The Art of No Mideast Deal – Consortiumnews

Donald Trump once advertised an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan as his greatest achievement-in-the-making, but like many of the president’s negotiations, the Kushner-Greenblatt strategy is a one-sided bargain, writes Patrick Lawrence.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

Whatever happened to President Trump’s “Deal of the Century”—his promise to forge an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians bringing a 70-year conflict to a close?

We now have two answers.

One, whatever comes out of this undertaking will not be a deal. Since the Palestinians have refused to negotiate, it will be an imposed plan entirely to Israel’s advantage.

Two, when the White House does announce its Mideast framework, it is unlikely to do much more than consolidate the status quo. “It’ll be a cease-fire, not a peace plan, even if the United States and Israel could get Palestinians to go along,” Richard Falk, an international lawyer and longtime authority on the Mideast question, said in a recent conversation.

Wait Until Next Year

Little was made of it, but Trump took a big step back from his deal of deals during the recent General Assembly general debate at the United Nations. We’ll show the world our plan “over the next two to three to four months,” he announced.

Clearly the administration is unsurprisingly kicking its proposals well into next year. By all indications, it has so far found little buy-in from any Arab nation, let alone the Palestinians.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who have led the administration effort for 20 months, have plenty on the table. While they have disclosed no details, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser on Israel appear to have structured a grand plan that takes Palestinian self-determination out of the equation in return for economic aid and the promise of prosperity. In other words, surrender your principles, and we’ll pay you for it.

Greenblatt, far left, and Kushner, far right, with Bibi and “friends” at the U.S. Embassy dedication ceremony in Jerusalem. (State Department)

I simply do not see this winning the endorsement it would need in either Gaza or the West Bank. And without that,…

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