WHILE the Arab-Israeli peace process is practically dead, thanks mainly to Tel Aviv’s brutality and American support of the Israeli occupation, a new ‘peace plan’ piloted by Donald Trump is said to be in the works.

As reported, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East point man Jared Kushner recently toured the region to drum up Arab support for the so-called ‘deal of the century’. While no official version of the plan has emerged yet, credible sources have leaked details and the news for the Palestinians is not good: if the plan is implemented, it will effectively normalise the occupation and condemn the Palestinians to live as second-class citizens in their own land under Israeli overlordship.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly refused to consider the plan while veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told the media that the plan will “eventually ... normalise the Israeli apartheid in Palestine”. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, key Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, are said to be backing the plan.

According to the leaked details, the Palestinians will be told to forget Jerusalem and make do with Abu Dis — a suburb of the holy city — as their capital, while the Arabs will also be denied the right to return to lands snatched from them by the Israeli occupiers over the decades.

It is difficult to see the Palestinians accept such a humiliating offer. Moreover, Israel will maintain security control over the Arabs while illegal Israeli settlements will be legitimised. After seven decades of strife, peace is sorely needed in Palestine. However, it must be a just and honourable peace, recognising the Palestinians’ national and human rights, preferably in the shape of a viable two-state solution.

Yet, with a right-wing government in Tel Aviv bent upon smothering Palestinian desires, and its powerful backer in the White House supporting Israel’s every move, such a peace is a distant dream. What is even worse is that the Palestinians’ ‘Arab brothers’ appear to have abandoned them in their hour of trial.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2018



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