The Deal of the Century doesn’t stand a chance

Under the present circumstances, peace is more distant than ever in the Holy Land. What should Trump do now?

Rachel Avraham

OpEds Protest against Abbas in Gaza
Protest against Abbas in Gaza
Now more than ever, it appears that Trump’s deal of the century is failing before it has even gotten a chance to get off the ground.  Russia has slammed Trump’s deal of the century and has invited both Netanyahu and Abbas in for peace talks in Moscow.  In light of this recent development, the Palestinians are now expected to be more intransient than ever in their rejection of American-mediated peace talks and Trump’s “deal of the century,” which PA President Mahmoud Abbas has infamously called “the slap of the century.”   In light of this, reports that Trump’s very own advisers believe that the chances that Trump’s deal of the century will succeed are low are further reinforced.  

The question remains, what should Trump do now?

Under the present circumstances, peace appears more distant than ever in the Holy Land.  There have been ramming attacks in the West Bank, increased tensions along the Gaza border amid explosive balloon attacks and now, the Palestinian Arabs are calling for more mass protests over the closure of the Golden Gate.  Frequently, rioting has occurred in such demonstrations.  It appears that Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are on the brink of an escalation, not a peace process. 

According to Palestinian Media Watch, the official Palestinian Arab media has referred to US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt as a mongoloid, a highly offensive slur when used unacceptably for someone with Down syndrome, due to the Palestinian perception of the “deal of the century.”

 Fatah also recently stated that the Jews deserved to die in the Holocaust “because of who they are.” 

These inciteful remarks were made after Riad Maliki, the PA Foreign Minister, indicated that the PA would prefer to get no money rather than funds with deductions for the Palestinian money delivered to terrorists and their families. 

Itamar Marcus, President of Palestinian Media Watch, indicated that the message to the Palestinian Arabs is “you have to fight for the Temple Mount.”  He added: “At times like this, a successful terror attack can be a spark that ignores into a terror wave.  The car terror attack that injured the soldiers had they been killed could have been the spark.  In 2015, there had been months of incitement to violence re-Al Aqsa and as soon as Mohanad Halabi murdered 2 in the Old City, it sparked a terror wave.  After the PA goes a month or two without full salaries, I fear we will see more attempts to start a terror wave.”

Given the lack of the Palestinian Authbority leadership's desire to negotiate any peace deal with Israel, it serves no purpose to present any peace plan at this time because even the “deal of the century” got zero chance of succeeding if it is imposed from outside and is not accepted by the leaderships of both peoples.  This becomes even more evident when you have other players in the game who give the PA leadership the perception that there is a reward for saying no to Mr. Trump and there are alternatives to American mediation. 

As prominent Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar stated: “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 a priori right to exist as a Jewish state or the state of the Jewish people” if Israel gives up on Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.  However, he noted that the problem with that premise is that it is “totally wrong.”

Neither Fatah nor Hamas is prepared to make peace with Israel.  It is against both of their ideologies.  The only way for peace to be obtained is for there to be a regime change in the Palestinian arena.  Fatah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and every other terror group must be thrown out of the territories by their own people for any regime change dictated by outside powers will not be accepted by the local population.  Only once that happens and the Palestinian people elect leaders who truly support peace, human rights, minority rights and women’s rights, peace and the deal of the century is within the realm of the possible.   

As prominent Soviet Jewish dissident Nathan Sharansky once stated, “When we are unwilling to draw clear moral lines between free societies and fear societies, when we are unwilling to call the former good and the later evil, we will not be able to advance the cause of peace because peace cannot be disconnected from freedom.” 

Any talk of a peace plan before the Palestinian Arabs have implemented a regime change is not only premature but will enable terror groups and despots.
Therefore, I call upon Mr. Trump to assist Palestinian Arabs who support peaceful coexistence with the Jewish people and who want to rid their areas of each and every terror group as this is a prerequisite for the successful completion of any peace plan. 

Kedar claims that there are Palestinian tribal leaders who can be empowered in the framework of his Emirates Solution, who will control 8 autonomous Palestinian city states and who are willing to peacefully coexist with the Jewish people.  These people enjoy widespread popular support within their tribes and can readily replace the Palestinian Authority and the terror groups if given the proper backing. 

Any talk of a peace plan before the Palestinian Arabs have implemented a regime change is not only premature but will enable terror groups and despots to gain the legitimacy to continue not only murdering Jews but also torturing and repressing Palestinians who envision a brighter future for their people.  Therefore, the Israeli government must make it clear to the Americans that only when there is a partner for peace can we proceed with such talks and negotiations.  Anything short of that will be a repeat of the Oslo disaster, which resulted in the murder of 1,000 Israelis, merely because they were Jews living in the Holy land.  

Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in the Middle East and is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.