On January 28, 2020, standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, at a White House press conference, US President Trump unveiled his peace plan to settle the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
The Palestinians should have been in attendance. But they were not invited.
If the plan, termed ‘The deal of the century’ by its principal author -the US President- was a serious attempt to broker peace between Israel and Palestine was serious about finding a solution, the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Palestinians too should have been involved in the preparation and unveiling of
The plan, on the one hand, accepts Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. On the other hand, it rejects the ‘Right of Return’ to millions of Palestinians displaced from their ancestral homes in Israel -the 1948 war uprooted 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, creating a refugee crisis that is still not resolved.
Today, there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees, -people displaced in 1948 and their descendants. Justice for these refugees in the form of the right to return to their original homes has been a core demand of Palestinian in all peace negotiations.
The US plan also redraws borders between Israel and the West Bank confining Palestinians into South Africa’s apartheid styled bantustans or the Polish Ghettos where the Jewish citizens of that country were closeted into by Nazi Germany.
The US (Trump’s) plan disallows the Palestinian State the right to form a military, have its Capital in Jerusalem and redraws borders to effectively give Israel more land in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank for swapped land in the Negev Desert -all of which will remain under Israeli control in the event Palestinians agreed to such a plan.
While rejecting the right of return of the seven million or more Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes, the US peace plan lays out three options for these refugees:
Absorption into the Trump-identified ‘State of Palestine’ (Subject to the limitations); Integration into current host countries (Subject to those countries consent); and the acceptance of 5,000 refugees each year, for up to ten years (50,000 total refugees), in individual Organisation of Islamic Co-operation member countries who agree to participate in Palestinian refugee resettlement (Subject to those individual countries’ agreement).
The US or Trump’s peace plan, in reality, is a blueprint for a single State solution recognising only Israel with totally servile Palestinian municipalities in its midst. It does away with the two-State solution envisioned since the setting up of the state of Israel
With the US being the only superpower in the world today and its open support of Israel, justice for the Palestinian cause is now a pipe-dream.
But, perhaps, and only perhaps, Trump’s or the US peace plan does hold out a flicker of hope for a semblance of peace in the still ongoing
The definition of a State signifies a contiguous land area, with institutions of government, a form of human association distinguished from other social groups by its purpose, the establishment of order and security; its methods, the laws and their enforcement; its territory, the area of jurisdiction or geographic boundaries; and finally by its sovereignty.
Under the Trump or US plan, the new State of Palestine cannot be deemed a Sovereign State. The ‘State’ of Palestine has been reduced to the status of a Municipality within greater Israel.
But Trump’s plan does envisage Palestinian refugees returning to the Palestinian lands under the present State of Palestine, which under Trump’s initiative, become municipalities within Greater Israel.
Under Trump’s new Single State solution this would make the returning Palestinian refugees, Israeli citizens, enjoying all rights of Israeli citizens including the right to vote at democratic elections.
Today the population of Palestine is 5.02 million, the Arab population in Israel is approximately 1.9 million, together with the returning seven million Palestinian refugees, they would form a strong opposition to the Israeli status quo.
Having praised Trump’s peace plan, will Israel’s present leader, charged with corruption scandals accept Trump’s single State solution?
Because this seems to be the reality of the US or Trump’s peace plan?