Trump’s peace plan is a Trojan Horse that aims to make Israeli occupation permanent | Daily News


 

Trump’s peace plan is a Trojan Horse that aims to make Israeli occupation permanent

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint statement in the East Room of the White House on January 28, 2020, in Washington.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint statement in the East Room of the White House on January 28, 2020, in Washington.

The White House initiative is a piece of political malware masquerading as a credible diplomatic initiative. The goal is not peace but the permanent normalization of Israel’s military rule over millions of Palestinians.

One of the more insidious computer infections is known as a Trojan horse, which, like its historical namesake, can only carry out its nefarious task by tricking the user into accepting it. In the world of computers, a Trojan horse is malware designed to mislead users about its true intent. The same is true of U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, officially unveiled at the White House on Tuesday.

After nearly two years of delays and endless speculation, and with a beaming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing by his side, Trump finally released his so-called “deal of the century” at an elaborate White House ceremony. Palestinian leaders, who had already rejected the plan sight unseen and have refused to deal with the Trump administration since its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, were not invited to the unveiling.

At first glance, the plan appears to have an air of reasonability. It talks of a “realistic two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pledges an unprecedented $50 billion in investment, and even mentions the words “Palestinian capital” and “Jerusalem” in the same sentence. Beyond the thin veneer of acceptability, however, is a far more insidious programme that is designed to do away with a genuine two-state solution while normalizing permanent Israeli occupation and annexation within a de facto one-state reality.

With its glossy cover, talk of a two-state solution, and the promise of billions of dollars in investment, Trump’s peace plan is little more than a piece of political malware masquerading as a credible diplomatic initiative.

The goal is not to bring about peace but to normalize the status quo, including Israel’s military rule over millions of Palestinians, and render it permanent.

Despite its talk of “compromises” on “both sides,” the plan satisfies a long list of right-wing Israeli demands on virtually all core issues in the conflict—from an undivided Jerusalem to annexing occupied territory to liquidating the rights of Palestinian refugees. Although the plan purports to be “realistic” and “fact-based,” it is mired in historical and political revisionism.

For starters, there is no single reference to Israel’s occupation. Indeed, in his White House speech, Netanyahu derided the notion of Israel as an occupying power—a matter of long-standing international consensus—as “the big lie.” The plan proposes mostly cosmetic modifications to the status quo while taking all of the issues that Palestinians care about most—Jerusalem, refugees, and genuine sovereignty—off the table. Jerusalem, perhaps the most sensitive and contentious of all permanent status issues, would remain undivided and under permanent Israeli sovereignty.

The centrepiece of the plan is the creation of a so-called Palestinian state in roughly 70 percent of the West Bank but one that is shorn of any meaningful sovereignty. The roughly 120 or so Israeli settlements, along with the 650,000 Israeli settlers now living throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank, would remain under permanent Israeli control, as would the entirety of the Jordan Valley—thus completely encircling the putative Palestinian state with annexed Israeli land. The Trump vision is in effect a recipe for indefinite Israeli occupation—a sort of Palestinian Bantustan surrounded by Israel and entirely at its mercy.

- Foreign Policy


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