analyses of the leaked ‘Deal of the Century’ I/P peace plan

(Part I: Palestinian Resistance is here; I can’t apologize for this post’s length, as it needs to be this long, I think, as it’s the Trump administration’s answer to an historically intractable oppressive apartheid.)

No word-mincing here:The ‘Deal of the Century’: Two Con Men’s Job’, Elias Samo, May 5, 2019, strategic-culture.org, May 5, 2019
“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. Furthermore, when two con men are involved, ‘Deal of the Century’ is likely more akin to ‘Theft of the Century’.

The ‘Deal’, presumably a road map for peacefully settling the Palestinian problem, was drawn up, ironically, by a small group of American Zionists responsible for the formulation of American foreign policy. The group is led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and senior presidential adviser, with help from John Bolton, national security advisor, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State and David Friedman, American ambassador in Israel. Anecdotally, it should be noted that Netanyahu is a close friend of the Kushner family and used to visit the family while in the US and stay overnight, at times in Jared’s bedroom; perhaps making Jared an unregistered foreign agent serving Israeli interests. With such strong pro-Israeli input in drawing up the ‘Deal’, what does one expect the ‘Deal’ to be except a right-wing, Likudist plan to establish a Great Israel from the River to the Sea.” [snip]

“As to the Palestinian refugees, for Trump a Palestinian refugee is one who was alive when Israel was created in 1948, that is seventy one years old or more, which makes it very difficult to find many Palestinians still alive who qualify as refugees based on the criteria set by Trump. He furthermore severed political relations with the Palestinians when he ordered the closure of the PLO offices in Washington and imposed economic sanctions on the Palestinians when he stopped economic support to UNRWA.

Bearing in mind the fact that the ‘Deal’ was drawn up by Zionists in the Trump administration, it is only appropriate to expect that the ‘Deal’ will be everything Israel wants. Thus, a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian problem, in all probability, has become null and void in the foreseeable future; the ‘Deal’ offers nothing to the Palestinians and some prominent Palestinian officials have said so. Nabil Shaath, advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, noted that Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ will not bring peace to Palestine. Riyad Maliki, Palestinian Foreign Minister, said that the ‘Deal of the Century’ which seeks to find the ultimate solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will bring bad news to the Middle East. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, elaborated further, noting that “Trump and Netanyahu are planning to terminate the Palestinian cause by removing Jerusalem from any solution, annexing major settlements and finding a capital for us on the outskirts of Jerusalem.” In view of the foregoing, Mahmoud Abbas has no choice but to reject the ‘Deal’, with the consequence of being condemned for sabotaging the peace process and for Netanyahu reverting to his mantra that there are no Palestinians to negotiate with.”

A far longer and more measured analysis: ‘Is leaked document Trump’s ‘deal of the century’?’, If genuine, the report published by an Israeli newspaper widely seen as Netanyahu’s mouthpiece offers a catastrophic vision of the Palestinians’ future, jonathan-cook.net, 9 May 2019 and May 10, 2019, consortiumnews.com

“A report published this week by the Israel Hayom newspaper apparently leaking details of President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” reads like the kind of peace plan that might be put together by an estate agent or car salesman.

But while the authenticity of the document is unproven and indeed contested, there are serious grounds for believing it paves the direction of any future declaration by the Trump administration.

Not least, it is a synthesis of most of the Israeli right’s ambitions for the creation of a Greater Israel, with a few sops to the Palestinians — most of them related to partially relieving Israel’s economic strangulation of the Palestinian economy.

This is exactly what Jared Kushner told us the “deal of the century” would look like in his preview last month.

Also significant is the outlet that published the leak: Israel Hayom. The Israeli newspaper is owned by Sheldon Adelson, a U.S. casino billionaire who is one of the Republican Party’s chief donors and was a major contributor to Trump’s presidential election campaign funds.

Netanyahu Leak?

Adelson and Israel Hayom have ready access to key figures in both the U.S. and Israeli administrations. And it has been widely reported that little of significance gets into print there unless it has first been approved by Netanyahu or its overseas owner.”

He writes that the newspaper has questioned the document’s authenticity, an unnamed WH spokeperson said that the leak was ‘speculative and inaccurate, which lackluster denial to Cook means: yes, it’s genuine.  And if its genuine, he of course reckons that Bibi was the leaker.  And if it’s what the Trump/Kushner/? ‘Deal of the Century turns out to be, it’ll be catastrophic for the Palestinians.

He then wonders if the leak was by way of ‘testing the waters’ in any of three directions: to see if the actual Deal might need to be amended before publication after the final June 6 day of Ramadan; that Bibi may have concluded that there could be an unwelcome price in publicly achieving most of what he is already gaining by stealth – a price he may prefer to avoid for the time being; or that it causee such an explosive reaction within Irael and among Palestianians and the Arab world that Trump’s Middle East team either postpones the plan’s publication or foils its release entirely.  But the leak does offer insight into DT’s administrations thinking, from moving the US Embassy to the recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.  The proposed Palestinian entity would be called ‘New Palestine’, and ain’t that catchy?  New = Better.  But according to the leak, New Palestine would exist in only a tiny fraction of historic Palestine. (click map for larger)

“All illegal settlements in the West Bank would be annexed to Israel — satisfying a pledge Netanyahu made shortly before last month’s general election. If the territory annexed includes most of Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank Israel was given temporary control over under the Oslo accords, and which the Israeli right urgently wants to annex, that would leave New Palestine nominally in charge of about 12 percent of historic Palestine.”

(Bethlehem and the West Bank)

“But it is far worse than that. New Palestine would exist as a series of discrete cantons, or Bantustans, surrounded by a sea of Israeli settlements — now to be declared part of Israel. The entity would be chopped and diced in a way that is true of no other state in the world.

New Palestine would have no army, just a lightly armed police force. It would be able to act only as a series of disconnected municipalities.

In fact, it is hard to imagine how “New Palestine” would fundamentally change the current, dismal reality for Palestinians. They would be able to move between these cantons only using lengthy detours, bypass roads and tunnels. Much like now.”

The leaked plan offers the New Palestine $30 billion over five years to set up and run its glorified municipalities which he notes is actually $8 billion less than the US gifts Israel to buy armaments and fighter jets.  But even if the inteernational community were to step up with further subsidies, the New entity would be entirely dependent on ‘aid’.

“The US and others would be able to turn on and off the spigot based on the Palestinians’ “good behaviour” – just as occurs now. Palestinians would live permanently in fear of the repercussions for criticising their prison warders.

In keeping with his vow to make Mexico pay for the wall to be built along the southern US border, Trump apparently wants the Palestinian entity to pay Israel to provide it with military security. In other words, much of that $30bn in aid to the Palestinians would probably end up in the Israeli military’s pockets.

(Banksy’s ‘The Wall’)

Interestingly, the leaked report argues that oil-producing states, not the Palestinians, would be the “main beneficiaries” of the agreement. This hints at how the Trump deal is being sold to the Gulf states: as an opportunity for them to fully embrace Israel, its technology and military prowess, so that the Middle East can follow in the footsteps of Asia’s “tiger economies”.”

Leaked draft of Trump’s peace plan reveals creation of ‘New Palestine,’ promises to join Israel in next war in Gaza if Palestinians reject’, Allison Deger, May 7, 2019, mondoweiss.net

“If either Israel or the Palestinians, including Hamas and the PLO, reject the deal, the document says the U.S. will impose steep penalties. The U.S. will cut off all aid to Israel and ensure “no country in the world transfers money” to the Palestinians, whose economy is reliant on foreign donors.

If the PLO accepts the plan and Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza reject it, the document warns “the U.S. will back Israel to personally harm leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad” in a future escalation, and will hold Hamas’ leadership “responsible in another round of violence between Israel and Hamas.”

The plan goes on to caution, “It is inconceivable that a group of a few dozen will determine the lives of millions of people,” which echoes similar sentiments made by Kushner last week.

Jerusalem as a shared capital

Jerusalem will be a shared capital for both Israel and New Palestine. The deal underscores that Jerusalem “will not be divided.”

Today Jerusalem is home to some 350,000 Palestinian residents who are neither citizens of Israel or West Bank residents, and 550,000 Israelis, including around 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem. Under the agreement all Israelis and Palestinians will be able to stay where they are living, but Israelis will no longer be able to purchase homes from Palestinians, potentially abruptly ending future expansion of East Jerusalem settlements. The deal would also bar Palestinians from buying homes from Israelis, which they are currently able to do.

The Palestinians in Jerusalem would become citizens of “New Palestine,” but receive the same services as Israeli residents of Jerusalem from the Jerusalem municipality, governed by Israel. The plans says the Palestinian Authority will be responsible for paying the municipality for services, with the exception of schools, which will be run by the Palestinian government.”

“Egypt will lease new land to Palestine for the purpose of establishing an airport for the establishment of factories and commerce, and for agriculture, other than housing,” the plan said, “The size of the territories and the price will be determined between the parties through the mediation of the supporting countries.”

Under the deal Gaza would significantly open up to the outside world, albeit with the removal of Hamas’ military capabilities. Hamas would be required to turn over all weapons to Egypt.

And just in today: Palestine won’t sell its ‘land & rights’ for Trump’s skewed ‘deal of the century’ – ambassador’, 28 May, 2019

“Palestine will not accept the “deal of the century” with Israel which is in the works in Washington and rejects all of the recent ‘peacemaking’ proposals, the Palestinian ambassador to Russia has said.

Abdelhafiz Nofal, speaking at a press conference in Moscow, has referred to the upcoming peace “deal of the century” advertised by US President Donald Trump, as a “strange agenda.”

He said the Palestinian authorities stand firm in their rejection of all of Israel’s and the US’ recent initiatives ostensibly aimed at promoting peace. Jerusalem, which the US under Trump recognized as the Israeli capital, belongs to all religions and “is not a bargaining chip,” he said.”

Jonathan Cook calls the divided Jerusalem Ethnic Cleansing:

“But given that in return Palestinians would not be allowed to buy Israeli homes, and that the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem already suffers massive housing shortages and that an Israeli municipality would have the power to decide where homes are built and for whom, it is easy to imagine that the current situation – of Israel exploiting planning controls to drive Palestinians out of Jerusalem – would simply continue.

Also, given that Palestinians in Jerusalem would be citizens of New Palestine, not Israel, those unable to find a home in Israeli-ruled Jerusalem would have no choice but to emigrate into the West Bank. That would be exactly the same form of bureaucratic ethnic cleansing that Palestinians in Jerusalem experience now.”

As well, he finds the threat to ‘cut off all aid to Israel’ as absurd, and posts that if this is the real Deal, that it’s designed to give what’s been created in stealth a US imprimatur

But even worse for Israel, once the Palestinians and the watching world understand that the current, catastrophic reality for Palestinians is as good as it is going to get, there is likely to be a backlash.

The Palestinian Authority could collapse, the Palestinian populace launch a new uprising, the so-called “Arab street” may be far less accepting of the plan than their rulers or Trump might hope, and solidarity activists in the West, including the boycott movement, would get a massive shot in the arm for their cause.

Equally, it would be impossible for Israel’s apologists to continue denying that Israel is carrying out what the late Israeli academic Baruch Kimmerling called “politicide” – the destruction of the Palestinians’ future, their right to self-determination and their intergrity as a single people.

If this is Trump’s version of Middle East peace, he is playing a game of Russian roulette – and Netanyahu may be reluctant to let him pull the trigger.”

(Award-winning journalist Jonathan Cook writes from Nazareth)

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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