Before anything else, let us be clear on one thing: “there is absolutely — repeat: absolutely — no hope of establishing peace in what Europe and [the United States] so arrogantly call the Middle East (ME) … without dealing with the Palestinians.” This observation of James Baldwin was correct back in his days; it is true even now. The United States’ (US) President Donald Trump has revealed his ‘deal of the century’ titled “Peace to Prosperity” that offers nothing to Palestinians.
Even a cursory glance at the 181 pages thick document suggests that it is nothing but granting Israel control over internationally-unrecognized Jewish settlements and occupied areas bordering Jordan. It is a blueprint for the annexation of Jordon Valley. It makes Jerusalem undivided capital of Israel. And it deliberately ignores Palestinian’s right to return to their lands.
Thinking of the recently revealed plan as a good-faith effort to make peace is laughable. Trump’s deal is anything but “Peace to Prosperity.” The timing of its revelation tells us what Trump wants from it in the short run. It’s an effort to help Netanyahu, a staunch Trump ally, in advance of tightly contested March elections in Israel. The release of a plan so tilted to Israeli priorities helps the right-wing prime minister sell himself as the man best positioned to handle the vital US-Israel relationship.
Moreover, Trump’s peace plan puts aside the basic framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which was a two-states-solution where Israel would retreat to its current internationally recognized borders. However, this document completely nullifies the possibility of a two-state solution. It will cause unending conflicts between Israel and Palestine at best and complete elimination of Palestinians at worst.
Besides, the document’s text is designed in such a manner that it will eventually leave Palestinians with no land at all. The definition of “State of Palestine” in the glossary is perhaps the most revealing one. It reads as thus: “Throughout the Vision, the term “State of Palestine” refers to a future state, not currently in existence that could be recognized by the United States only if the criteria described in this Vision are satisfactorily met.” Palestine is defined in future terms, not what Palestine is at present. There is no need to read the text of the deal after that.
The protests of the Palestinians right after the announcement of the deal show that Palestinians reject it that offers them nothing but further deceits and subjugation. While the Muslim world rejects the document, some of its leaders have approved it. They need to understand that supporting such a deal that deprives the Palestinians of their lands, and right to return will make them Israel’s partners in the oppression of Palestinians.