The Dangerous Anti-Muslim American ‘Deal of the Century’
In a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US President Donald Trump exposed the new Middle East peace plan at the White House on January 27, this year. The plan would give Israel most of what it has sought over decades of conflict, while offering the Palestinians the possibility of a state with limited sovereignty and would bury the longtime goal of granting the Palestinians a full-fledged state. Supporting Israeli illegitimate interests, President Trump also cajoled Pedestrians to fulfill formality.
In this regard, President Trump said, “My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security,” In fact, he demonstrated the one-sided state of affairs: He was flanked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who played no substantive role in shaping the plan was not consulted or invited by Mr. Trump to join talks.
Ignoring Israeli unabated state terrorism on the Palestinians under the cover of security, while speaking in a sterner tone, Mr. Trump issued the Palestinians a warning to accept the deal by elaborating renunciation of violence against Tel Aviv and the disbandment of militant groups like Hamas, which is based in Gaza. At the same time, Mr. Trump’s plan would guarantee that Israel would control a unified Jerusalem as its capital and not require it to uproot any of the settlements in the West Bank that have provoked Palestinian outrage and alienated much of the world. Trump promised to provide $50 billion in international investment to build the new Palestinian entity and open an embassy in its new state.
President Trump stated that it was the first time that Israel had authorized the release of such a conceptual map, illustrating territorial compromises it would make. He said it would “more than double Palestinian territory” while ensuring that “no Palestinians or Israelis will be uprooted from their homes.”
Israel agreed to limit its settlement construction in a four-year “land freeze,” during which Palestinian leaders can reconsider whether to engage in talks.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “Mr. President Donald, your “Deal of the Century” is the opportunity of the century…Israel will not miss this opportunity…Israel is blessed to have your friendship and your powerful leadership…the greatest power on earth, the United States of America”.
Mr. Netanyahu agreed that Mr. Trump had devised a “realistic path to a durable peace” that “strikes the right balance where others have failed.” But, his move to annex West Bank territory could make any practical dealings with the Palestinians even more difficult. Before returning to Tel Aviv, Mr. Netanyahu told reporters that he would ask his cabinet to vote on a unilateral annexation of the strategically important Jordan River Valley and all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a move that is sure to further inflame the Palestinians.
Mr. Trump, who loves to claim that he has outdone his predecessors, noted that several past presidents had “tried and bitterly failed” to achieve peace.
Analysts opined: “The plan does far more for Israel than it does for the Palestinians, whose proposed state would not have a standing military and would be required to meet other benchmarks overseen by the Israelis, including a renunciation of violence and the disbandment of militant groups like Hamas…the larger goal of Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu was to shift the starting point of any future negotiations sharply in Israel’s favor and to put the Palestinians in the defensive position of saying no.”
The proposal imagines new Israeli borders that cut deep into the West Bank and what Mr. Netanyahu has previously described as a Palestinian “state-minus” that lacks a military capable of threatening Israel. The White House called it “a demilitarized Palestinian state” with Tel Aviv retaining security responsibility west of the Jordan River.
Knowing the intentions of the pro-Israeli President Trump, Palestinians had already rejected the Middle East peace proposals. Terming it as the “slap of the century”, President Mahmoud Abbas immediately denounced the plan as a “conspiracy deal” unworthy of serious consideration, making the decades-long pursuit of a so-called two-state solution appears more distant than ever…We say a thousand times over: no, no, no”. President Mahmoud Abbas announced on February1, this year that he has decided to severe all relations with Israel and the US in protest against President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled plan for Mideast peace.
As regards the reaction of key Arab governments and other Islamic countries to the plan, they were divided, as noted in foreign ministries’ statements of these countries. Jordan affirmed his country’s support for an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and warned against “the dangerous consequences of unilateral Israeli measures, such as annexation of Palestinian lands.” According to Iran, “the shameful peace plan imposed by America on the Palestinians is the treason of the century and doomed to fail”. Turkey remarked: “The United States…so-called peace plan is stillborn…This is an annexation plan aimed at killing a two-state solution and extorting the Palestinian territory”. The Arab League has completely rejected US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan during an emergency meeting in Egypt’s capital saying: “The US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people”.
In a statement on January 29, 2020, Pakistan’s Foreign Office rejected the US peace plan, favouring a “two-state solution…a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian issue, through dialogue that leads to the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including the right of self-determination, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions…Trump stressed that Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided, very important, undivided capital…we support, the pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.”
But, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, called the plan “a serious initiative that addresses many issues raised over the years.” Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a muted statement, saying that it “appreciates the efforts of President Trump’s administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan.”
Besides, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that the United Nations remains committed to realizing the vision of two states “living side by side in peace and security.” A spokesperson reaffirmed the UN position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and called for a solution based on the pre-1967 borders.
While, major Western countries appreciated the US peace plan in ambiguous words. High Representative Josep Borrell said: “The EU will “study and assess the proposals”, adding that “this will be done on the basis of the established EU position. This position respects all relevant UN resolutions and takes into account the legitimate aspirations of both the Palestinians and the Israelis.” However, most European capitals have expressed support for the negotiated solution.
Meanwhile, shortly after the announcement of the US plan, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in Ramallah and Gaza Strip to denounce the plan, raising banners and burning photos of Trump and Netanyahu.
However, the so-called “Deal of the Century” concocted by the administration of US President Donald Trump is more likely to reignite a fire on the Palestinian streets than lead to a peace agreement between the two sides, having dire consequences in the Middle East.
Due to the US-Israeli proposed deal, Palestinians of the Palestinian Authority which controls the West Bank will join the Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip. Despite a growing number of Palestinians who are apathetic to the talking heads in Washington, Jerusalem or Ramallah, the fragile calm could be shattered in an instant creating more militants in the region.
It is mentionable that tensions between the US and Iran dramatically sharpened after the US drone strike at Baghdad’s airport on January 3, this year, which killed military commander, General. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, along with five members of the militia, including its leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On the other side, US President Trump threatened to “hit 52 Iranian sites very hard if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets” and warned that “the US would hit Iran harder than ever before if Tehran retaliates for the assassination of Soleimani.”
Iranian Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh, the commander of the Guards had raised the prospect of possible attacks on ships in the Gulf, by saying: “The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there…vital American targets in the region have been identified by Iran since long time ago…some 35 U.S. targets in the region as well as Tel Aviv are within our reach.”
In retaliation, Tehran launched ballistic missiles on January 8, 2020, targeting the US two Iraqi military bases” at Ain Assad and Irbil, while US new peace plan will further intensify the war-like situation between America and Iran.
As regards President Trump’s Israeli connections, after becoming the US President, he started acting upon the hidden agenda of Israel and the Zionist Jews. His decisions such as tough screening process for the Muslims and executive order regarding a ban on arrivals to the US from a number of mainly-Muslim countries might be cited as instance.
President Trump’s connections with Israel and the Zionist Jews further proved when Trump Administration announced the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. President Trump implemented his decision of December 6, 2018 by officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and reversed nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and set in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City. And, it was owing to the encouragement of the President Trump that the Israeli regime officially declared their status as “the Jewish State” where only Jewish people have rights to self-determination.
President Trump forgot that angry elements within the Muslim countries, particularly in the pro-Arab states may react against America and its interests in the form of terrorism and other violent actions.
At present, Trump is also facing impeachment and is contesting for 2020 elections in wake multiple internal problems, which American taxpayers are facing owing to President Trump’s foreign adventures—prolonged war in Afghanistan which have, rapidly, been increasing its cost of war. Unquestionably, the US president’s Middle East peace plan has created new risks for Washington, as the decision offered extremist groups a valuable opportunity to capitalise on anti-US sentiment and direct such anger towards those Arab countries which are close to America and non-confrontational towards Israel. While, the world is already witnessing various kinds of terrorism-related assaults, acceleration of terror-attacks by the militant groups like ISIS would further destabilize the Middle East in particular and the world in general by giving a greater setback to the political and economic interests of the US and its allies.
In these terms, besides Muslims, US new Middle East peace plan is also a conspiracy against Americans.
It is noteworthy that the Balfour Declaration was issued on November 2, 1917 by Britain to establish a national home for the Jewish people. In collaboration with America, It turned the Zionist aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine into a reality. So, if Balfour Declaration was the blunder of the 20th century, President Donald Trump’s, new Middle East peace plan is sinister deal of 21th century, planned in connivance with the Tel Aviv at the cost of the Muslims and Americans.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations