Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demolished President Trump’s “Peace Plan” or, as the Donald called it, “The Deal of the Century”, calling out “Jerusalem is not for sale”, warning that the “conspiracy deal will not pass. The Palestinian people will reject it.” He added, “[the Plan] belonged to the dust bin of history”. And he is absolutely right. That is an understatement. Indeed, the Palestinians were never even consulted. President Abbas denounced the Plan as a “new Balfour Declaration”. Turkish President Erdogan said, “This is the plan to ignore the Palestinians’ rights and legitimize Israel’s occupation,” as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
The proposed deal, a “two-state” solution, basically under Israeli jurisdiction and military and police security, would reflect the real situation on the ground, namely a Palestinian state dissected into several small enclaves connected by roads, and surrounded by Israeli territory and settlements. What’s left of the Palestinian West Bank would be connected to Gaza through a tunnel.
The big deal: Israel would stop expanding settlements for 4 years. However, the Plan is mute about what happens after the four years. Possibly an acceleration of new settlements that would quickly catch up with the missed 4-year construction. Everything is possible under this fraudster arrangement. Israel would also annex with immediate effect the fertile Jordan Valley, thus, cutting of Palestine from the Jordan River and its agricultural lands which is under the Oslo Agreement joint territory.
The “Plan” – Deal of the Century – or rather Fraud of the Century, was in the making for more than 2 years, since November 2017. It was concocted in Israel, by Netanyahu, his local Likud and Zionist allies, and by three US-American Orthodox Jews, who have no clue, let alone experience in diplomacy and international affairs – plus, they are totally devoid of any notion of ethics. They are Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel, and Jason Greenblatt, special Assistant to the President for “International Negotiations”. What a farce!
The proof for their utter ingenuousness – if that’s what you want to call it, rather than viciousness – is the “Peace Plan” itself, – or as Robert Fisk says, “the belief that the Palestinians would dream of accepting such a deranged, farcical set of political demands is without precedent in the western world.” This plan is rather an excuse for continuous Israeli-driven conflict and annexation of the last square meter of Palestinian Westbank territory.
The so-called “Vision of Peace” was presented at a White House Press Conference on Tuesday, 28 January. The two rogue characters, alleged criminals, Trump under impeachment, and Netanyahu charged with corruption, appeared smug, almost hand-in-hand, facing a crowd of MSM media and friends awaiting and applauding them. Palestinians were not invited to listen to their Peace Plan of the Century, that supposedly was drafted for their future well-being. They would have not come to the presentation anyway. I can just repeat – what a miserable farce, what sham, what denigrating action by what is called the President of the United States, towards another state and people. There re hardly any words to describe this atrocious exceptional nation and her President, who is a mere Zionist poodle.
The ‘miracle’ Plan has two parts, one with an economic and the other with a political focus. Palestinians knew about its substance, as Jared Kushner presented the economic plan, dubbed “Peace to Prosperity”, in Bahrain in June 2019. It talked about a US$ 50 billion investment budget over the next ten years, partly substituting USAID’s funding cuts from ongoing and future Gaza and Palestine development projects. So, hardly any new money.
Essentially, under the Plan, the Palestinians would recognize the Settlements, ant hope of rights to Jerusalem as a shared capital was killed. Trump referred to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital”. And, of course, the emperor decides, following the strong and unwavering guidance by his indicted Master, Israel’s PM, Netanyahu.
Also, in an act of utmost bigotry, Trump has already placed the US Embassy in Jerusalem, to make sure there is no misunderstanding. And similarly, on 25 March 2019, Trump declared unanimously, as if it was his role to do so, that the Golan Heights, were recognized to be part of Israel. To make it appear more valid, Trump signed a worthless piece of paper to this effect which he waved in front of the Washington Press corps. When in fact, the Golan Heights are an integral part of Syria, illegally occupied for the last 50-plus years by Israel.
Under the Deal, Moslems, wanting to visit their historic al-Aksa Mosque must get Israeli permission. UNWRA, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, would disappear. Other UN agreements and arrangement specially concluded in support of the discriminated Palestinian people, would also be canceled. All under the pretext that Palestine is now an autonomous state. Again, what a farce! – And the west, while perhaps smiling at the Zionist-US atrocity put in a “Peace Agreement” – does nothing, zilch, zero – just looking on like spineless poodles.
On Thursday, 30 January 2020, Palestine canceled the 1992 – 1995 Oslo Accords (several of them were signed in that period). Although not much of this Oslo Peace Agreement was ever adhered to by Israel, it was a landmark signature event by both parties, Palestine and Israel, shaking hands.
Key points of the Oslo Accord included the goals of Palestinian interim Self-Government (not the Palestinian Authority, but the Palestinian Legislative Council) and a permanent settlement of unresolved issues within five years, based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Although the agreements recognize the Palestinian “legitimate and political rights,” they remain silent about their fate after the interim period. The Oslo Accords neither define the nature of the post-Oslo Palestinian self-government and its powers and responsibilities, nor do they define the borders of the territory it eventually would govern.
A core issue of the Oslo Accords was the withdrawal of the Israeli military from Palestinian territories. The plan was a withdrawal in phases and a simultaneous transfer of responsibilities to the Palestinian authorities for maintaining security. Oslo II, Article X.2 reads:
“Further redeployments of Israeli military forces to specified military locations will commence after the inauguration of the Council and will be gradually implemented commensurate with the assumption of responsibility for public order and internal security by the Palestinian Police …”
Here is what the UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338 specifically say, “United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 were passed (respectively) in the aftermaths of the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. Resolution 242 (reaffirmed in 338) was designed to provide the framework for peace negotiations based on a “land-for-peace” formula and has become the foundation of all subsequent negotiations and peace treaties in the region.
The resolutions called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces “from territories of recent conflict,” an Arab “termination of all claims or states of belligerency,” and a recognition of the State of Israel and its “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” The resolution also called for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.”
While Palestine recognized Israel’s right of existence, none of the actions by Israel of returning land, has, of course, happened. The Israeli – US pretext is this:
Since the passage of the resolution, many have interpreted the text as mandating an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. However, the drafters of Resolution 242 have stated that they did not intend to call for a return to June 5, 1967 lines and purposefully used the words “withdrawal from territories” and not “withdrawal from the territories. Israel and the United States interpret the resolutions as calling for a withdrawal from areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip consistent with its security needs and in the context of a peace agreement, but not from all the territories.”
Two other key points, maybe the most important ones, were left for “later”. Unresolved under “Oslo” were a mutually agreeable solution of Jerusalem and the partition of the Palestinian Westbank’s significant water resources. About 80 % of all the precipitation that falls on Israel and the so-called Westbank, fall on the Palestinian Westbank. However, Israel controls these resources, both surface, and groundwater and releases only minimal fractions of what would belong to Palestine. This leaves Palestine way short of the necessary water to irrigate her agriculture and to gradually become food autonomous. Of course, dependence is Israel’s purpose, plus Israel wants the water which legally would belongs to Palestine, for herself, in this arid area. It is water stolen from Palestine.
In hindsight one could say, the Oslo Accords did more harm than good, inasmuch as they left many crucial issues unresolved and others up to dubious interpretations. It is high time that Palestine cancels them. By now, they were nothing else but an empty shell. And nothing of Oslo is renegotiable, as their meaning has long been overshadowed by Israel’s apartheid oppression. Israel will never let go, like their brother and mentor, whom strangely Zionist-Israel commands, the US of A. Once an objective is in their plan, they will pursue it against all odds with conflicts, wars and indiscriminate killing – exactly what the world is witnessing today and has been observing for the last at least 60 years.
At the request of Palestine, the Arab League will hold an extraordinary meeting at the ministerial level on February 1, 2020, to discuss the so-called peace plan, predictably rejecting it and instead looking at a way forward. To agree on a way forward is a real challenge with the (western) worldwide supported fake and lie-based pro-Israel propaganda.
Let Israel live – but request firmly and enforce by UN blue Helmets, if necessary, from Israel to let Palestinians also live; Israel to withdraw to the pre-67 borders and let Palestinian refugees return, as per the original agreement, and request firmly from Israel to respect Human Rights, and behave as Israel would want other people and nations to behave vis-à-vis Israel.
It is possible if the entire UN body or a vast majority, of it stands behind such a proposal. Equal rights and equal obligations, is the only way forward leading to a peaceful two-state solution, with two nations living side by side in harmony and peace. Let’s make this a worldwide objective, while burring deep and deeper the ridiculous and inhuman Trump-Netanyahu-Kushner Plan.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. After working for over 30 years with the World Bank around the world, including in Palestine, he penned Implosion, an economic thriller, based on his first-hand experience. Exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.