The U.S. president’s “deal of the century” favors Israel and will be implemented by force, if necessary. Such a plan will bring no peace.
After many months of delay, the plan is finally going to be unveiled; the plan that will supposedly bring peace to the Middle East. President Donald Trump has highly praised it as the “deal of the century,” and it does indeed have the potential to be just that – for one party. According to the Israeli media, this is really likely to be a good deal for Israel, if one wants to describe it in those terms. Reports say this is the “most generous proposal” ever offered to Israel.
They are right. Under the plan, Israel will be given full sovereignty over Jerusalem and occupied territories in the West Bank where there are currently Israeli settlements. This fulfills the demands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will be pleased with this gift of the century, and is sure to bring it up repeatedly during the Israeli election campaign. Until the vote on March 2, this right-wing politician will reiterate that only he can guarantee the implementation of the plan, as if it were a mantra, as he aims to direct voters’ attention away from the charges of corruption, disloyalty and breach of public trust he is facing, and away from his bid for immunity.
The change in sentiment seen this week in Netanyahu’s rival has probably been caused by the unveiling of this plan. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Benny Gantz, from the Blue and White alliance, made the surprising announcement that he now also plans to annex the Jordan Valley. If the former Israel Defense Forces chief of general staff accepts the invitation to travel to Washington together with Netanyahu, he will risk being coopted, as it will not only be Netanyahu, but Trump who will insist that the plan is implemented – no matter who wins the election.
The Losers Lose Too Much
However, by inviting Gantz to the White House Trump also shows that he is covering all his bases to ensure that the plan is rolled out, even if Netanyahu is not elected as the new head of state in the third election in one year, or in case Netanyahu has to step down because of the corruption charges he faces. The U.S. president is simply thinking of himself, using this plan to gain the support of Jewish and Evangelical voters.
The Palestinians are the ones who lose out, even though the plan does give them their own state, which is meant to cover much smaller territory than the current West Bank. Palestinian leaders might perhaps accept this, as well as Israel having control of the border, but they will not concede their central condition of having East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. The Palestinians will receive support on this from other Arab countries, as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, stands on the temple mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The plan will only grant Palestinians their own state when they recognize Israel as a Jewish state that has Jerusalem as its capital. As if that were not enough, reports say that none of the demands made by Palestine have been considered. Palestinian leaders have no other political leverage, apart from refusing to continue security cooperation with Israel.
Palestinians are being expected to surrender without a chance to negotiate, as the plan gives Israel the go-ahead to begin the planned annexation supported by the United States should Palestine reject the plan. Trump is using blackmail to close the deal, which, instead of bringing peace in the region, will only cause further conflict.
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