Political Observation - The Omens and the Deal of the Century

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - The Omens and the Deal of the Century

The “Deal of the Century” has been projected as a comprehensive plan within the framework of the new American strategy with endeavours to implement it being underway since Donald Trump took office. The two styles of execution are by and large based on the element of surprise and imposing a fait accompli policy. The plan is not merely confined to Palestine but it engulfs all the countries neighbouring the usurping entity of "Israel".  Hence, the “Deal of the Century” includes Gaza, the West Bank and al-Quds, and Jordan, Syria and Egypt as well as normalisation with all the Arab countries.

By observing the manoeuvres and statements of the son-in-law and advisor of president Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, it transpires that the emphasis has been on settling the Palestinian-"Israeli" struggle within a regional formula or bundle that includes Syria, Jordan and Egypt and aims at anchoring the so-called “regional peace”. This is corroborated by the intense pressure that Saudi and the UAE are exerting on Jordan and the Palestinian Authority in order to twist their arms into accepting the merits of the "Deal of the Century" which Donald Trump has been heralding as the radical solution to the decades-long struggle.

Consequently, the outline of the "Deal of the Century" in respect of Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Egypt elucidate the following:
 
1 – Palestine  
 
The "Deal of the Century" as far as Palestine is concerned includes America’s recognition of al-Quds as the capital of "Israel"; and this is what practically happened when the US embassy was moved to al-Quds. This decision will embolden "Israel" to undertake several operational steps such as merging the major Jewish settlements which will become the greater al-Quds city council, thus altering, radically, the demographic landscape of al-Quds.

As for the capital of the promised Palestinian entity, it has been leaked that the town of Abu Dis, situated outside the boundaries of al-Quds, is being prepared to become the capital of the Palestinian entity. Abu Dis has been separated from al-Quds by the "Israeli" separation wall for ten years. Most of its lands are administered by "Israel" and it is besieged by the wall and the Jewish settlements, the most important of which is Ma'ale Adumim, inhabited by 40,000 Jewish settlers. In order to enable the Palestinians living in this “Palestinian capital” to pray at al-Aqsa, plans are underway to construct a narrow passage linking Abu Dis to al-Aqsa Mosque.

As for the right of return, it is evident that America has dropped it from the "Deal of the Century” and this is physically corroborated by America’s decision to cease funding the UNRWA. Washington is currently working towards granting the refugees the right to settle in the host country or relocate to a different country. The Gulf states, headed by Saudi, are expected to bankroll this operation. Abolishing the right of return is vividly expressed by the Jewish nation-state bill recently approved by the Knesset. It is still difficult to determine whether America’s decision to move her embassy to al-Quds is part of the endeavour to internationalise either al-Quds or the holy sites, or a modification of the historical American stance vis-à-vis the status of al-Quds which means she has now officially recognised al-Quds with her holy precincts as the capital of "Israel”, thus closing the file of internationalising al-Quds for good.

It is true that there has been an outcry to Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to al-Quds since it contradicts UN resolution 478 of 1980 which stipulates the prohibition of establishing diplomatic missions in al-Quds, but this cannot be relied upon to construe that America is still committed to internationalising al-Quds. The confutation of Donald Trump’s decision coming from Europe, the Vatican and a few Muslims’ leaders does not rise to the level of generating a change to the realities imposed by America and "Israel" on the blessed land.  

As for the styles America is pursuing to implement the "Deal of the Century" in respect of Palestine, three issues could be observed:
 

  • America and "Israel" are endeavouring to get rid of Mahmoud Abbas and bypass the old guard in order to propagate this plan. The "Israeli" daily newspaper, Haaretz, recently published an article by Jason Greenblatt, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, under the title “The Palestinians Deserve much better than Saeb Erekat.”  The Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, retorted by accusing America of attempting to change the Palestinian leadership and negotiators.  He made the claim during the annual conference of the Arab American University’s Policy and Conflict Resolution Studies Centre.  He stressed that the PA “does not have an American partner—we’ve had 35 meetings in total with the Trump administration.” 
  • Putting the spotlight on luring the Palestinians into the negotiations in order to deliberate exclusively the economic and humanitarian initiatives for the West Bank and Gaza. Saeb Erekat alluded to this by saying: “there’s nothing of substance” stressing that Kushner and Greenblatt wanted to impose a solution by turning al-Quds into the capital of "Israel", legitimising the settlements and turning the political struggle into a humanitarian issue.

What concerns America in the "Deal of the Century" is neither the essence of the struggle over the land as the previous US administrations used to adopt, nor the notion to build on the Oslo Accords of 1993. What this plan focuses on is turning the page of this marathon struggle by generating a catalogue of economic projects and investments to act as a prelude for anchoring an American peace between "Israel" and its neighbours.

  • As for the third style America has adopted to impose the "Deal of the Century”, it involves working towards separating the West Bank from the Gaza Strip.  It is in this context that Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt are attempting to raise one billion dollars from the Gulf States to aid Gaza. 

Hence, it was no coincidence that on the day the fabricated assassination attempt against prime minister Rami Hamadallah  occurred on 13 March 2018 at the Beit Hanoun crossing, America was hosting the Gaza crisis meeting in Washington, despite the fact that it has been common knowledge that the suffering of Gaza is due to the extensive blockade "Israel" has been imposing on the Gazans under the pretext of “combatting terror”, and due to the punitive measures imposed by the Palestinian Authority under the guise of “bringing Gaza back to the embrace of legitimacy”. 

As for the stance of the PA vis-à-vis these manoeuvres, it was expressed by Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee, who said: “Obviously we wish to end the suffering in Gaza but what they are trying to do is separate Gaza from Palestine and deal with "Israel’s" security fears instead of seeking a political solution…It seems the American administration is pursuing the strategy of an economic solution through Gaza, while at the same time, making the Arab world pay the price.” 

2 – Jordan

America realised that her "Deal of the Century" plan cannot be effectuated with the consent of the Palestinians on the issue of al-Quds which represents the most significant issue of the struggle. This is what makes the subjugation of Jordan to the American solution essential, namely accepting al-Quds as the capital for the Jews and Abu Dis as the capital for the promised Palestinian entity.

Since Jordan is the custodian of the holy precincts according to international resolutions, it was imperative to exert pressure on king Abdullah in a powerful manner to twist his arm into partaking in the great conspiracy against Palestine. It seems the king was reluctant to proceed with America in this file despite the Saudi and UAE pressure and the financial aid he has been promised. And in order to coerce king Abdullah into proceeding along the "Deal of the Century" – since he had known it would end his political role in the Palestinian issue – protests erupted in Jordan after the government had raised income tax.  It was evident the protests were connected to this issue because the Gulf States intervened to bribe Jordan financially; this was deduced from the visit king Abdullah made to America immediately after the Gulf summit on Jordan and the visit of Kushner on 18 June 2018. It seems what America wants from the Hashemite throne is to wash its hands off the sacred precincts and to prepare for naturalising the Palestinians as a part of a lasting solution to the refugees’ issue who number about one million in Jordan. America wants the king to persuade Mahmoud Abbas and his clique to return to the negotiating table and accept the final status or the "Deal of the Century" in respect of the Palestinian issue.

Moreover, some leaked reports allude to the notion of merging the West Bank and Jordan whereby the Palestinian refugees and those with Jordanian citizenship would be given full citizenship rights, thus enabling them to join the army, security services, all the political positions and the like on the basis of “Greater Jordan” being a homeland for the Jordanians and the Palestinians. 

3 – Syria 

If Netanyahu announces after his recent visit to Moscow that he would not object to Bashar Assad’s forces dominating the whole of Syria, this means Russia has become part of the "Deal of the Century" in respect of the Syrian file. The purport of this part of the plan is based on the Russo-American understanding on the de-escalation zone in southern Syria.

Hence, what America wants with the backing of "Israel" is to establish a buffer zone on the border with the Golan Heights to protect the Jewish entity in Palestine over a stretch of 50 Km to the east of the Golan under the pretext of protecting "Israel" from Iran, Hezbollah and all the Shia factions. The more plausible pretext however is protecting "Israel" from any uncontrolled resistance that may crop up in the future, thus impinging on its security. What is more important apparently is America’s and "Israel’s" attempt to lay their hands on the recently discovered oil wells whose layer is 350 metres deep, i.e. tenfold deeper than ordinary layers.

All the Iranian and "Israeli" moves towards Moscow and the summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on 16 July revolve mainly around the security arrangements being executed for the benefit of Russia, "Israel" and Iran.  If America and "Israel" have dominated the Golan with what it contains in terms of potential oil reserves, and if America has dominated East Syria with its oil, water and sustenance, Russia wants her share of Syrian oil and she wants to share with Iran the Syrian rebuilding contracts worth billions of dollars.

Finally, endeavours are underway to generate an internationally and regionally acceptable scenario whereby the UN would be a political stakeholder in order to recognise "Israel’s” sovereignty over the Golan and legalise the presence of the buffer zone, which will only be established to protect "Israel" and the American and "Israeli" oil companies expected to work in the Golan Heights.

4 – Egypt     

The “Deal of the Century” reveals that Egypt’s role involves shifting the control of the Gaza Strip from "Israel" to Egypt in order to separate Gaza from the West Bank for good. In order to achieve this aim, in which Abdul Fattah al Sisi is partaking, the team of Kushner talked about establishing a free zone in Sinai between the border of Gaza and the city of al-Arish.  This free zone will include a desalination and water treatment plant and a solar power generator in addition to five industrial zones in which thousands of Palestinians will work. The area will also include an international airport and a seaport to replace the seaport "Israel" never allowed the Palestinians to establish in Gaza. The project will be bankrolled by the Gulf States who have become a cash cow for America.

The Relationship Between the "Deal of the Century” and the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI)

The fact that the "Deal of the Century" involves the countries surrounding the usurping entity "Israel" does not necessarily mean it will replace the GMEI announced by George Bush in 2004. The "Deal of the Century" is in fact part of the GMEI which includes all the Islamic countries and not just Palestine and neighbouring countries. Egypt, Saudi and the UAE, who represent the major countries affiliated to America and much relied upon in making the "Deal of the Century" a successful initiative, are the same countries playing an advanced role in entrenching American hegemony in the Middle East and North Africa. They are the three countries who have been propagating extensively the concept of “regional peace”, and they are the very same countries that have been backing the so-called counter-revolutions and financing terrorism in the Horn of Africa. 

It is worth mentioning that while America is engrossing the world with talk about the "Deal of the Century", its articles and merits, she is working assiduously towards entrenching the GMEI. The recent political and historical facts prove that America has only exploited the crises of the region as pretexts to consolidate her unilateral dominion and hegemony and to deepen the rifts and divisions among the Muslims, not to mention the plundering of their riches in a manner known to all and sundry.  The "Deal of the Century" is truly the deal of the devil aimed at ending the Palestinian issue at a time America thinks she has a historic opportunity to fragment the countries of the region according to the GMEI.

“Is it not time that the hearts of all who have believed should feel humble at the remembrance of Allah and of all the truth that has been bestowed from on high?”  [57-16]

 8 Thil Qi’dah 1439h
21 July 2018