By Belen Fernandez
On 28 January, amidst great fanfare, US President Donald Trump unveiled new details of the so-called “deal of the century”- designed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by, you know, definitively screwing over the Palestinians.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz notes that, according to the Trumpian plan, the Palestinians “would have no territorial contiguity, would be fully economically dependent on Israel, and most importantly, would be giving up the Palestinian national vision to establish a sovereign state”.
Illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank would be annexed to Israel, and Jerusalem would be recognised as the undivided Israeli capital.
The reading list
The day after the unveiling, Trump’s senior White House adviser and simultaneous son-in-law Jared Kushner – the primary architect of the plan – appeared on Sky News Arabia to enumerate some of his qualifications as Middle East peacemaker: “I’ve been studying this now for three years. I’ve read 25 books on it.” To be sure, three years is an impressively short time to go from having zero experience in politics or foreign policy to resolving one of the defining conflicts of the modern era.
A Washington Post columnist aptly quipped: “I have just read 25 books and am here to perform your open-heart surgery.”
Since Kushner has not deigned to reveal the titles of any of his chosen texts, I attempted to contact him for the full reading list, stressing that I felt it would be “an immensely helpful resource for other folks out there who might be considering spontaneous reinvention as Middle East experts”.
As of this article’s publication, however, I had yet to hear back.
But it doesn’t take a Middle East expert to guess the nature and orientation of Kushner’s top 25. After all, only by reading 25 books of undiluted Zionist propaganda could anyone concoct the “deal of the century”.
Undoubtedly absent from the list are works like, for example, Israeli scholar Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, which documents the founding of the state of Israel on policies of ethnic cleansing and slaughter. The new deal would absolve Israel of that history – not to mention more recent histories like regular massacres of Palestinian civilians.
He read 25 books: do you think any of them was by a Palestinian or pro-Palestinian author? https://t.co/0JKSEwlJxt
— asad abukhalil أسعد أبو خليل (@asadabukhalil) January 30, 2020
One of the “conceptual maps” provided as part of the Kushner-Trump “vision for peace” comes equipped with the specification that “All Muslims who come in peace will be welcome to visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.
No equivalent condescending admonition is directed at the Israelis, despite Israel’s monopoly on violence in the area – including, as it so happens, a certain 1990 mass killing of Palestinians at none other than Al-Aqsa Mosque.
If you ask Trump, of course, the proper pronunciation is “Al-Aqua” Mosque, and “Palestinians are in poverty and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism”.
A visit to Gaza
The bookworm Kushner, for his part, is similarly patronising, denouncing the Palestinians as “quite foolish” for rejecting his amazing deal and suggesting that they “probably need a little bit of time to take a cold shower and to kind of digest the plan”.
Perhaps he could arrange a visit to the Gaza Strip to see just how much showering is possible when Israel has effectively crippled the water and sanitation system. At the very least, he could add Edward Said’s Orientalism to his reading itinerary to brush up on why it’s not cool to go lecturing Arabs on how to behave – especially if you’re the white dude presently orchestrating their permanent dispossession.
Meanwhile, Kushner’s intensive book study schedule has apparently prevented him from reading much shorter things, like a statement from Jordan- traditional US buddy and longtime sellout to Israel- opposing the “peace” deal.
Jared Kushner read a whole *25 books* which entitled him to prepare the Deal of the Century. Among them were the collected works of Meir Kahane, Zeev Jabotinsky, and Ben Zion Netanyahu! 😩
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) January 30, 2020
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour – which entailed a brief hissy fit when he perceived that Amanpour was antagonising him – Kushner claimed he had “not had a chance to see” the statement from Jordan, but that anyway, all was dandy. He furthermore swore that this was a “big opportunity” for the Palestinians, who “have a perfect track record of blowing every opportunity they’ve had in their past”.
Granted, the Trump administration has never been too keen on that thing called reality. But while the truth may not exist in Kushner’s mind or in his elusive 25 books, there’s no denying that Israel has been the party to sabotage peace at every turn – all the while blaming the Palestinians for their own continued victimisation
One manoeuvre specifically designed to be rejected by the Palestinians and thereby promote the narrative of a Palestinian refusal to cooperate was Israel’s offer at Camp David in 2000 to part with some 16 percent of historic Palestine – all chopped up into noncontiguous enclaves under de facto Israeli control.
As even former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami subsequently remarked, “if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well”.
Now, as bibliophile Kushner & Co charge forward with the latest plan for territorial mutilation, you might say it’s the oldest trick in the book.
Source: Middle East Eye