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Trump’s Peace Plan Has Been Designed to Fail – Exactly Like Its Predecessors
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Donald Trump’s supposed “deal of the century”, offering the Palestinians economic bribes in return for political submission, is the endgame of western peace-making, the real goal of which has been failure, not success.

For decades, peace plans have made impossible demands of the Palestinians, forcing them to reject the terms on offer and thereby create a pretext for Israel to seize more of their homeland.

The more they have compromised, the further the diplomatic horizon has moved away – to the point now that the Trump administration expects them to forfeit any hope of statehood or a right to self-determination.

Even Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and architect of the peace plan, cannot really believe the Palestinians will be bought off with their share of the $50 billion inducement he hoped to raise in Bahrain last week.

That was why the Palestinian leadership stayed away.

But Israel’s image managers long ago coined a slogan to obscure a policy of incremental dispossession, masquerading as a peace process: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

It is worth examining what those landmark “missed opportunities” consisted of.

The first was the United Nations’ Partition Plan of late 1947. In Israel’s telling, it was Palestinian intransigence over dividing the land into separate Jewish and Arab states that triggered war, leading to the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of most of the Palestinians’ homeland.

But the real story is rather different.

The recently formed UN was effectively under the thumb of the imperial powers of Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. All three wanted a Jewish state as a dependent ally in the Arab-dominated Middle East.

Fuelled by the dying embers of western colonialism, the Partition Plan offered the largest slice of the Palestinian homeland to a minority population of European Jews, whose recent immigration had been effectively sponsored by the British empire.

As native peoples elsewhere were being offered independence, Palestinians were required to hand over 56 per cent of their land to these new arrivals. There was no chance such terms would be accepted.

However, as Israeli scholars have noted, the Zionist leadership had no intention of abiding by the UN plan either. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, called the Jewish state proposed by the UN “tiny”. He warned that it could never accommodate the millions of Jewish immigrants he needed to attract if his new state was not rapidly to become a second Arab state because of higher Palestinian birth rates.

Ben Gurion wanted the Palestinians to reject the plan, so that he could use war as a chance to seize 78 per cent of Palestine and drive out most of the native population.

For decades, Israel was happy to entrench and, after 1967, expand its hold on historic Palestine.

In fact, it was Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who made the biggest, unreciprocated concessions to peace. In 1988, he recognised Israel and, later, in the 1993 Olso accords, he accepted the principle of partition on even more dismal terms than the UN’s – a state on 22 per cent of historic Palestine.

Even so, the Oslo process stood no serious chance of success after Israel refused to make promised withdrawals from the occupied territories. Finally, in 2000 President Bill Clinton called together Arafat and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to a peace summit at Camp David.

Arafat knew Israel was unwilling to make any meaningful compromises and had to be bullied and cajoled into attending. Clinton promised the Palestinian leader he would not be blamed if the talks failed.

Israel ensured they did. According to his own advisers, Barak “blew up” the negotiations, insisting that Israel hold on to occupied East Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa mosque, and large areas of the West Bank. Washington blamed Arafat anyway, and refashioned Israel’s intransigence as a “generous offer”.

A short time later, in 2002, Saudi Arabia’s Peace Initiative offered Israel normal relations with the Arab world in return for a minimal Palestinian state. Israel and western leaders hurriedly shunted it into the annals of forgotten history.

After Arafat’s death, secret talks through 2008-09 – revealed in the Palestine Papers leak – showed the Palestinians making unprecedented concessions. They included allowing Israel to annex large tracts of East Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ expected capital.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat was recorded saying he had agreed to “the biggest [Jerusalem] in Jewish history” as well as to only a “symbolic number of [Palestinian] refugees’ return [and a] demilitarised state … What more can I give?”

It was a good question. Tzipi Livni, Israel’s negotiator, responded, “I really appreciate it” when she saw how much the Palestinians were conceding. But still her delegation walked away.

Trump’s own doomed plan follows in the footsteps of such “peace-making”.

In a New York Times commentary last week Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, candidly encapsulated the thrust of this decades-long diplomatic approach. He called on the Palestinians to “surrender”, adding: “Surrender is the recognition that in a contest, staying the course will prove costlier than submission.”

The peace process was always leading to this moment. Trump has simply cut through the evasions and equivocations of the past to reveal where the West’s priorities truly lie.

It is hard to believe that Trump or Kushner ever believed the Palestinians would accept a promise of “money for quiet” in place of a state based on “land for peace”.

Once more, the West is trying to foist on the Palestinians an inequitable peace deal. The one certainty is that they will reject it – it is the only issue on which the Fatah and Hamas leaderships are united – again ensuring the Palestinians can be painted as the obstacle to progress.

The Palestinians may have refused this time to stumble into the trap, but they will find themselves the fall guys, whatever happens.

When Trump’s plan crashes, as it will, Washington will have the chance to exploit a supposed Palestinian rejection as justification for approving annexation by Israel of yet more tranches of occupied territory.

The Palestinans will be left with a shattered homeland. No self-determination, no viable state, no independent economy, just a series of aid-dependent ghettos. And decades of western diplomacy will finally have arrived at its preordained destination.

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

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Israel/Palestine 
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  1. BADmejr says:

    These Palestinians must be awfully familiar with Jews crying out as Jews strike them.

  2. A123 says:

    Palestine was divided in 1920’s:
    — 78% Muslim Palestine (a.k.a. TransJordan or Jordan)
    — 22% Jewish Palestine (a.k.a. Israel)

    Buying out claims on the Jewish side of the line and helping Muslim Palestinians find a permanent home on the Muslim side of the line are the mechanical minimums to achieving peace. While not complete, the Trump plan made significant steps in this direction. More pieces of the plan will come out after the new round of elections in Israel.

    The real stumbling block is the disconnect between the Palestinian people and their leaders. Abbas is entering his 15th year in what should have been a 4 year term in office. Hamas ties to Iran make it infeasible as a peace partner. Both Fatah and Hamas are unpopular with the Palestinian people.

    Hopefully, the 2nd part of the plan will allow the Palestinian people to have an option that cannot be vetoed by their failing leaders. The best solution would allow Palestianians to “Vote with Their Feet” by leaving the lands controlled by Hamas and Fatah.


    • Replies: @UncommonGround
  3. @A123

    “Ben Yosef advocated for “inserting ourselves” into online discussions, because readers nowadays see the comments section under articles published by websites as part of the story. Using sophisticated “monitoring software,” he wrote, Act.IL closely watched news and social media (….) Ben Yosef explained that “controlling the online media discussion became our top priority.” He claimed victory in these efforts, successfully “bumping the pro-Israeli comments to the top of the list in 85 percent of the cases.””

    (from an article by Asa Winstanley)

    • Replies: @A123
  4. Here is an interesting look at John Bolton’s Three State Solution for the Middle East:

    For a man who did whatever he could to avoid fighting in a war, he certainly seems to love the concept.

  5. A123 says:

    You have the #3 post in this thread. Did you use a monitoring tool?

    I have the #2 position and I didn’t need such a tool. There are specific behaviours of the UNZ.COM website that reward simple attention:
    — The site is fairly unique in that it does does not display “New” articles at top of page. Instead readers have to review the body of the front page to find new articles.
    — New articles are more likely to show up on specific days and times. It’s not 100%, but having a feel for the site’s typical activity improves the chances for an early posting position.


    If systems are being used on this site it is much more likely they are deployed by the Taqiyya Trolls that hate Jews. Certain posting ID’ s are always insulting and fact free, having the feeling of a canned responses. Other ID’s then post similarly canned agreements. Almost as if one poster is running scripts and multiple ID’ s to falsely inflate the apparent numbers on their side.

    Of course, the lack of civil discourse displayed by this tactic means that people using it are actually hurting their side. They come across intolerant haters….

    • Replies: @UncommonGround
  6. @A123

    Look, Zionist propaganda is very well known. That’s what I posted about. So, you are not the representant here of those many Zionist propaganda agencies and programs? But they exist, don’t they? What do you think that Ben Yosef is speaking about? The map you post and the point you want to make is ridiculous. So, you want to say that Zionists started with 0% of Palestinian lands and now want 100%, although this 100% is really much much less than 100% of the world. You are really modest but not very clever if you think you can persuade anyone with your fraud.

    • Replies: @A123
  7. A123 says:

    Look. Violent Muslim propaganda is incredibly transparent.

    The Koran openly states that purpose of Islam is Jihad. The extermination, conversion, or Dhimmi enslavement all non-Muslim infidels — Christians, Jews, Hindus, Taoist, Buddhists, and so on. The Koran even has its own propaganda code know as Taqiyya (1) that requires Muslims to lie.

    The indisputable fact is that Violent Islam received more than 3/4 of Palestine, but Violent Islam wants 100% of the land plus the extermination of all infidel Jews. So … Muslims make up Taqiyya lies to feed their propaganda machine.

    You can spout Taqiyya propaganda as much as want, but the lies are too obvious. You have no chance of changing anyone’s mind via deception.




    • Replies: @UncommonGround
    , @anon
  8. turtle says:

    In a New York Times commentary last week Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, candidly encapsulated the thrust of this decades-long diplomatic approach. He called on the Palestinians to “surrender”, adding: “Surrender is the recognition that in a contest, staying the course will prove costlier than submission.”

    He might as well have said, “On your knees. We are about to chop off your heads, and that is your best option. STOP RESISTING, or we will torture you further, and tell the world it is your fault for failing to submit.

    My thoughts and sympathies are with the oppressed people of Palestine, namely the Arabs.
    Never surrender, and never forget.

    “The most you can do to a free man, is to kill him.”
    -Robert A. Heinlein

  9. Mike Hite says:

    All one needs to do is read the original King Crane commission report from 1919 to determine what was going to happen when the jews started invading Palestine. You can find it on the internet.

  10. alexander says:

    Let us set aside Trump’s “doomed to fail” Peace deal for the moment.

    What I am wondering, and have been asking for several where is Israel’s peace plan ?

    Israel says it wants peace, says it hates the wars .. the terrorism…and the burden of occupation… and would much rather spend its money on its infrastructure, education, new industries .etc.

    Great !

    So where is Israels ….”Peace Plan” ?

    What does it look like?

    Is there a ten step plan that Israel has provided to the world showing how IT believes a just resolution can be achieved ?

    Why is there nothing for anybody to look at …when it comes to a Plan for Peace …from Israel ?

  11. @A123

    After I posted my reply to you I thought of deleting it, but it was a few minutes too late. I don’t mind that you post comments as much as you want. You can judge for yourself when you should or want to write or not and it wasn’t my intention to discourage you from posting as much as you want. But you should consider the fact that nothing has tarnished so much the image of Zionism than Zionistic propaganda. I have seen in blogs dozens of young Zionists who had made a complete course about such themes in their homes and thought that they would teach a hard lesson to anti-Zionists. After all, they had heard the “truth” from their parents. After they got an answer to their first comments they disappeared and never came back, one after the other. They must have had enough common sense to suspect that the tales that they had heard from their families were not completely true. But there are still the hard core Zionists who write for years. They appear as compulsive liars, as dishonest and unpleasant people, even deranged. They made an incredible damage to Zionism. They lost absolutely all discussions. Maybe this is the reason why they prefered to proscribe discussions everywhere. Once I heard on tv an expert telling about followers of Isis. She told about how they think. When I heard this I was astonished. They seemed to be exactly like Zionists I had seen discussing who are as much fanatic as they and have similar values.

    If you want to discuss the Koran you have to look for some one else. I know absolutely nothing about it and don’t care about it the least. My sources are almost all Jewish and they talk also about Jewish hatred. If you want we could discuss the book by Elliott Horowitz about Purim, for instance. By the way, recently a Jewish group has published something that might be interesting to you: “Jewish groups call on their communities: defund Islamophobia now” (article in Mondoweiss).

  12. anon[270] • Disclaimer says:

    Herzilya conferees- Can you provide us a new word please Rabbi

    Rabbi -Sure . Try Taqiya

    Conferees – What does it mean

    Rabbi -We have used it for centuries

    I just translated it for you

    Conferees – We know it . Right now we just told the world that we would accept the US peace personal though it was created by us and by our people ( born or paid to become our people ) in USA.

    Rabbi- You are right . It was Balfour we talk all the time . But the fact is that it was the Rothchilds money and Amery’s passion for blood that made it possible .

  13. APilgrim says:

    The Muhammadan pseudo-Palestinians are a trivial & contrived irrelevance.

    And still there is no Kurdistan.

    And Turkey still controls Constantinople.

    And the Turkish Armenian slaughter has not been addressed.


  14. Virgile says:

    Israeli leaders are a caricature of the worst traits attributed to the Jews: greed, arrogance, materialism and racism.
    Jews world wide should feel ashamed that an entity lead by such leaders have the guts to represent the Jewish people. Israel is representing so badly the Jews that antisemitism is growing worldwide.
    When will the world Jews have to courage to dissociate themselves from that entity that is destroying all the moral values that the Jews were known for and proud of.

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