Lessons for Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” Team

“Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat told Arab foreign ministers on Sunday that he would not accept a peace deal with Israel that did not give the Palestinians control of Jerusalem.” [AP September, 3, 2000 Cairo]

“I will never accept this solution. I will not have it recorded in my history that I have sold Jerusalem” [Mahmoud Abbas, Feb. 1, 2020]

“The key to peace today, as it has been for thousands of years, is Jerusalem. We never recognize and accept this plan as that usurps Jerusalem entirely.” [Recep Tayyin Erdogan, AP Feb, 01,2020]

“Both sides believe it is important to reach a steady peace between the Israelis and Palestinians; and stress that they will continue to back Palestinians in getting their legal rights and establishing a state based on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.” [Nahun Barnea, YNet, July 31, 2019]

The Arab League was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 initially with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.[3] Yemen joined as a member on 5 May 1945. Currently, the League has 22 members, but Syria’s participation has been suspended since November 2011.[4] . On May 28, 1964 it created the PLO and in February, 1969 Yasser Arafat was elected its leader The organization’s initial goals were to unite various Arab groups and to create a liberated Palestine in Israel.

The Arab League has completely rejected US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan during an emergency meeting in Egypt’s capital, saying it would not lead to a just peace deal.

Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco all issued statements following the release of the plan calling it a welcoming step. “But on Saturday all backed the Arab League rejection.”

Egypt urged in a statement Israelis and Palestinians to “carefully study” the plan. It said it favors a solution that restores all the “legitimate rights” of the Palestinian people through establishing an “independent and sovereign state on the occupied Palestinian territories”.

Jordan warned against any Israeli “annexation of Palestinian lands” and reaffirmed its commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, which would include all the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. Qatar said it welcomed efforts to broker “long-standing and just peace” but warned that was unattainable without concessions to the Palestinians.

Back on December 11, 2017 in Haaretz under the rubric of “Jerusalem for Dummies”, we are offered the opinions of 2 Palestinian leaders. Former PA Minister Ziad AbuZayyad, “—-without Jerusalem as its capital, there won’t be a Palestinian state and there won’t be a two-state solution.”

PLO Secretary-General Saed Erekat says, “The fate of Jerusalem will not be determined by the speech of the President of the United States, but by the Palestinian Arab people in Jerusalem and everywhere in the land of Palestine—–there will be no Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital.” AbuZayyad added that the only alternative is “——-a single state made up of Jews and Arabs together.”

In this, he has the added voice of Abbas rival and former Palestine Services head Mohammed Dahlan stating that, “Instead of nurturing illusions that will never be fulfilled, we should start internalizing the notion of one state for two nations, Palestine and Israel, and demand full rights for the Palestinians.” [Ynet News 12-12-2018]
During the Camp David 11 meetings, Arafat was quoted as saying:
“The Palestinian leader who will give up Jerusalem has not yet been born. I will not betray my people or the trust they have placed in me. Don’t look to me to legitimize the occupation. No one can continue indefinitely to impose domination by military force – look at South Africa. Our people will not accept less than their rights as stated by international resolutions and international legality.”

The Trump plan proposes a State of Palestine with a capital on the outskirts of East Jerusalem. It offers the Palestinians a state, a future state of Palestine which will not be established up to 4 years into the execution of the plan. Now, if we compare this, which is less than that offered by Barak and Olmert, and were rejected, why would Trump’s team expect it to be accepted?

The ever wise Jewish leader, Zev Jabotinsky, unlike Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblat, David Friedman and son many others, understood the given problem, defining it as follows:
“An end must be put to the widely accepted, but definitely mistaken view. Many believe that in the eyes of the Arabs, Transjordan is more hallowed than western Palestine —That is a lie. The holy places of Islam are found only in western Palestine, in Jerusalem and Hebron. In the Islamic tradition, Transjordan has no recognized position. In the history of the Arabs as a people, Amman or as-Salt, cannot be likens to Jaffa or Acre—If an Arab nationalist would have to chose one of the two sides of the Jordan, on the assumption that one of them had to come into Jewish hands, there is no doubt he would give up Transjordan.”[P81, Zionism and the Arabs, essays edited by Shmuel Almog,1983]

During Kushner’s tenor as his father-in-law’s senior advisor, it has become clear that he was totally inadequate for the given role, as regards the Arab-Israel conflict.

Melanie Phillips, the well known British journalist engaged Trump’s wonder kid Jared Kushner on his acknowledged avoidance of history. Phillip’s key observation speaks volumes. “If you really don’t think history is important then you aren’t even going to get off the staring block. For heaven’s sake, this is all about history. The Jewish people’s unique claim to the land is rooted in the history of this land.”

With the “Deal of the Century ” now available, Ms. Phillip’s judgment has been fully confirmed. Was the Gaza experience not sufficient to demonstrate the misjudgment in creating yet another Arabic state as a neighbor. All the time and money expended by those assigned by Trump to create a peace plan would have been considerably of more value in an education program making use of history to have the party responsible for the ongoing problem assume responsibility for resolving it, viz. The Arab League. They created the PLO , now known as the PA.

One must assume from Kushner’s proclamation on history, he lack’s awareness of the origin of the so-called “Palestinians”. Consider the statement of a member of the Supreme Council of the PLO, Zuheir Mohsein, which appeared in the Dutch newspaper Trouw on March 31, 1977:

“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism, Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity.”

Then there is the issue of indigenous people. Prior to the 1967 Six Day War, the “Palestinian” nation had not been invented. While Jordan had assumed control of the West Bank and Egypt had become the ruler of Egypt, there obviously were no “Palestinians” seeking independence in an ancestral homeland. History shows that the vast majority of “Palestinians” are descendants of the Arab economic migrants who arrived in Palestine during late 19’s and 20’s.

When large Jewish immigration began, Muslim Arab numbers increased dramatically, as Jewish settlements developed infrastructure, providing work opportunities for Arabs from neighboring countries. There was never any country named Palestine, nor a “Palestinian” people. On maps one can find Palestine listed as a region, but not as a country. Jerusalem was never the capital of any state, but Israel.

According to the famed Professor Bernard Lewis; “From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries——” [Commentary Magazine, January 1975].
Jewish claims to its heritage in the Land of Israel are supported by abundant archeological artifacts and historical records. This is not so in the case of records to support the “Palestinian” narrative. Not in history, nor in arts and literature is there any trace of any Muslim people referred to by anybody as “Palestinians.”

Since the end of WW1, the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa have been given independent states in 99.5% of the land they claimed. Lord Balfour once expressed his hope that when the Arabs had been given so much, they would “not begrudge” the Jews the “little notch” promised to them.
It’s one of the greatest fallacies of our time; “Israel stole Palestinian land.” It’s not Palestinian land, never was and never will be. Nearly all international conflicts are labeled “contested” or “disputed territory”, but only he territories occupied by Israel are branded “occupied Territory.” Since the end of WW11, no border dispute in the world has been defined “occupied territories” except Israel.”

The campaign against Jewish settlements in the disputed, rather than occupied, area of Judea and Samaria, is based on gross misrepresentations, fueling infidelity to law, which undermines the pursuit of peace.

Only a massive and ongoing reeducation of the Arab people to these truths will enable meaningful negotiations to arise, a resettlement of those displaced including those in refugee camps within the established nations of the Arab League. And this is how Trump’s triumvirate should have dissipated their time. Only thus, can a lasting peace be assured.

On July 26, 2004, a brilliant woman, by the name of Rachel Neuwirth, penned “A Win-Win Solution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict”. Interestingly, this date precedes the Oslo Accords and Sharon’s disastrous Gaza Disengagement on September, 2005. Neuwirth sets the parameters for a true basis for a lasting peace. She introduces her essay with 4 Demonsratrably False Arguments:

1. Israel should trade” land for peace to” create yet another Arab country.
2. The “Palestinians” are a separate people who deserve their own country.
3. We can have a viable “Palestinian” state in the so-called West Bank and Gaza next to a viable Israel.
4.Arab possession of their 22 countries and 5 million square is legitimate as and not to be challenged.

It is doubtful whether Kushner, who admitted to disregarding history, nor his colleagues ever set their eyes on Rachel Neuwirth’s masterpiece. As Part 2 of their effort will undoubtedly fail, it is not too late for them to do so. Her’s truly conforms to a “Deal of the Century”.

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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