The entire Middle East, with baited breath, awaits the unveiling of Trump's Peace Plan, the plan his advisers have been working on for almost two years.
Jared Kushner was interviewed several days ago for UK Sky News in Arabic and expressed the hope that the "deal of the century" would be achieved by using what he called a "new approach," to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict. He said that the plan is an attempt to advance "just and practical solutions" to the various issues at the center of the conflict, while adapting them to the conditions prevailing in 2019.
He stressed that "The political plan, which is very detailed, is really about establishing borders and resolving final status issues." Kushner expressed the hope that a single Palestinian government would be established and connect Gaza with Judea and Samaria.
"Although there is geographic discontinuity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, we would like to see them under one leadership. The Palestinians want a non-corrupt government that takes care of their interests."
According to Kushner, the staff "focused on the following four principles that we’ve used in which to create the plan. The first principle is to have freedom. We want people to be able to have the freedom of opportunity, the freedom of religion, the freedom to worship, regardless of your faith."
"Respect: we want all people to have dignity and to respect each other.
"Opportunity: we want people to be able to better their lives and not allow their grandfather’s conflict to hijack their children’s future.
"And the final one is security."
Kushner explained that the "deal of the century" connects economic and political spheres. In his opinion, a lessening of the tensions between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis will stimulate Palestinian economic opportunities, limited up to now by the absence of peace. He is convinced that the economic impact will be felt not only by the Israelis and Palestinians but by the entire region.
"I think that this is a conflict that has been used for many years to rile up extremism. For the last 70 years the unifying principle of the region has been unifying against Israel, but now what we are seeing in this region is that a lot of the unifying principles are the leaders’ love of their people and the leaders’ desire for their people to live a better life."
Citing Iran in particular, he called it the "biggest threat in this region," adding that "everywhere we look where there is destabilisation, where there is terror, where there is rockets, it’s all coming from Iran and their proxies. They are funding a lot of militias, they are funding a lot of terror and that creates instability in the region, which creates refugees, which creates less economic opportunity and that’s really hurting the region."
One important thing that can be learned from Kushner's words is that the Americans are working on a "peace plan" based on the way Americans, not Middle Eastern people, think. For example, take the repeated references to economic issues, leading to the feeling that Americans think they can solve the Israel-Arab conflict by using money, economic success and the good life, which is exactly how America views the world.
So what's the problem? The deal of the century's main flaw is that it is based on the assumption that in 2019, Middle Eastern culture is not the same as it was a century ago, and that the region's nations as well as their rulers, are prepared to accept Israel as a legitimate national entity with the a priori right to exist as a Jewish state or the state of the Jewish people – if Israel gives up Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the settlements. The problem is that this premise is totally wrong, and even those nations who made peace with us do not recognize the Jewish people's right to a state of its own.
Kushner revealed the most serious problem of the "deal of the century" and that is the establishment of a Palestinian State. Democracy will be the political game of this state because Americans do not recognize any other form of government. In order to be democratic to the end, the Jihad, Hamas and Islamic Jihad will be allowed to run in Palestinian elections and possibly win a majority of the seats in the Palestinian parliament.
That is exactly what happened in the elections that took place in January 2006. Alternatively, those parties could stage a violent takeover, which is what happened in Gaza in June 2007. To rephrase, the US is trying to establish a state which may end up run by Hamas-Jihad, because not one American soldier is going to come over here to free Israel from the Jihadist nightmare to be played out in Judea and Samaria, a continuation – "under one leadership," as Kushner said – of the Jihad state that took over Gaza.
This kind of "peace" is the sure road to war, because Israel has learned a bitter lesson from what occurred in Gaza and cannot allow a similar scene in the hills of Judea and Samaria. Israeli retreat from the high ground and the establishment of a Palestinian state will soon bring the IDF back to those places in order to destroy the Palestinian terror state before it destroys Israel.
If Trump's plan includes the establishment of one Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, there is no way to avoid the depressing conclusion that it will join the ranks of the tens of plans suggested by former US presidents who also meant well.
Past reports indicate that the "deal of the century" is a long document of over 200 pages. Even if that is true, the entire plan will be a dismal failure if it attempts to establish a Palestinian state on the hills of Judea and Samaria. Any responsible government will not allow the establishment or existence of such a state because of the distinct possibility of its becoming another Hamastan.
If Trump's plan includes the establishment of one Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, there is no way to avoid the depressing conclusion that it will join the ranks of the tens of plans suggested by former well-meaning US presidents. All these dust-covered plans can be found on the American Peace Plans shelf. Excellent and praiseworthy for their good intentions, they all share the basic flaw of not relating to the unique culture of the Middle East.
Jawad Zarif is seen as a strange bird by much of the higher Iranian governmental echelons, this since the early days of his appointment to the post of Foreign Minister. His doctorate in International Law is from Denver, Colorado and his English is flawless, his dress Western, his body language vaguely American. Many of the Iranian members of parliament and politicians consider him somewhat ridiculous for attempting to bridge the gap between Iranian Islamic culture and the modern Western culture with which he is in constant contact.
He was the Iranian architect of the Nuclear Agreement which Obama pressured to complete at all costs, despite the anger of hard line Iranians who wanted to accelerate – not freeze – efforts to produce an atom bomb and not capitulate to the demands of world powers to cease its manufacture. These hardliners are still pressuring to continue development of ballistic missiles that can threaten all of Europe, including the British Isles, whose geographic solitude has survived the centuries.
Zarif, however, failed badly and America's withdrawal from the Nuclear Agreement left him without the weapons that would enable him to defend his achievements. He has lost the last shreds of legitimacy in President Rouhani's eyes.
The straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that Zarif was not invited to be among those who welcomed Bashar Assad during his hurried visit to Teheran this week. Zarif's absence was obvious and the intentional insult he suffered from the organizers of the event was too blatant, too stinging and too important to ignore – so he resigned.
If those in charge of Zarif do not accept his resignation he will remain in his position until someone is found to replace him.
Zarif, however, is not alone and not the first minister to resign of late. The health minister resigned a month ago, due to the lack of medicines caused by the international sanctions against Iran. It looks as though the resignations of Iranian ministers are a result of the feeling that the days of the gang of ayatollahs running the country are numbered, and that the Middle East is about to undergo a total change after Iran collapses internally and is redivided along ethnic lines – as were the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
This feeling of an impending apocalypse can be found among the many expatriate Iranian opposition groups, who have mostly spent the last forty years fighting and weakening one another instead of fighting the Iranian regime. The past few months have seen these organizations begin to consolidate in pursuit of the same objective: ridding Iran of the Ayatollahs' rule.
What is to happen next? That can be dealt with in the future. Right now there is only the goal of bringing down the government, allowing them to put their conflicting agendas aside and concentrate on that common denominator.
It is from this forum that I, and surely you as well, my dear readers, wish for a speedy emancipation for the oppressed and persecuted people forced to live under the yoke of the ayatollahs. Their deliverance is also the world's.
Written in Hebrew for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky.