By Omar Karmi
January 24, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Brace
yourselves, here it comes.
After years of mounting
excitement, the time is finally ripe. The US
administration is going to show its hand and unveil
the “closely-held” Ultimate Deal of the Century™
before the main contenders for Israel’s leadership
go to Washington on Tuesday.
It’s “a great plan,”
according to man-of-the-hour Donald Trump, the
US president, neatly dispelling any complaints from
moaning snowflakes who keep harping on about rights
and history and justice and truth and sustainability
and blah, blah, blah.
But what exactly is this great plan?
According to Trump, it’s not what you’ve read
What you may have
read already comes courtesy of unnamed “senior
Israeli officials.” According to them, the plan will
see Israel annex all of Jerusalem as well as between
30-40 percent of Area C of the West Bank (the 60
percent of the West Bank already under full Israeli
control). This includes the Jordan Valley and thus
access to the outside world.
The plan would also give Israel a green light to
annex all but 15 settlements in the occupied
territory – illegal under international law, but
no longer in the eyes of the US administration.
Israel will maintain uncontested military control
over all the territory of historic Palestine and
Palestinians will have to disarm Hamas and
demilitarize the Gaza Strip.
But what do the Palestinians get? As anyone with
any sense knows, a deal can only be “great” if all
parties walk away feeling they’ve gained something.
Business mogul handbook 101.
Palestinians get statehood. Apparently. Some
Israelis are not happy about that, so maybe not. Who
knows? But according to “senior Israeli officials,”
part of a plan that
“really would work” is Palestinian statehood.
Over what? Not clear. Whatever is left,
presumably, once Israel has had its fill.
Territory-wise there would apparently be some
land swaps, though with whom, where and how much
has not been divulged.
Jerusalem? “Symbolic access,” whatever that
Sovereignty? No army, no control over borders, no
control over airspace. So no.
Right of return for refugees? None. The US
administration has made its own calculations,
determining that the number of Palestinian refugees
is roughly equivalent to Jews who fled Arab
countries, therefore negating any right of return or
even right to compensation.
Oh and Palestinians get $50 billion from “Sunni
countries.” Thanks, guys.
rejected the plan out of hand.
What else is the Palestinian Authority going to
do? There is nothing in the plan, as outlined above,
that any Palestinian leader could ever accept.
But that may be to miss the point.
Partly, this administration wants to ride
roughshod over international law. After all,
not feel restrained by things such as rules.
That’s what makes them powerful.
No better place to signal such intent than with
Palestinians, whose case in international law is
clear, open and shut.
But also, of course, this is about helping a
friend in his time of need.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the incumbent prime
minister, is trying to ward off corruption
prosecution, a prosecution that will be brought
should he fail to ensure immunity for himself.
He may not secure immunity if he does not form
the next government. Trump is simply trying to help.
And with two Israeli elections already last year,
Trump has had plenty of chances to prove his
First, he granted US blessing to Israel’s
Jerusalem. Next, he recognized Israel’s
annexation of the
Then he reversed the US position on settlements
in occupied territory.
Cognizant of this, Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s main
rival, has been
falling over himself to promise that his
annexation will be bigger than Netanyahu’s.
Not only is he trying to win votes, he is also
showing that he knows how to play along with a US
president who seems to
The plan is yet to be published. Many stalwart
supporters of Israel have in the past
cautioned against publishing such an obviously
There’s a good reason. This forces the hand of
the Palestinian Authority. It ends its very reason
to exist, namely in preparation for statehood. Real
statehood. It crosses every “red line” the PA has
ever marked out, whether on refugees, territory,
sovereignty, Jerusalem, etc, and so on.
It pulls down the whole peace process charade.
Too many institutions, businesses and industries
have been built and too many livelihoods are at
stake for the PA to disband itself with immediate
effect, however advisable that might be.
Indeed, it may well be that the PA leadership
will try to simply sit tight and wait Trump out.
But there really is no time for that. The land is
disappearing beneath the Palestinians’ feet.
Trump’s Ultimate Deal is the end of the PA.
This article was
originally published by "ElectronicIntifada"
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