Palestinians reject Trump’s bribe

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s advisor and son-in-law offered $50 billion in future investments as a bribe to obtain Palestinian surrender. That was his mysterious and hyper-publicized “Deal of the Century.”


For decades, U.S. diplomacy has failed completely to resolve this bitter dispute. It was therefore naïve to hope that the Trump administration could succeed. Most likely, its errors and biases would only worsen this historic conflict. So it has been that Jared Kushner, son-in-law and chief adviser to President Donald Trump on Middle East affairs, attempted last week to sell his “Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement” project.


The core of the proposal turned out to be an alleged foreign investment plan for that amount in exchange for Palestine’s acceptance of permanent occupation of its ancestral lands. Kushner renamed such an offer as the “opportunity of the century.”


In his bid formulation speech at a conference in Bahrain, Kushner claimed that political peace depends on a viable economic plan and prosperity depends on a political solution to decades of injustice against the Palestinians.


Prominent Irish international affairs expert Finian Cunningham (b. 1963) has revealed in an essay published by the Strategic Culture Foundation that, like his father-in-law in the White House, Kushner comes from a real estate environment before Trump named him his chief assistant on the Palestinian-Israeli question. For the past two years, Kushner has been working on a “master plan” to end the eight-decade conflict. Trump has described his son-in-law’s peace plan as the “deal of the century.”


In Bahrain, the Trump administration took the first step in advancing its peace plans. The childlike Kushner presented his vision of business and investment as the supposed key to peace. He invited the audience to “imagine” the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza full of business and commerce. If the Palestinians accepted Kushner’s vision, that corporate “promised land” would become real.


What this boils down to is for Palestinians to accept the current status quo of Israel’s illegal occupation and renounce their historic claims to state sovereignty. In addition, the $50 billion in investments Kushner had in mind are not existing funds but only promises of potential investment, which may never materialize.


Nowhere in the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” is there any attempt to redress historical violations of Palestinian national rights. There is no mention of the right of return of millions of Palestinians displaced by the 1948 war established by the state of Israel. Nor does it mention the right to return land annexed during the 1967 war. The illegal occupation is simply a fact on the ground that must be officially recognized as Israeli territory, according to the Trump administration.


During a recent interview in the United States, Kushner stated that “the Palestinians were not yet ready for self-government. The alleged mediator predicts that there will be no Palestinian State, Palestinians must accept their status as an occupied people while allowing the State of Israel to continue annexing more and more Palestinian ancestral lands.


Kushner is believed to have personal investments in the construction of new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. It is not surprising, therefore, that his so-called “deal of the century” is a shallow business plan, devoid of deep historical and political considerations, while Palestinians are expected to give up their historic rights to the land.


July 5, 2019


Manuel E. Yepe Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
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