As expected, the Trump ‘peace plan’ turned out to be a carte blanche for the Israeli regime to do as it pleases with the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967. And as expected, the Palestinians have rejected the proposals. The plan appears to have been designed to ensure a Palestinian rejection. To be sure, the regime in Tel Aviv will end up using Trump’s ‘green light’ to annex further stretches of West Bank, and make them part of “Israel proper”.
The Trump plan grants Israel something it has coveted the most: Total control over Jerusalem, and making the city its “undivided” capital, rather than sharing it with the Palestinians as part of a two-state solution.
In theory, Trump’s plan offers the Palestinians a state, and a partial four-year freeze on building colonies. It also offers a capital in “Jerusalem”. But that is in the eastern areas such as the adjacent Palestinian village of Abu Dis, with Israel exercising full sovereignty over the city.
True to form, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time in jumping at the opportunity provided by Washington. He has said the process of applying Israeli “sovereignty” over the strategic Jordan Valley and to all Jewish colonies in the West Bank will start next week.
It appears that the goal of the whole enterprise is to change the terms of any long-term settlement of the issue completely and utterly in favour of Israel, with scant regard for the Palestinian demands.
The map shared by the White House winds through the Holy Land, rendering the pre-1967 borders meaningless. For decades, it has been almost universally agreed that this boundary will form the basis of a potential deal. For years, Israel has used its military might to create the so-called facts on the ground, swallowing chunks of occupied Palestinian territory to build its wall around the West Bank. The map tweeted by Trump gives credence to the theory that Israel is being rewarded for creating these facts on the ground.
The biggest flaw in the plan is that is does not unequivocally promise statehood. Everything that it promises the Palestinians is on the condition that some other conditions are met. Chances are extremely high that these other conditions will never be met.
At the basic level, it appears that the goal of the whole enterprise is to change the terms of any long-term settlement of the issue completely and utterly in favour of Israel, with scant regard for the Palestinian demands. Any plan that does not satisfy the Palestinians is bound to fail. So Trump’s “deal of the century”, expectedly turned out to be anything but that.