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"Deal of the Century" is Not New and the PA Leadership is Not a Victim

By       Message Ramzy Baroud       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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From Palestine Chronicle

From flickr.com: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President Donald Trump {MID-301602}
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President Donald Trump
(Image by The White House)
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Donald Trump's "deal of the century" will fail. Palestinians will not exchange their 70-year long struggle for freedom for Jared Kushner's cash; nor will Israel accept even if there is a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank.

The order of that anticipated failure is likely to go something like this: the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah is likely to reject the deal once the full details of the US administration's plan are revealed; Israel is likely to withhold its decision till Palestinians rejection is exploited thoroughly by pro-Israel US media.

The reality is that considering the massive surge of the Right and ultra-nationalist forces in Israel, an independent Palestinian state even on one percent of historic Palestine will not be acceptable by Israel's current political standards.

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There is more to consider: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's troubled career as a long-serving leader is being dogged by accusations of corruption and several police investigations. His position is too weak to even guarantee his own survival until the next general elections, let alone champion a "deal of the century."

However, the embattled Israeli leader is expected to play along to win more favor with his American allies, distract the Israeli public from his own corruption, and hold Palestinians accountable for the political fiasco that this is sure to unleash.

It is Bill Clinton's Camp David II and George W. Bush's "Road Map for Peace" all over again. Both initiatives, as unfair as they were to Palestinians, were never accepted by Israel in the first place, yet in many history books, it is written that the ungrateful Palestinian leadership had torpedoed US-Israeli peace efforts. Netanyahu is keen on maintaining this misconception.

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The Israel leader, who has received the ultimate American gift of the relocation of US embassy to Jerusalem, knows how important this "deal" is to the Trump Administration.

Before assuming his role as President, Trump spoke early on of his "ultimate deal" in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on November 1, 2016. He offered no details, aside from the claim that he is able "to do ... the deal that cannot be made ... for humanity's sake."

Since then, we have relied on occasional leaks, starting in November 2017, up to recently. We learned that a demilitarized Palestinian state would be established on a small part of the West Bank, without Occupied East Jerusalem as its capital; that Israel will keep all of Jerusalem and will annex illegal Jewish settlements and even keep control of the Jordan Valley, and so on.

Palestinians will still have a"'Jerusalem," albeit an invented one, where the neighborhood of Abu Dis will simply be called Jerusalem.

Despite the hype, nothing is truly new here. The "deal of the century" promises to be a rehash of previous American proposals that catered to Israel's needs and interests.

Remarks by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper "Al-Quds," corroborate this view. He claimed that the Palestinian people are "less invested in the politician's talking points than they are in seeking how a deal will give them and their future generations new opportunities, more and better-paying jobs."

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Where did we hear this before? Oh, yes, Netanyahu's so-called "economic peace" which he has been peddling for over a decade. Certainly, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has proven that its political will is a commodity to be bought and sold, but to expect the Palestinian people to follow suit is an illusion without historical precedent.

Indeed, the PA has grown to be an obstacle to Palestinian freedom. A recent survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey indicated that the majority of Palestinians put the blame mostly on Israel and the PA for the Gaza siege and that they mostly believe that the PA has "become a burden on the Palestinian people."

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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

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