Everything screams failure. Jared Kushner’s team says that it has an outside-the-box approach to finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whereas it is actually breaking the box as it ignores the most contentious parts of the conflict and trades rights for economic gains. The Trump administration chose to tackle the economic horizon of the peace plan before taking its political horizon into consideration, and this is why it decided to hold a workshop in Bahrain at the beginning of next month; until now only two countries have confirmed attendance, three if we count the participation of Israel. Similar prior attempts were more viable than Kushner’s political attempt as prior American administrations showed less bias toward Israel in comparison to Trump; all of these previous attempts, however, were doomed to fail. The promised paradise in the Middle East after peace with Israel turned into hell over the last three decades. None of the economic promises crystalized because a fair, peaceful solution based on the state solution vanished into thin air because of Israeli obstinance.
Kushner’s team said that it is aware of these facts and is willing to overlook them, because Israel did not voice its approval and not because they are simply inapplicable! In other words, Kushner seeks to design a peace plan for the Middle East, which is in line with the Israeli standard, and to him this constitutes the measure of failure or success. The perils of this plan involve Palestinian losses and not Israeli gains. The whole peace deal seeks to eradicate the Palestinian side of the conflict, assuming that Israel gets what it wants and is moving on in inventing facts that do not require an American plan or the like.
The problem with the conflict from Kushner’s point of view is the Palestinian conflict per se and not the conflict with Israel. The conflict requires a comprehensive solution to the issues in the region and not just to the bilateral conflict. Kushner ‘s team is not addressing vital issues such as refugees, sovereignty and Jerusalem, and this explains the American stance toward Jerusalem and the tenacious tendency to end the services of UNRWA in order to serve an international project which invests in the economies of the region, and to compensate Palestinians for UNRWA’s support. This means that the deal of the century is in fact an economic solution to the Palestinian issue and does not entail any political element, hence dubbed “deal.”
Even if we assume that there is a political approach, unveiled by the Trump administration after the Bahrain workshop, it will not exceed a bunch of administrative procedures in the Palestinian authority areas to facilitate the application of the economic components. The absolutely least mature economic solution assumes that the standard of living and development gains will be enough for the Palestinians to abandon the Palestinian identity and the historical figure and the economic rights that millions have fought for more than 70 years. Soon enough, Kushner and his economic team will realize the failure of their approach. They are not as wise as their predecessors, who have had a similar experience in the past and gained some support, which the current "deal of the century" totally lacks. It is not possible to think outside the box unless there are solutions that satisfy the Palestinian people. The deal will fail even before it is brought to the table.