Trump’s Deal Of The Century is the – cruel – Farce of The Century

Trump’s Deal Of The Century is the – cruel – Farce of The Century

By Richard Falk

January 28, 2020

Based on CORREIO BRAZILIENSE, Jan. 28, 2020, Interview by Rodrigo Craveiro on Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’

Question 1

Why are Palestinian leaders rejecting to talk with President Trump about this new peace plan?

Trump made so many important controversial and major concessions to Israel on issues that prior pro-Israeli US presidents refused to do. These unilateral giveaways included moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in defiance of UN agreement to resolve this issue by negotiations between the parties; assert that the establishment of settlements on Occupied Palestine was legal despite the near-universal agreement that all settlements are unlawful if established on Occupied Palestine; recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel acquired by force in the 1967 War and by unanimous  Security Council Resolution 242 was ordered to withdraw from.

In effect, it became obvious to even the weakest Palestinian leadership that such a one-sided approach to resolving the conflict was totally unacceptable to the Palestinian people, and had no credible claim to be seeking a genuine compromise.

What was known through leaks prior to the release of Trump’s plan confirms this impression, and explains why even the Palestinian Authority is reluctant to give any credibility whatsoever to this diplomatic charade being orchestrated by the White House.

Question 2

Do you believe the peace plan has failed on delivery? Why?

For the reasons given, the peace plan is substantially an imposed Israeli victory, not in any reasonable way the basis for reaching a political compromise. In this regard, it is manifestly unacceptable to the Palestinian people even if economic incentives for political surrender are being offered.

If such a plan were to be imposed by force it would not bring peace, but harden the existing harsh, apartheid regime by which Israel controls Palestinian resistance activity and collectively punishes the Palestinian people as a whole. To call such a plan ‘a deal,’ much less ‘the deal of the century’ is outrageous. Better to be known as ‘the farce of the century.

Question 3

What is the main criticism by you of this new peace plan?

It is unfair to the Palestinian people and completely ignores their fundamental rights, and overlooks the historical reality of Palestine having been a predominantly Arab country for centuries.

As explained, what is offered is one-sided, and promises the Palestinian people a better life materially in exchange for abandoning their political agenda, and legal entitlements. Instead, it is asking the Palestinians to accept a position of permanent victimization on a larger, but similar scale to the realities faced by the people of Gaza since the Israeli ‘disengagement’ plan of 2005 was implemented.

That Sharon Plan for Gaza involved complete border control and total vulnerability to Israel’s frequent uses of force. The Trump proposed deal amount to the Gazaization of all of Occupied Palestine, and that is not an acceptable vision of Palestine’s future.

Negative “Peace” – By Jan Oberg

Question 4

Do you think this new peace plan was built to make concessions to Israeli instead of Palestinian people?

There seems to me to be no doubt that inducing the Palestinians to reject the Trump initiative should have been anticipated, but whether that was the idea from the outset, is hard to tell.

If the Israelis accept the Trump Plan as the basis for negotiations, the Palestinian refusal would be portrayed as rejecting an opportunity for peace, and an opting for war and terrorism. Along this line of reasoning, the whole diplomatic fuss is nothing more than a public relations scheme to help Israel gain respect in international public opinion.

The Trump plan seems designed to declare a victory disguised as a diplomatic accommodation, trading Palestinian political defeat for some promised promise of improved living standards. Having struggled for more than a century to keep their Palestinian homeland from being completely taken over by Israel, there is no reason that their defeat can be ratified by accepting such a humiliating outcome to their long struggle.

The Trump plan will fail and deserves this fate. It is unjust and wrongly neglects Palestinian rights under international law.

A final observation – in the post-colonial era a mobilized people will not give up their insistence on exercising their right of self-determination, which can be argued to create a legal foundation for Palestinian claims of statehood without any need for negotiations. If Israel is viewed, despite the historical complexity of its background and the Jewish claim of biblical entitlement, as a settler-colonial state, then a Palestinian right of secession exists at least with respect to that part of Palestine occupied since 1967.

If you believe this is important…

Addendum – January 28, 2020

Rodrigo Craviero Supplemental Interview Questions

Question 5

What kind of comments would you add?

The release of Trump’s plan seems to have generated far less interest and enthusiasm, except on Netanyahu’s side, and likely majority opinion in Israel, than I expected. It may be too soon to be confident that this first impression will turn out to be accurate.

What seems clear from the timing and mode of release is that the Trump/Kushner plan is intended to help Netanyahu prevail in the upcoming Israeli elections, and will also be useful to Trump with respect to Evangelical and hard-core Jewish support in the presidential election in November.

There is some reason to believe, whether knowingly or not, the plan and the pre-release one-sidedness was designed to ensure a Palestinian rejection, allowing Israel to embrace the plan and claim to seek peace, as well as go forward with unilateral moves such as annexing the Jordan Valley.

Question 6

How do you see also fact return of Palestinian refugees will be impossible, as Netanyahu told, and Jerusalem will continue indivisible?

The failure to address the issue of Palestinian refugees in a responsible manner is both a deficiency in the proposal and a tragic humanitarian evasion.

The Palestinian refugee population, estimated at over five million, have long languished in a variety of refugee camps, without rights or decent living conditions.

There can be no peace as long as this situation persists.

Richard Falk

Richard Falk (1930- ) is an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years. A world-renown expert on global affairs, the Middle East in particular and an activist for peace and justice. He was also the UN S-G’s Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Territories. And a TFF Associate since 1986.
Here his blog.

2 Responses to "Trump’s Deal Of The Century is the – cruel – Farce of The Century"

  1. JO   January 30, 2020 at 10:21 am

    A reader, wanting to be anonymous but whose identity is known to us, sent this:

    “I watched this ‘farce of the century’ yesterday evening on the BBC.
    The fool’s recipe: Take a phoney baroque hall, invite all the fools you know, hand out a few kippas, let the fools greet and kiss each other, the head fool thanks all the other fools for their consistent foolishness and then read a foolish message prepared by a subservient fool, accept graciously and intermittently from the attending fools their foolish applause.
    In the meantime, the outside viewers are close to nausea.
    Then ask the visiting fool to corroborate the head fool’s foolish pronouncements and end with a smirky smile sunbathing in the glow of the attending fools’ foolishness with a final message to the Palestinians who luckily were not involved in this foolish venture: “This historic foolishness is your last chance to solve your problems”.

    Reply
  2. F Jahanpour   January 29, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for this clear and principled description of the “Farce of the Century”. Even the money that is supposed to be given to the Palestinians to improve their economic plight does not come from the United States or Israel, but Persian Gulf oligarchs are required to provide $50 billion over five years.

    However, the main problem with this one-sided deal is its total rejection of international law and the overt violation of Security Council resolutions. Trump/Kushner see themselves as masters of the universe, above the confines of international law, allowed to violate Security Council resolutions, selling Palestinian rights and lands to a right-wing Israeli government, in the hope of pleasing Christian Zionists and Jewish extremists, and helping two indicted individuals to escape punishment.

    The silence of the so-called “democratic world” is deafening. It is interesting to note that, despite extreme pressure, only Omani, Bahraini and UAE ambassadors (together representing just over three million people) took part in the charade. Even Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, all dependent clients of the United States and with close ties to Israel, did not dare take part in that farcical ceremony. This so-called deal is doomed to fail. The Jews and Palestinians deserve better. Now that Israel’s occupation of most of the Palestinian lands has made a two-state solution a near impossibility, it is time to push for a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians, without the current apartheid laws.

    Reply

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