By Walid M. Sadi
Many commentaries have been made about the so-called “deal of the century”, better known as the infamous scheme to liquidate the Palestinian case for as long as one can see.
Various negative shades of opinion have already been expressed about the deal even before its “birth”, but they all agree that the plan is totally and unequivocally unacceptable to the Palestinians. Even though the description of the contents of the plan varied, they all share a common thread: Perhaps a mini Palestinian state without the normal attributes of statehood, annexation of most of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, especially the big ones, keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty, building a bridge joining Gaza with the West Bank, etc. etc.
None of the versions already circulated or disclosed by purpose or otherwise come near the peace plans offered by former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak in 2000 or Ehud Olmer in 2008. The Palestinian leadership rejected both offers of peace as incomplete even though they envisioned an Israeli withdrawal from more than 96 per cent of the West Bank and keeping East Jerusalem and its holy places under Palestinian control.
If such “generous” peace offers were rejected outright as incomplete, because they failed to live up to the aspiration of the Palestinian people, why would the sponsors of the deal offer something that is much less fulfilling of the Palestinian inalienable rights to have a sovereign state of their own on Palestinian soil in all the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The answer is easy and obvious. The sponsors of the deal know ahead of time that the Palestinians, along with the Arab world, would reject “the deal of the century” once it is made public. US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, yet, persist in presenting a plan that they know, or should know, is projected to be born dead. So why bother to put forward a road map for an incomplete peace that is projected to be dead on arrival is the question on the mind of many observers.
I believe that President Trump and Kushner have the following scenario in mind: Once the deal is rejected by the Palestinians and the Arab countries, Trump-Kushner team will unleash their wrath by declaring that since the Palestinians and their Arab partners have refused every offer of peace, including the latest one that they contend was meticulously prepared, a green light is issued to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to finish off what he has set out to do from day one, and it is nothing less than the annexation of the West Bank by Israel.
Such a scenario would set in motion a new dynamic for the Palestinian conflict, predicated on a long lasting armed conflict that may engulf the entire region in a cycle of violence, with no end in sight. Such scenario is not far fetched, and the days and years would prove it right.