Rejections on the Deal of the Century
Ending months of speculation, US President Donald Trump outlined his proposed plan for Middle East peace in Washington Jan. 28, describing it as a "win-win" for both Israel and the Palestinians. Trump said he envisions "a two-state solution with Jerusalem remaining as Israel's undivided capital" and "a capital in East Jerusalem for a future Palestinian state."
“We say a thousand times, no, no, no to the deal of the century,” Mr. Abbas said, in a reference to the peace accord President Trump hoped to broker. “We rejected this deal from the start and our stance was correct.” Protests organized by Palestinian leadership began in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Tuesday, before the plan was released. Some protesters clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and carried signs saying “down with the deal of the century.”
Promoted as "the deal of the century" by its proponents, the plan even failed to evoke the same enthusiasm in Egypt, America's closest ally in the Arab world and a strong supporter of the UN-sponsored two-state solution. "This is an annexation plan rather than a peace plan," political analyst and publisher Hisham Kassem told Al-Monitor. "Israel and the United States know full well that the proposed plan will be rejected. It is only a means of legitimizing Israel's annexation of more West Bank land and the Jordan Valley."
The UN Secretary-General said in a statement that “the United Nations remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis in resolving the conflict on the basis of United Nations resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements and realizing the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.”
Trump has ignored the two-state solution adopted by the UN and the international community and proposed his own view of the two-state solution, which ignores the 1967 borders and has all of Jerusalem under full Israeli sovereignty.
“While the Trump administration has emphasized the principle of land swaps in its deal, we should make no mistake that it is proposing further annexation of Palestinian territory, which would flagrantly violate international humanitarian law. During more than half a century of occupation Israel has imposed a system of institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians under its rule, denying them basic rights and access to effective remedies for violations. The deal amounts to endorsement of these brutal, unlawful policies,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.
The organization urged the international community to reject measures contravening international law that are set out in President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”.
The proposed land swaps include the potential transfer of areas of Israel with a high proportion of Palestinian residents to a future State of Palestine. This in itself raises concerns that Palestinian citizens of Israel in these areas might be disenfranchised. The deal also includes proposals to create a “compensation mechanism” for Palestinian refugees, instead of granting them their right to return. With currently more than 5.2 million registered refugees, Palestinians are one of the world’s largest refugee populations. Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in 1948, and their descendants, have a right to return under international law. This is an individual human right which cannot be given away as a political concession.
“A just and sustainable peace requires a plan that prioritizes the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis, and must include justice and reparation for victims of war crimes and other grave violations. This plan not only fails this fundamental test; it seeks to torpedo efforts towards justice for both Palestinians and Israelis that are currently under way,” added Philip Luther.
This was a deal designed in Tel Aviv more than in Washington – and its point was to ensure there would be no Palestinian partner. Nonetheless, Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition will happily seize the goodies offered by the Trump administration. Meanwhile the plan’s inevitable rejection by the Palestinian leadership will serve down the road as justification for Israel to grab yet more land.
As US President Donald Trump unveiled the details of his peace plan Jan. 28, dozens of Jordanians rallied in front of the US Embassy in Amman. They decried the so-called "deal of the century" and demanded the closure of the US and Israeli embassies in Amman. At the sit-in called for by the Muslim Brotherhood, the protesters chanted, “Raise your voice," "Down with the Americans' approach," "No embassy for the Zionist entity on your land, O Amman," "No US embassy on your land, Amman," "Palestine is an Arab [state]" and "Down with Wadi Araba,” a reference to peace agreements with Israel.
This US-Israeli approach disregards the Palestinian, Arab and international positions; adopts unilateral decisions, measures and developments; and works to force the other parties to accept them as a fait accompli. The end result is to serve the colonialist, expansionist Zionist project in Palestine.