The purported details, credibly sourced by the NY Times, amount to a breath-taking abandonment of long-held Palestinian rights. According to the reported Saudi plan, the Palestinian future state would not be a contiguous one; it would comprise isolated scattered areas in the West Bank and in Gaza. Furthermore, Israeli illegal settlements in occupied Palestine would not be reversed, as they should be under international law; and millions of Palestinian refugees who have resided in neighboring Jordan and Lebanon would be made to forfeit the right of return to their historic homeland.
The ultimate shocker in the Saudi proposal was that the Palestinians would no longer be able to claim East Jerusalem -- the Old City possessing religious sanctities such as the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock -- as their future capital. Instead, the Palestinians would be given a nondescript suburb called Abu Dis as the capital of a final state. Abu Dis is located outside the city of Jerusalem, eastwards beyond the peripheral giant security wall that the Israelis have built.
Abbas was reportedly aghast by what the Saudi Crown Prince told him. The radical proposal even repudiates a plan put forward by the late Saudi King Abdullah in 2002, which, then at least, paid lip service to the idea of East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. The Al Asqa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina for which the Saudi royals claim to be the "custodians."
On the face of it, the newly proposed Saudi peace deal is an astounding betrayal of Palestinian rights. Not just Palestinians, but all Arabs and Muslims across the world for whom East Jerusalem has unique spiritual significance.
There again, more astute observers are hardly surprised, given that the House of Saud has, historically, afforded very little interest in defending the Palestinian cause. When, for example, did the Saudi rulers ever threaten to use an oil embargo as leverage to settle the dispute fairly?
Yaakov Nagel, a former aide to Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recently commented that the Saudi rulers "don't give a damn" about a settlement for the Palestinians. What the Saudis care about is normalizing relations with the Israelis in order to form an anti-Iran axis, along with the US.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has already shown himself to be an intense antagonist towards Shia Iran. The reckless Saudi warmongering in Yemen, the blockade against Qatar, and the interference in Lebanon's internal affairs have all been orchestrated by the ambitious prince as part of a regional showdown with Iran.
As the New York Times reported above, the proposals made by the young Saudi Crown Prince to the Palestinian leader are so insulting to the Palestinian cause that they betray someone who is rather clueless and callous. What seems to be behind the Saudi move is a bid to solicit favor with the Trump administration, driven by an obsession to form an anti-Iran axis.
Of course, when Trump made his announcement last week recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Saudi rulers issued a pro forma public rebuke. Nonetheless, the Saudi reaction, and that of the Arab League which it controls, were all noticeably restrained. There were also reports that the Saudi regime ordered Arab media outlets under its control to play down the anger, and to instead keep the focus on alleged transgressions by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
So then, in summing up, what we have is this: the two wunderkinds, Kushner and Crown Prince MbS, come up with a late-night brainstorming session some time at the end of October. It's all for setting the world to rights, as they see it in their puny, self-serving limited way.
Kushner wants the achievement of pulling off the "deal of the century" and to go down as the "greatest diplomat in modern history." And he wants it all in favor of his beloved Jewish Israel, of course.
His underachieving Saudi buddy wants a war with Iran because his Wahhabi medieval mindset views Shia Islam as "heretical." And he has already a big deficit of PR co*k-ups to rectify. For this, MbS needs Trump and Israel to get on board in order to pursue his glorious messianic endeavor. He gets their favor by selling out the Palestinians. And Zionist Kushner would have absolutely no problems with that little swindle.
Weeks later, President Donald Trump -- who reportedly watches eight hours of Fox News and drinks 12 cans of diet coke a day -- has been briefed on the "deal of the century." The first step is to hand Jerusalem to the Israelis, lock, stock and barrel.
Meanwhile, as a result, the Middle East region is roused to the brink of war and sectarian conflict -- all at the behest of two wunderkinds and a president who seems to think that pursuing peace and justice is the same as flogging a piece of real estate.