally, too. This will provide a distraction from his impeachment hearings as well as offering a potent bribe to his Israel-obsessed evangelical base and major funders such as US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in the run-up to a presidential election.

And the US president is coming to the aid of a useful political ally. Netanyahu hopes this boost from the White House will propel his ultra-nationalist coalition into power in March, and cow the Israeli courts as they weigh criminal charges against him.

How he plans to extract personal gains from the Trump plan were evident on Tuesday. He scolded Israel’s attorney-general over the filing of the corruption indictments, claiming a “historic moment” for the state of Israel was being endangered.

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Meanwhile, Abbas greeted the plan with “a thousand nos”. Trump has left him completely exposed. Either the PA abandons its security contractor role on behalf of Israel and dissolves itself, or it carries on as before but now explicitly deprived of the illusion that statehood is being pursued.

Abbas will try to cling on, hoping that Trump is ousted in this year’s election and a new US administration reverts to the pretence of advancing the long-expired Oslo peace process. But if Trump wins, the PA’s difficulties will rapidly mount.

No one, least of all the Trump administration, believes that this plan will lead to peace. A more realistic concern is how quickly it will pave the way to greater bloodshed.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

 
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  1. Cowboy says:

    I don’t see how it will lead any quicker to bloodshed than any of the other fucked up plans presented earler?
    All these plans are like beating off to a slut they just leave you feeling empty and foolish

    • Agree: Nicholas Stix
  2. Crazy Horse says: • Website

    At least Treaties in the US were signed by the parties involved even if the land was stolen later. Here we see maximum hubris and arrogance posing as “foreign policy” where the people who’s land they’re stealing aren’t even invited to attend! Looking forward to the day the American empire collapses and takes that blood sucking Candiru called Israel with it.

  3. Sean says:

    When there was significantly less Israeli settlement infrastructure there, Barack offered 90% of the disputed territories, then in 2008, Olmert offered sovereignty and 94.2 percent of the West Bank. Did the Palestinian negotiators think they could keep turning down deals to ratchet the Israeli’s offer up, then turning that one down too, all the while secure in the knowledge yet another concession would then be made in a new Israeli proposal? That is not the way it works in negotiation. Yes you can and should turn offers down, but not without increasingly risking everything you have gained being taken off of the table. leaving you worse off than before. The Palestinians had unwittingly reached that point a decade ago; now do they understand?

    • Replies: @Amon
    , @Colin Wright
    , @Karel
  4. A123 says:

    The Arab world seems interested in the deal: (1)

    Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE on Tuesday issued statements welcoming the Trump administration’s peace plan.

    “The kingdom appreciates the efforts of President Trump’s administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, and encourages the start of direct peace negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, under the auspices of the United States,” the statement reads. It also called to resolve any disagreements with aspects of the plan through negotiations, “to move forward the peace process to reach an agreement that achieves legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

    This plan, like all those that preceded it, is a starting point for talks and changes will be made.

    The most immediate obstacle is lack of negotiators:

    — Hopefully, the Jewish election situation will resolve in a few months. At this point, it looks like Gantz will become more flexible to avoid losing popular support.

    — The Muslim situation is much more problematic. Abbas is entering the 15th year of his 4 year term, and the promised elections may not happen.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://m.jpost.com/Middle-East/Saudi-Arabia-Egypt-Qatar-UAE-welcome-Trump-peace-plan-615752

    • Replies: @Amon
  5. BuelahMan says:

    When I warned the world in Aug 2015 that Trump would be sElected the POTUS, I also said the main reason would be to fulfill Eretz Israel.

    And the Drumpfter contingent called me every name in the book and basically ostracized me from their forumns. Many of these same outlets are STILL touting the Orange Jew as some sort of 123D chess master.

    But I have always insisted he is the jew hammer that will bring in Greater Israel.

    Damn. Even this dumb ole redneck got it right while the mass of Americans still fall for the lie that is Trump (the left believes the communist lies and the right believes the neocon Lubavitch lies).

  6. Amon says:
    @Sean

    Why should they even negotiate for the right to live on their ancestral lands that were stolen by russian jews with american money through the systematic murder of UK soldiers and government officials via terrorism.

    Israel is a lie.

    • Replies: @A123
  7. Amon says:
    @A123

    You mean the boot licking colony leaders who are utterly dependent on US aid and military power to remain in control approves of s plan that will allow them to expell palestinian refugees from their lands and gain a bigger handout from Uncle Sam’s tax payers at the same time.

    Wow, I’m shocked… NOT!

  8. A123 says:
    @Amon

    Why should they even negotiate for the right to live on their ancestral lands that were stolen by russian jews with american money through the systematic murder of UK soldiers and government officials via terrorism.

    Israel is a lie.

    Why should non-Muslims give up their ancestral lands? Islamic Jhiadi colonizers displaced the original occupants via invasion, murder, slavery, and forced conversion ~600 AD.

    Muslim Palestine is a lie.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Amon
  9. @Sean

    ‘… Did the Palestinian negotiators think they could keep turning down deals to ratchet the Israeli’s offer up, then turning that one down too, all the while secure in the knowledge yet another concession would then be made in a new Israeli proposal? That is not the way it works in negotiation…’

    When, oh when, will the Palestinians learn to lick the boot of their oppressor, to wag their tail appeasingly when he kicks them yet again?

    Can you tell us that, Sean?

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    , @Sean
  10. bjondo says:

    A deal conspired by Jew Kushner
    and Jew state would be Jew deal
    of the century… for Jew.

    5ds

  11. Amon says:
    @A123

    Arabs have always lived there as did the original jews who were also Arab. The current batch of jews illigally occupying Palestine hails from Russia and is nothing more than an invasive species.

    • Replies: @A123
  12. A123 says:
    @Amon

    Muslims are the invasive species. Islamic colonizers used forced conversion, rape, murder, rape, slavery, and rape to steal and occupy Infidel lands.

    I will meet you halfway. Non-Muslim Arabs can stay but 100% of non-native, invasive Muslims must leave. Ending Islamic contamination in Judea and Samaria will open the door to peace.

    We Are All Israelis Now!

    PEACE 😇

    • Troll: Truth3
    • Replies: @Amon
  13. Amon says:
    @A123

    What do you mean we?

    And funny how you always speak about peace while secretly longing for a holocaust of the Arabs.

    Study the history books and you will find the original jews were the invasive species that traveled to Palestine after being expelled from Egypt and once there they used their false god as an excuse to commit genocide against the Arabs when not enslaving and raping them on an untold scale.

    The history of jews is a history of death and destruction.

    • LOL: A123
  14. Karel says:
    @Sean

    What does this idiotic expression “disputed territories” actually mean? If I intend to steal somebody’s land, does it then automatically become a disputed territory? I guess that for thieves everything can become disputable.

  15. @Colin Wright

    Prolly about the same time you learn to not get provoked so easily and spend more time reading history instead of UNZ Review.

  16. Sean says:

    It means that they were never recognised as being the territory of Jordan any more that Israeli land . All Arabs rejected the UN partition plan, they thought they could get all Palestine, which was a mistake.

  17. Truth3 says:

    Jonathan Cook is an extraordinarily brave man, and a very fine writer.

    Nice work again, sir.

  18. Sean says:
    @Colin Wright

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-israel-abbas/abbas-faults-arab-refusal-of-1947-u-n-palestine-plan-idUSTRE79R64320111028

    Arabs made a “mistake” by rejecting a 1947 U.N. proposal that would have … 1947, there was Resolution 181, the partition plan, “At that time, 1947, there was Resolution 181, the partition plan, Palestine and Israel. Israel existed. Palestine diminished. Why?” he told Israel’s top-rated Channel Two television, speaking in English.

    When the interviewer suggested the reason was Jewish leaders’ acceptance of the plan and its rejection by the Arabs, Abbas said: “I know, I know. It was our mistake. It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole. But do they punish us for this mistake (for) 64 years?”

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  19. Israel wins wars. So be it.

    • Replies: @anon
  20. @Sean

    You overlook the most obvious point: the Jews accepted the partition.

    …or claimed to. At no point did they ever abide by its provisions.

    Now we can move on to the next point; why should the Palestinians have accepted the Partition — had there been a Palestinian national body to accept it?

    If China proposed to seize half of North America as ‘land without a people for a people without a land,’ would you be inclined to agree to the arrangement?

  21. Sean says:

    There was no pressure on Jews to abide by the UN partition because the Palestinians rejected it, as they had rejected everything Britain had proposed. Indeed, Palestinians rejected the idea that Jews were entitled to any part of Palestine as their homeland and had refused to participate in elections since the twenties. Rejecting deals is not without risk. Still less is war a limited liability enterprise,

    The proposed partition being rejected resulted in a war the Jews won and it would have been much better for Palestinians had that war never been fought. The leadership of Arab countries were all out for their own territorial expansion over against their rivals’, while the leaders of the Palestinians were chiefly concerned with their own personal aggrandisement.

    If China proposed to seize half of North America as ‘land without a people for a people without a land,’ would you be inclined to agree to the arrangement?

    The UN proposed the Partition of Palestine and the Palestinians would have been better off pondering the balance of forces being against them rather than standing on legalistic grievances. They wanted it all, and look what they ended up with.

    • Replies: @Amon
  22. Amon says:
    @Sean

    Indeed, Palestinians rejected the idea that Jews were entitled to any part of Palestine as their homeland and had refused to participate in elections since the twenties. Rejecting deals is not without risk. Still less is war a limited liability enterprise,

    This quote alone is a gold mine that can be abused.

    In fact, by making that statement you have provide globalists with the perfect weapon to shut down any talk about limiting immigration, legal and illegal, because no law or national outcry can prevent a foreign invading population from just taking away land that is not and has never been theirs as the UN partition with full US support has proven.

    The Palestinians correctly and justifiable refused to sign or accept any “deal” that would steal their ancestral homeland and reduce them to second class citizens in their own house. None of them were invited to the design of the deal, all of the decisions was made in Washington by politicians who was bribed with millions in fiat cash. As for the ones who choose to steal the land and give it to the jewish ethnocentrists, not a single Palestinian had elected them yet these politicians enriched by jewish blood money declared that Palestinians had no right to control their own lands.

    Here, let me end the preaching and show you just how your argument can be twisted against you.

    Indeed, Americans rejected the idea that Latinos were entitled to any part of the US as their homeland and had refused to participate in elections since 2008. Rejecting deals is not without risk. Still less is war a limited liability enterprise

    What goes around, comes around.

    Remember when you next complain about immigration that a native population is not entitled to their ancestral homeland, indeed, it can be taken away by foreign governments if presented as a deal.

    • Replies: @Normie-American
  23. @Amon

    Words are wind. All that matters is who occupies the land when the shooting stops. Those Arabs around Israel chose war but Arabs are shit at conducting war, perhaps the worst in the world according to some comparative studies.

    • Replies: @Amon
  24. The trouble is that the whole idea of compensating Jews for the holocaust after World War II by giving them a homeland at the eastern end of the Mediterranean where they would always be safe from persecution was not a good one.

    The commitment should have been to make the whole world safe for Jews, and for the most part that is what has happened. There are more Jews living in the US and other nations than in Israel, and they are not being persecuted. For the most part they are doing very well for themselves.

    Perhaps we can now carve out a nice self-rule homeland for descendants of African slaves in the US where there is plenty of spare open space and federal land. Nikita Kruschev once suggested this.

  25. Amon says:
    @Normie-American

    Indeed, Americans rejected the idea that latinos/blacks/jews/chinese were entitled to any part of the US as their homeland and had refused to participate in elections for half a century.

    Rejecting deals is not without risk. Still less is war a limited liability enterprise.

    Read the above, then read the below.

    All that matters is who occupies the land when the shooting stops.

    Remind me again, which people in the US is it that is being phased out of their ancestral homeland by violence, legal intrusions and genocidal campaigns.

    You lot have had over 60 years to do something about this, but all you ever do is sit on your ever increasing behinds waving your guns and crying “Murica” while your land is being stolen bit by bit.

    I look forward to your reaction when the deal of the century for America comes and it mandates that all white should be stripped of their guns and relocated into reservations.

  26. I don’t think there’s an Arab/Muslim on the planet with expectations post Nein-11

    Let alone the Palestinians

  27. anon[693] • Disclaimer says:
    @Normie-American

    Israel wins wars. So be it.

    Until Iran n*kes them. So be it.

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