Steal of the Century
President Trump’s Deal of the Century to solve the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict is no different from the many previous deals and declarations that
have tried to determine the fate of the Palestinian people.
One of the first things the newly elected President Trump vowed to do was to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2017, he said, “I think we are going to make a Deal. It might be a bigger and better Deal than the people in this room even understand.” One is not sure about the people in the room that day, but the rest of the world is certainly flabbergasted because the ‘Deal of the Century’ has been announced by President Trump and it is a Deal in which one party did not even have a seat at the table. Trump said at the time, “Both sides will have to make compromises” but, it is clear, only the Palestinians have been forced to make compromises.
The Deal allows the Israelis to maintain sovereignty over the west of the Jordan River. Israel cedes control of the security of the eastern border with Jordan. There are Israeli settlements scattered around Palestinian territories. Needless to say, the Palestinian state would be a patchwork controlled and injected with Israeli roads and territories, more akin to the bantustans of the apartheid-era South Africa.
While previous American presidents tacitly approved Israeli aggression, President Trump has shifted that de facto policy towards an official American policy. Before laying out the “Deal of the Century,” Trump has officially recognized Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and moved the US embassy there.
America is no longer viewed as an arbitrator in this conflict. One of the major negative consequences could be that those who still look up to America to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, would become disillusioned. They could be driven into the arms of those who favour guns over talks. The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) in Egypt abandoned violence and embraced the ballot but when Morsi, an Ikhwan member, won the election, he was ousted in a coup and later murdered. The Ikhwan will never return to peaceful means. The Palestinians are no exception.