Deconstructing Israel Trump’s Deal of the Century: An Absolute Apartheid?

On January 28, 2020, President Trump announced his so-called ‘deal of the century’ for the resolution of the longstanding Palestine conflict. The official title of the deal is “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People.” The document of the deal is comprised of two parts. The first part is pertaining to political arrangements, security, demography and territorial elements, whereas, the other is economic in nature.

Its architects are Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law), Jason Greenblatt (chief legal officer to Trump’s business empire) and David Friedman (the US ambassador to Israel). The 181-page “ultimate deal” is full of oppressive statements. It ignores the Palestinian rights, breach of international law, rejection of two-state solution, and above all, it is nothing but a document of slavery. Yesha Council, the umbrella organisation of Jewish settlers’ local councils as well as Palestinian leadership rejected the plan.

The plan says that Palestinians can only make the outer part of East Jerusalem their capital which is on the eastern side of the Israeli wall. At the same time, the other parts of East Jerusalem that are located inside the Israeli wall, including the holy sites and most of the Palestinian Jerusalemites would be the part of Israel. The status of Jerusalem is the most sensitive issue as it is the holiest place for both Muslims and Jews. Therefore, both have been consistent in trying to making it their capital. Historically, no American President went on to recognise it as the capital of Israel because of religious sentiments which could shatter the peace in the region. It should be remembered that President Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel back in 2017.

To Israel and the United States, the deal  is a two-state solution, but the plan is not bound to give Palestinians the pre-1967 territory. The Palestinians will be given an archipelago of enclaves. Most importantly, the control of airspace, Jordan valley and network of connectivity will be in Israel’s hands, which means Palestinians will remain under the Israeli control and surveillance. The plan also says that Israel will be allowed to enter the Palestinian state at any time in the name of security and “will maintain the right to dismantle and destroy any facility in the State of Palestine that is used for the production of prohibited weapons or for other hostile purposes.” An almost same proposal prevails for Gaza Strip.

To Israel and the United States, the deal  is a two-state solution, but the plan is not bound to give Palestinians the pre-1967 territory. The Palestinians will be given an archipelago of enclaves.

The refugee issue has been the gravest due to the continuous expansion of Israel, especially after 1967. The plan denies six million Palestinian refugees the right to return which is given to them under the United Nations General Assembly  resolution 194. Furthermore, according to the proposed plan, 1.4 million refugees, who are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), will be given refugee rights which is an iota fraction of the total refugees.

The said conflict has been pivotal to American foreign policy towards the Middle East. Since the end of WW-II, the core interest of the American regimes has been controlling the Middle East through its strategic partner, Israel. Besides having an overwhelming influence on decision making in the American foreign policy circles, the Neocons or the Zionist lobby could not get as bold a stance from the previous American presidents as they got from President Trump. It was likely that the US president would come up with one sided controversial plan that could make the issue from bad to worse. It is being assessed as a new Oslo Accord coupled with the worst oppressiveness toward the Palestinian people. The only difference is that the blatant violation of international law has become more transparent before the global public.

Unequivocally, the plan provides fractional territorial compensation to Palestine, while Israel will be the sole controller of the airspace, land and waters.

Unequivocally, the plan provides fractional territorial compensation to Palestine, while Israel will be the sole controller of the airspace, land and waters. There are no rights given to Palestine to have an army or other means of defence and it will never be allowed to enter into security, intelligence or defence alliance with any state and organisation. Not surprisingly, President Trump said, “Every country spends a very significant sum of money on its defence from external threats. The State of Palestine will not be burdened with such costs, because it will be shouldered by the State of Israel.”

Conflict resolution of major disputes has never witnessed such kind of one sided illegitimate and irrational support to any of the parties that the US gave to Israel through this so-called “deal of the century.” On the other hand, a careful reading through rational or humanitarian perspective suggests that the President Trump, because of his business-oriented approach, tried to buy the right of self-determination of Palestinians with economic incentives. This clearly indicates that neither he nor his team which formulated the draft of the deal, are aware of historical facts, religious sentiments, national identity, sense of liberty and freedom, concept of sovereignty, right to self-defence and mobility. Has history witnessed such instance of conflict resolution? Perhaps the very near to it was Bantustan of Africa whose fate is before the world. This oppressive deal is nothing but Trump’s Bantustan which is why it is dead even before its birth.

Khaqan Ahmad

Khaqan Ahmad

has done M.Phil in International Relations from the National Defense University, Islamabad. Currently, he is working as a Research Associate at the CSCR.

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