By Janet Phelan
Trump has unveiled his “Deal of the Century,” a “peace plan” for Israel and Palestine which some commentators are calling “a recipe for war.”
The plan gives lip service to a separate Palestinian state, while giving Israel the mandate for security of Palestine. Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel while a portion of East Jerusalem will be designated as the capital of Palestine. In addition, the plan calls for a four year freeze on further construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied territory, while it approves annexation of existing settlements.
Imad Hamad, Executive Director of the Detroit based American Human Rights Council, called the Trump plan “The Steal of the Century.” In an interview this week, Hamad stated that the Peace Plan reduced the nature of the conflict to “a real estate transaction.” Accusing Trump of trying to rewrite history and obscure the nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Hamad stated that President Trump is trying to erase “the root of the conflict, which is the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.”
Hamad’s concerns are echoed by other commentators. In a recent interview with senior Haaretz correspondent Chemi Shalev, Shalev declared that “This is the worst deal they’ve ever had!” Shalev further speculated that what he termed the “unilateral annexation” was a ….”gift the President was giving Netanyahu on the eve of his election.”
The annexation appears to be in process whether or not the Palestinians accept the plan, raising questions as to the constitutionality of what Shalev termed “a usurpation.”
Hamad has stated that he “is not surprised.” “This is a real estate deal that Trump has presented to the world,” said Hamad. “He tries to convince Palestinians that there is a reward for you of 50$ billion within the next ten years which will….address the poverty, the unemployment.” However, Hamad maintains the “Palestinians do not see their rights as subject to sale.”
As leverage in what he termed forcing the Palestinians to the negotiating table, in 2018 President Trump first halted the US’s contribution to United Nations Relief Works Agency in Palestine, then announced he was also cutting off USAID to the Palestinian territories.
Some commentators see the US’s interventions in the Middle East as escalating the conflict rather than reducing it. Since 2001, the US has launched military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, and has also been involved in repeated skirmishes with Iran. The US is reported as involved in the war in Yemen, as well. Recently, the escalation of acts of aggression between the US and Iran were prompting concerns that we were headed into WWIII.
Brown University’s Cost of War report, published in 2018, estimated that the numbers killed in the violence between 2001 and 2018 in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan was nearly a half million. The Intercept reported that “Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.”
The report does not include the 500,000 killed in the Syrian conflict.
In a conversation this week, intelligence historian John Loftus suggested that no peace plan will be acceptable to the Palestinians and that the conflict is being maintained for other reasons. With Iran being reported as close to finalizing its capability to produce a nuclear weapon and with the repeated threats made by Iranian leadership against Israel, Trump’s “Peace Plan” for Israel and Palestine may be seen as yet another provocation in a history of US “interventions” in the region which have produced nearly two decades of war, and with no realistic end in sight.
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking exposé, EXILE. Her articles previously appeared in such mainstream venues as the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, etc. In 2004, Janet “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media. She is also the author of two collections of poetry—The Hitler Poems and Held Captive. She resides abroad. You are invited to support her work on Buy Me A Coffee here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/JanetPhelan
Image credit: Center for European Reform
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