The Trump ‘Deal’: An Ultimatum and a Setup

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the Trump Deal of the century titled “The Deal of the Century: Two Con Men’s Job”, published by Strategic Culture Foundation on May 5th, 2019.

At the time of writing the article, not enough credible material was published about the “Deal”, so the article’s introduction was “Yes, ‘You can judge a book by its cover’, especially if the ‘book’ is the ‘Deal of the Century’ and the ‘cover’ lauds two con men, Trump and Netanyahu.” Now, apparently enough credible material about the content of the ‘Deal’ has been published, particularly the article in ‘Hayom’, the Israeli Jewish paper. The deal merits a second look, without resorting to reading a ‘book’ by its cover.

The deal doesn’t offer the Palestinians many concessions. Their basic and minimum demands for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian problem are not met. It is an ultimatum to surrender and accept whatever Netanyahu dictates:

  1. No two-state solution
  2. No sovereign Palestinian state
  3. A united Jerusalem that will remain the capital of Israel; thus, East Jerusalem will not be the capital of a sovereign Palestinian state
  4. Legitimizing all illegal Israeli settlements
  5. No solution for refugees; as its definition of “refugees” ensures they are reduced to a minimum. Trump defined “refugees” as people who were alive when Israel was established in 1948; making the youngest refugee 71 years old. While current American estimates of qualifying “refugees”, per this definition, are 40,000, by the time the New Palestine state is established, which could take up to five years, many of them may not be around

From all indications, the deal was formulated by the Zionists as a setup, a trap for the single purpose of it being rejected by the Palestinians, effectively serving Israeli designs. Upon certain Palestinian rejection of the deal, Israeli mantra that there is no Palestinian peace partner to negotiate with will be heard, loud and clear. Additionally, Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land and expansion of settlements will continue, as will the continuation of ethnic cleansing and more apartheid policies. These developments will also be coupled with severe punishments of the Palestinians for rejecting the deal; in which case the US will likely cancel all its financial support to the Palestinians and pressure other countries to do the same. Worse yet, if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in the extremely unlikely case, signs the deal, which would be signing his death warrant, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not sign, a war would be waged on the Gaza Strip with the full backing of the US.

There is hardly any incentive for the Palestinians to accept the deal and it has already been rejected by Palestinian leaders before its official publication. President Mahmoud Abbas said, “We rejected this deal from the beginning because it did not include Jerusalem and we do not want a state without Jerusalem or without Gaza.” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Shtayyeh asserted that the “Deal of the Century” will be born dead and there would be no partners for the Deal. Saeb Erekat, Secretary-General of the PLO, said the Palestinian leadership rejects the US peace plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, adding that the Palestinians will not accept anything less than an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

Syria is totally omitted in the deal. Can the Palestinian problem be resolved peacefully without Syria? As I noted in my previous article referenced above, for Syria, the Palestinian conflict and the Syrian-Israeli conflict are unresolved components or tracks of the historic Arab-Israeli conflict. Hosni Mubarak, the former President of Egypt, asserted in a press interview that Hafez Assad, the late Syrian President, could have recovered the Golan had he been willing to normalize relations with Israel and open embassies in the two countries. Although it is true that President Hafez Assad founded it very difficult to swallow the bitter pill of having normal relations with Israel, he was willing to do it under the right conditions as would President Bashar Assad. However, the bitter pill of a separate deal with Israel, a la President Sadat’s separate peace with Israel, was unswallowable.

A final point regarding omitting Syria in the Trump deal, it is worth recalling Henry Kissinger’s old dictum that the Arabs cannot go to war with Israel without Egypt and cannot make peace without Syria.

By Elias Samo, Ph.D.,
Source: Strategic Culture

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