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Trump’s Plan: Imposing a Fait Accompli on Palestinians

Trump’s Plan: Imposing a Fait Accompli on Palestinians

Thursday, 30 January, 2020 - 11:45

Trump’s Peace Plan or Deal of the Century is a multifaceted package: A maneuver in both US and Israeli internal politics by two leaderships that are suffering a profound legitimacy crisis. It is an election announcement by the current US administration that it has chosen the Christian right-wing as its preferred audience to rely on for the re-election of Donald Trump this November. Even more, it is trying to claim that the Trump-Netanyahu alliance has succeeded in solving the conflict at which everybody else failed.

Meanwhile, on the other side, the Palestinians, are addressed like they were invited to their funeral. They should not fail to take this opportunity as they had done before, according to statements by the plan's engineer, Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, in an interview with CNN a few hours after the announcement at the White House. This is nothing but a replica of “friendly advice” that has been repeated tens of times by US and western officials to Palestinians, to be realistic and accept what is being offered to them, for losing what they have left is certain. This advice has been formulated in a variety of ways since the UN Resolution 181 that divided Palestine into two entities, Jewish and Arab, which was rejected by Palestinians while the Israelis made use of it to establish their state.

Looking at the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is probably not in favor of Palestinians or Arabs in general, given that it always reveals a language of extortion and intimidation of what might happen to them if they did not accept the deal that may be irreversibly taken off the table. It also reveals a lot of overstepping of facts and attempts to take advantage of the peak of a political moment that is in favor of the Israeli radical right-wing and their allies in the White House. Trying to impose a fait accompli in the context of opportunistic practices that focus on the weakness of Palestine, Arab disintegration and international indifference, is not a first nor a last. This time, its advocates are claiming that it is a decisive battle that will leave no space for anyone against the Deal of the Century. Consequently, Netanyahu has rushed to add the issue of including the settlements in West Bank to Israel on his government’s agenda on this Sunday, February 2.

On another level, the proposed economic grants suggested as part of the plan will not lead to a qualitative change in the living standards of Palestinians. The fifty-billion US dollar incentive that Trump mentioned in his speech was shown to be empty during the conference on the economic aspect held by Kushner last year. Fifty-billion USD over ten years, a large portion of which will go to countries where Palestinian refugees live, given as compensation for naturalizing them, the goal of which is for Palestinians to concede their right to return. This is a parody that does not deserve a response.

On the other hand, close inspection of the map of Palestinian areas that the US administration distributed provides an accurate idea of the intention to isolate cities in the West Bank and to establish two areas, an industrial area and a residential one, close to the border with Sinai. Several Israeli officials, including Netanyahu, have spoken for years about the “economic solution” to the Palestinian issue. The conclusion to turn Palestinian cities into isolated areas surrounded by fences and walls will serve the purpose of providing cheap labor for Israeli industries in construction and agriculture, and also provides an income for Palestinians who will remain under the Israeli government and Israeli employers, succumbing to their conditions.

This plan, especially the two desert areas near the Egyptian border, is reminiscent of Bantustan experience by the South African government for the black majority during the apartheid in an attempt to prevent blacks from organizing themselves in independent political bodies, and to exploit them in mines and other industries as cheap labor.

For reasons linked to its electoral nature and its complete negligence of the other concerned side, the expected failure of this plan should not happen without highlighting what made a proposition of this form possible and amenable to be repeated and to become a new international given. In other words, we should examine the present and critique it despite all efforts to prevent that. The first reason is the catastrophic Palestinian division that has not been resolved ever since it has turned into open conflict in 2007. The damage that this divide has left is not amenable for repair or containment, and it begins by introducing regional powers with agendas that are far-removed from Palestinian national interests and does not stop at destroying the capacity to build a united national program.

The second reason is the degeneration of the pro-Palestine Arab popular base that has become a ground for accusations and justifying dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, and the destruction of any democratic ambition in the Arab world. The official Arad discourse on this symbolic value of the cause turned it into a moral burden on people and put it in a position that is antithetical to the calls for liberation and progress.

The third reason is that in the future, Trump’s plan could be handed down to his successors who may not agree with him, and may not care for anything other than the necessity to move beyond the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in whatever way possible, taking into account that the defeated and oppressed side lacks an Arab and international political umbrella.

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