A Dead Deal

The Palestinians are correct. The “Deal of the Century” for them, although they have not read it, is dead. And much of the deal will be uncomfortable for Israel to accept.

There will be no return of refugees from the 1948 war. Jerusalem will remain a major problem. Will Trump urge Israel to give East Jerusalem, the Arab population, to the Palestinians? Netanyahu will give them none of it.

An independent Palestinian entity could have been created immediately following the 1948 war when much of Palestine was in the hands and possessions of the  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. But the Arabs of Palestine did not revolt against Jordanian rule. In that way, they surrendered their sovereignty. And they surrendered once again in 1967 when the Jordanian occupation came to an end.

For sure, Trumps “magical” Deal will involve the return of some West Bank territory to its earlier Arab inhabitants. The Arabs will want all of it. The Israelis will give them none of it.

So the Deal of the Century is dead before its birth. It died in Washington’s womb. A stillborn deal.

Some wise commentator remarked that President Mahmud Abbas was cursing the three J’s. “If Jesus had not been born in Palestine I would not have to be hindered in my demands by Jason and Jared”.

He went on to describe Jared Kushner as a very bright man but a man “who has no guts”. He claimed that for all of Kushner’s wisdom, he has no understanding of Middle East history nor the origins of conflict between Arabs and Jews. I find that quite impossible to accept.

In 1917 the British Balfour Declaration hailed the yet-to-be Jewish homeland in Palestine. But in 1921, the deceiving British government severed Palestine into two parts, giving 77% to King Abdullah I, the founder of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and the remaining 23% was given to the Jews.

The historical places and holy sites of the Jews from ancient times were now in Arab Palestinian-Jordanian hands and remained there until the State of Israel redeemed them in 1967.

The solution to the conflict, as I envision it, would be to return the 77% of severed Palestine to its rightful inhabitants. There could be a union of Palestine and Jordan as one united state… the Kingdom of Jordanian Palestine.  But the Palestinians might object, preferring the Republic of Palestinian-Jordan. Palestine must always come first.   Jordan is a British invention.

Realistically speaking, of course, neither the Palestinians nor the Jordanians could or would accept such a proposal.  And thereby, the 100 year old conflict will continue as is for 100 more years.

Trump’s proposed deal of funding the Palestinians with multi-millions of American dollars is a bribe or an incentive (depends upon how you look at it) to accept his forthcoming post-Ramadan big deal.

As for me, viewing the deal as already dead, I might travel to Ramallah, the present capital of the Palestinian Authority, in order to help President Abbas recite a liturgical prayer in Hebrew.

It begins with “Yitgadal v’yitkadash Shmai raba…..”

But he will not sit shiva nor mourn for 30 days in memory of a dead deal.

Trump should understand that, a priori, without wasting precious time when he could be out on the golf course in sunny Florida.

The Trump Deal of the Century is dead. Maybe he will live to witness the resurrection!

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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