The deal of the century

Summary: Trump’s actions, clumsy, one-sided and inhumane, have made his chances of solving the Palestine problem remote. The two state solution recedes, hatred and bloodshed threaten Palestine and Israel.

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4 thoughts on “The deal of the century”

  1. There are two apparent truisms which are worth examining.
    We talk of ‘Trump’s “deal of the century”‘. Trump seems to dote on Jared Kushner, whose deal (and relationship with Netanyahu) this really is – or may be.
    The “right of return” is often cast as the right of citizenship which would destroy the Jewish demographic position. What in law should be returned is the Palestinians’ real property, which confers no electoral rights per se. This is the similar principle by which Jewish real property – also seized in the 1940s – is being properly returned through a variety of international mechanisms, such as the Terezin Declaration.
    I’d also note the rise of the claims for compensation of Mizrahim “expelled” from Arab lands (many made Aliyah, some remain) which looks like an attempt to negate – on a “knock for knock” basis – any payments that Israel, as an OECD country, should be expected to make, a position some Arab countries may also try to adopt.

  2. The United States is pushing forward with a peace plan that is deeply flawed and that has excluded the Palestinians. For that reason alone it will not work. But because we are in the time when bullyism replaces diplomacy and lies push aside any opportunity for rational conversations, the Palestinians find themselves the target of a collective punishment inflicted upon them by President Trump and his Middle East envoy and son-in-law Jared Kushner. As voices of reason are pushed aside, ever greater misery is inflicted upon Gaza and the West Bank and it sometimes feels that Yeats’ terrible question that concludes The Second Coming – “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” – will soon deliver an awful answer. But there are those, Israelis and Palestinians, who continue to seek common ground in the middle of great despair. This article highlights the work of one such group PCFF -Parents’ Circle and Family Forum.

  3. Surely this misses the point. Trump’s purpose is to liquidate the Palestinian problem, not to solve it. If, with Putin’s help, he can get the Iranians out of Syria, buy Syrian/Israeli peace in return for a demilitarised Golan to a Russian controlled Sunni run post reconstruction State, he and Netanyahu believe MbS and their other Arab interlocutors will let the Palestinians stew in their own juice. And they have no voice in Washington anyway. And perhaps the Iranians can be bought by a lifting of sanctions. Who cares about consistency or International Law after all.

  4. Alon Ben-Meir makes some potent points on Donald Trump’s actions vis à vis the Palestinians and the severe damage which these actions have inflicted on any prospect of a peace agreement. He is almost certainly also correct to point to Mr Trump’s “complete ignorance” – which I would personally apply pretty much to Israel/Palestine as a whole and not just to the PS’s ‘mindset”.
    However, I think there are two important contextual points which need to be made, as follows.
    First, much as Mr Trump is seemingly addicted to doing deals, he is almost certainly much more concerned about staying in office through to January 2025. Whether or not he can survive even until January 2021 looks increasingly dependent on his retaining the full-throated support of the evangelicals back home. Part of his tryst with them is the appointment of conservative judges (on which, as is being splashily documented in the press worldwide, he has now run into a serious obstruction as far as the Supreme Court is concerned which could further damage Republican prospects in the midterms). But his conduct on Israel/Palestine, perhaps particularly moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, is also an important component. And a “deal of the century” proposal which did not play to the US evangelicals is therefore a non-starter – as Mr Netanyahu must fully understand.
    Second (and bigger picture still), the appointment of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo is emblematic of the demise of Hamiltonianism in US foreign policy ( in favour of hawkish unilateralism which, for allies and adversaries alike, translates pretty much as “do as we say or else”. Mr Trump and his closest advisors probably firmly believe – as they also appear to in the case of Iran inter alia – that the US can bully the Palestinians into submission. And even if this doesn’t work – and I agree that it is highly unlikely to – talking tough seems to as far as energising Mr Trump’s all-important base is concerned…at least so far.

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