Trump's peace plan is flawed and ill-conceived


Trump’s peace plan for Middle East is a non-starter




US President Donald Trump has finally announced his long-awaited Middle East plan, which he has also referred to as the "deal of the century". Trump's plan, negotiated with Israel but Palestinians were kept out of this process, aims to revive the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But it seems that this plan will fail to break this stalemate. The main reason is that this plan is pro-Israel and ignores the main demands of Palestinian people.

This peace plan revolved around four major issues. One-Israel will keep the vast majority of Jerusalem as its sovereign capital. Second- Palestinians will be denied the right of return. Third- it redraws borders mainly between Israel and the West Bank. Fourth- A Palestine state without a military force to defend itself. 

First- Israel gets the entirety of an undivided Jerusalem as its capital. A future state of Palestine would get a few neighborhoods in far eastern Jerusalem. That’s a major decision. For the first 20 years of Israel’s existence till 1967, Jerusalem was divided. Israel controlled the parts of Jerusalem and its suburbs; while Jordan controlled everything outside of it.  

Israeli Jews weren’t allowed to pray in the area while Jordan controlled it. During the 1967 war, Israel took control of East Jerusalem. Israel calls Jerusalem its undivided capital today, but few countries recognize it as such. UN Security Council Resolution 478 condemns   Israel’s decision to annex East Jerusalem as a violation of international law and calls for a compromise solution.

Second-The plan explicitly states that there shall be no “right to return” for the millions of Palestinians forced out of their ancestral homes during the formation of the Israeli state. The 1948 war uprooted 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, creating a refugee crisis that is still not resolved. Palestinians call this mass eviction the Nakba — Arabic for “catastrophe” — and its legacy remains one of the most intractable issues in ongoing peace negotiations.

Today, there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees, defined as people displaced in 1948 and their descendants. A core Palestinian demand in peace negotiations is some kind of justice for these refugees, most commonly in the form of the “right of return” to the homes their families abandoned at the time.

Israel can’t accept the right of return without abandoning either its Jewish or democratic identity. Adding 7 million Arabs to Israel’s population would make Jews a minority; Israel’s total population is about 8 million, a number that includes the 1.5 million Arabs already there. So Israelis refuse to even consider including the right to return in any final status deal — and now, it seems, the Americans agree with that view.

Third- Israel will take Jordan River Valley and almost half of West bank. If this plan fully implemented then Israel will take control of 90% original Palestine and Palestine state will have only 10% land. The Jordan Valley runs along the east edge of the West Bank, the heavily Palestinian-populated area taken by Israel in the 1967 war, marking its boundary with neighboring Jordan. It contains both Palestinian population centers, like the city of Jericho, and a number of Israeli settlements. Which means the plan looks simply like a big land grab that would also ruin any hope of a future Palestinian state.

Fourth- “The State of Palestine will not have the right to forge military, intelligence or security agreements with any state or organization that adversely affect the State of Israel’s security, as determined by the State of Israel,” the document reads. “The State of Palestine will not be able to develop military or paramilitary capabilities inside or outside of the State of Palestine.”

In other words, a future Palestinian state would not be able to create armed forces to protect it or fight others. This might seem prudent for Israel’s security, but it would basically leave the state of Palestine at the mercy of Israel’s strong military, giving Israel a greater ability to bully its future neighbor.
In fact- Palestinians have been denied their main demands and wishes in this peace plan. Their interests have been ignored.  That is why- Palestinian leadership has rejected it. They refused to restart the peace negotiations with Israel.

This peace plan reflects the demands and interests of Israeli ruling class and state. Their demands and interests are fully incorporated in this plan. This plan accepts the Israeli occupation of Palestine lands. It legitimises the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem and recognises it as Israeli capital.  It is a masked plan to legitimise the Israeli occupation of Palestine- repression and apartheid rule imposed over Palestinian people.  

Finally, the plan calls for a future state of Palestine to basically never be able to secure itself.
“The State of Palestine will not have the right to forge military, intelligence or security agreements with any state or organization that adversely affect the State of Israel’s security, as determined by the State of Israel,” the document reads. “The State of Palestine will not be able to develop military or paramilitary capabilities inside or outside of the State of Palestine.”

In other words, a future Palestinian state would not be able to create armed forces to protect itself or fight others. This might seem prudent for Israel’s security, but it would basically leave the state of Palestine at the mercy of Israel’s strong military, giving Israel a greater ability to bully its future neighbor.
                                           Khalid Bhatti 

No comments

Powered by Blogger.