Jerusalem is not for sale, your conspiracy will not pass, Abbas reacts to Trump’s Middle East proposal

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February 4, 2020

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By Countercurrents Collective

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East “peace” plan, declaring “Jerusalem is not for sale”. Abbas warned that the “conspiracy deal will not pass.”

“Your conspiracy deal will not pass and the Palestinian people will reject it,” Abbas warned on Tuesday after Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for peace between Israel and Palestine.

Calling it “impossible” for Palestinians to “accept a state without Jerusalem,” which would remain the U.S.-recognized capital of Israel under Trump’s plan, Abbas made his feelings absolutely clear on the matter.

The Palestine President said: “No, no, a big no to the ‘deal of the century.’”

The plan, he predicted, would be consigned to the “dustbin of history.”

Vowing not to “bow to the demands of the occupation,” Abbas announced a new round of negotiations with Fatah and stated that Palestine was ready to meet with the Middle East Quartet, which has advised on the Israel-Palestine peace.

Hamas

Hamas also rejected the plan as “nonsense” and called Trump’s statement “aggressive.”

Political theatre

Speaking to Reuters before the release of the plan, top Palestinian envoy to Britain Husam Zomlot said that the announcement would be a “piece of political theatre” and would push the situation “over the cliff and into apartheid.”

Iran

A top advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted that the Trump plan is “solely” a deal made “between the Zionist regime and America” and that interaction with Palestinians is “not on the agenda.”

Jordan

Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi said that the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as the capital is the “only path to comprehensive and lasting peace” but also warned against potential consequences of unilateral measures taken by Israel.

Trump’s two-state solution

Trump has proposed a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine, which would see the Palestinian capital located in east Jerusalem, in a move the U.S. president called a “big step towards peace.”

Trump said that Israel had agreed to negotiate on the basis of a conceptual and detailed proposed map for the first time. If Israel agrees to the proposed map, the US will recognize it, he said.

The plan will “more than double the Palestinian territory” and “no Israelis or Palestinians will be uprooted.” The U.S will also “proudly” open an embassy in the new Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, Trump said.

Trump boasted that he has done “a lot” for Israel since taking office. It’s “only reasonable that I have to do a lot for the Palestinians” too or it “wouldn’t be fair,” he added.

In return for U.S. recognition of Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israel would accept a four-year freeze on new settlement building while Palestinian statehood is negotiated.

The plan will also set up a $50 billion economic revival program for Palestinians, Jordan and Egypt.

Standing alongside Trump, Netanyahu said the presence of ambassadors from Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in Washington boded well for the success of the Trump plan.

Netanyahu said previous attempts to solve the crisis “did not strike the right balance” between dealing with Israel’s fears for its security and Palestinians’ desire for self-determination.

The Israeli PM also said that Trump has been the “best friend” Israel has ever had and though there have been good friends of Israel’s in the White House before, they do not even “come close” to Trump.

Netanyahu was also full of praise for Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was the chief author of the plan, saying that it was “great to have these real estate people” involved territorial disputes because they can “come up with things normal human beings don’t think about.”

He added that Israel owes both Kushner and Trump “an eternal debt of gratitude.”

Despite the positive words from Washington, however, the Palestinian side has already said it will reject the plan.

The Trump administration, having made numerous and major concessions to Israel since 2017, is not seen by the Palestinians as a neutral arbiter in the conflict.

Trump’s tweet

Following his remarks, Trump sent a tweet in Arabic with a map attached of “what the future state of Palestine might look like.”

Top of Form

What’s in Trump’s plan

The 180-page proposal unveiled by Trump envisions the conditions under which a Palestinian state might be recognized.

The “Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future” bills itself as “the best, most realistic and most achievable outcome for the parties” right from the start.

It says that the 700 or so UN General Assembly resolutions and 100-plus Security Council resolutions have failed to bring peace, while the 1993 Oslo Accords left too many key issues unresolved, “including, among other items, borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem.”

Trump’s plan addresses all those issues, mostly by siding with Israel.

Security

“A realistic solution would give the Palestinians all the power to govern themselves but not the powers to threaten Israel,” says the Vision at the very beginning.

Therefore, any Palestinian state would have to be fully demilitarized.

Palestine would not have any right to “develop military or paramilitary capabilities” without Israel’s approval.

It would also be barred from any sort of security or diplomatic arrangements with other countries without Israeli consent.

Israel would retain 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,” and maintain control over “all international crossings into the State of Palestine.”

Also, as a precondition for recognition, the Palestinian Authority would have to drop all pending or planned legal action against Israel, the U.S. and their citizens before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and all other tribunals.

Borders

On page 45, the Vision introduces a “Conceptual Map,” a basis for negotiations that is designed to address the “spirit” of UN Security Council Resolution 242, dealing with the Palestinian territories previously held by Egypt and Jordan but taken by Israel in the 1967 war – namely, West Bank and Gaza.

The map reflects the U.S. view that Israel is not legally bound to provide Palestinians with 100 percent of the pre-1967 territory, but something “reasonably comparable in size.”

It shows a Palestinian state almost entirely enclosed by Israel to address “security requirements.”

As noted above, Israel gets to maintain control over Palestinian borders.

The map “avoids forced population transfers of either Arabs or Jews,” often by creating enclaves within enclaves, connected to the rest by access roads, tunnels or overpasses.

It envisions “high-speed transportation links” for Palestinians, but it is unclear what this might mean, as no such infrastructure presently exists in the U.S.

Israel has already said it would basically annex the strip along the Jordanian border and other areas assigned to it by the map right away, while pausing all settlement activity in the Palestinian-designated areas for four years, to give the Palestinians time to make their choice.

Jerusalem

Partitioned by the 1949 armistice between Israel and Jordan, Jerusalem has been fully under Israeli control since 1967. Israel has officially annexed the entire city – a claim recognized by Trump in December 2017, but not the UN.

The Vision treats Jerusalem as the Israeli capital – albeit with freedom of access to its holy sites to all religious communities – and proposes the Palestinian capital to be “in the section of East Jerusalem located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier, including Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis, and could be named Al Quds” or however else the Palestinian state wishes.

Refugees

One of the most intractable issues has been the question of Palestinian refugees, displaced since 1948.

The Trump plan asserts that “nearly the same number of Jews and Arabs were displaced by the Arab-Israel conflict,” but while the Jews were given citizenship and absorbed by Israel, the Palestinians were “cruelly and cynically held in limbo to keep the conflict alive” by the neighboring Arab states.

It said: “There shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel.”

Palestinians will be given a choice to seek citizenship in the Palestinian state, integrate into the countries where they currently live, or resettle in a third country. A “generous trust” will be established to pay for this.

Much of the document is in fact about economic incentives for Palestinians that lays out the proposal masterminded by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and presented last year in Bahrain.

The detailed presentation envisions how Palestinians should structure their government, society, economy, education, healthcare, etc.

In sum, Palestinians are promised a million new jobs, billions of dollars in investments to bring them out of poverty, and a state they can call their own – if they agree to a peculiar form of restricted sovereignty that is subordinated to Israeli security interests; recognize Israel as the Jewish state and abandon all claims to the land it holds; and reorganize their entire society along the lines of a western liberal democracy.

flock to U.S. diplomatic compounds in Ankara & Istanbul to protest Trump’s plan

Demonstrators have flooded the streets outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul, venting their rage over the newly-unveiled “deal of the century” that Turkey has slammed as an “annexation plan.”

Hours after the much-hyped Middle East peace plan was announced by U.S. President Trump, demonstrators in Turkey’s two biggest cities came out in force to protest the roadmap to peace that many argue is skewed in favor of Tel Aviv.

Videos posted on social media show demonstrators chanting slogans and waving Palestinian as well as Turkish banners, as they marched towards the U.S. embassy in the Turkish capital.

The rally, organized almost on the spot shortly after Trump’s announcement, drew in a huge crowd. Many could be seen holding their smartphones up to the night skies, turning the streets into a sea of light.

Hundreds turned out in Istanbul as well, voicing support for Palestinians who have already rejected the plan.

While majority of the US allies in the region have either expressed cautious optimism about the arrangement, or endorsed it, Turkey has lambasted the “stillborn” plan, calling it an “attempt to kill the two-state solution” and annex Palestinian territory.

29 January 2020

Source: countercurrents.org

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