The U.S. is already implementing its “peace” plan on the ground by moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawing support for a two-state solution, cutting funds to the UNRWA, and normalizing Israeli apartheid in Palestine.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt are supporting Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” aimed at brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to a report published in Israel’s largest newspaper.
The report, published in Israel Hayom, asserts that the four countries told Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and the administration’s Middle East “peace” envoy, as well as top Trump negotiator Jason Greenblatt, that they would support the administration’s plan, even if it meant sidelining the PA and Palestine as a whole.
Claiming to have spoken with top officials from the four Arab nations, Israel Hayom stated that the countries were not only unanimous in their support of the U.S.-backed plan, but that they would support the U.S. unilaterally forcing the implementation of the Kushner- and Trump-backed plan even if it was rejected by the PA and Palestinians as a whole.
The news comes amid PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ ongoing boycott of U.S. officials which began late last year following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestine has long claimed East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
One Jordanian official was quoted by Israel Hayom as stating that Kushner and Greenblatt had been informed by officials from the four countries that “Arab states will not be the ones to throw a wrench in the wheels of the peace process, and that Abbas’ continued refusal to work with the Americans will lead to a regional peace plan being launched without him.” Kushner stated in an interview this past Sunday that the plan would be ready soon and other reports have claimed that it will likely be made public by this August at the latest.
Concern has been raised, however, that Israel Hayom’s report could well be misinformation, painting on-going negotiations as heavily leaning in Israel’s favor, due to the fact that Israel Hayom is owned and financed by Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the top donor of the U.S. Republican Party, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. However, past reports and statements from Palestinian, Israeli, and other regional governments’ officials make it all but certain that the upcoming “peace plan” is set to so strongly favor Israeli interests that even the PA, which many Palestinians see as relatively subservient to Israel, will be forced to reject it out of hand.
The destruction of the two-state solution masquerading as a “peace” plan
While the Kushner-led plan to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict has not been made public, much of its content has been confirmed by the statements of Palestinian, Israeli and American negotiators. Last December, the New York Times reported on a version of the Trump administration’s peace plan that Saudi Arabia had pressured the PA to accept a month prior.
Under that plan, Palestinians would be given small, non-contiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over that territory while nearly all of Israel’s illegal settlements, which cover around 60 percent of the West Bank, would remain.
In addition, Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants would be granted.
Such a plan is, as the Times noted, “one that presumably no Palestinian leader could ever accept.” Abbas’ rejection of the proposed plan led Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to warn that Abbas must accept the terms or resign and make way for a replacement who would.
Though the Saudi and U.S. governments, at the time, denied these points of the proposal when asked about them, the Times was able to confirm them with top officials in Palestine, the United States and Lebanon. Since then, top U.S. think tanks have asserted that these same proposals are likely to form the basis for the current draft of the plan.
Palestinian officials, despite the likely contents of the plan and its alleged support by key nations in the region, remain defiant. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told Middle East Eye last week that, even though Palestinian negotiators had yet to see a draft of the deal, he and others were convinced that the U.S. was already implementing its plan on the ground by moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawing support for a two-state solution, cutting funds to the UNRWA, and “normalizing Israeli apartheid in Palestine.”
He further stated that any upcoming U.S. peace plan would only continue to enforce the destruction of a two-state solution and rejected efforts to impose the plan on Palestine without its consent, stating that “nobody can impose anything upon us.”
Consider the source
The pro-Israel slant of the peace plan is hardly surprising given that Jared Kushner is the one overseeing it. Raised in a wealthy Zionist family and having met powerful Israeli politicians like Netanyahu as a teenager, Kushner’s pro-Israel stance is a key part of his very identity.
It is no small wonder, then, that Kushner has since overseen the use of funds from his family foundation to support thousands of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as thousands more given to support the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
In addition, Kushner has been known for years to be against a two-state solution. However, this clear bias did nothing to prevent Trump from putting Kushner in charge of the making “the deal of the century,” aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. Since taking over those “peace” efforts, Kushner’s conflicts of interests with Israel have only deepened, particularly after his real-estate firm accepted a $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim – one of Israel’s largest financial institutions – last year.
In addition to Kushner’s own clear bias and conflict of interest, the Trump administration and Republican Party’s receipt of millions of dollar from Israeli hard-liner Sheldon Adelson – who openly scoffs at a two-state solution – makes it even more clear that any U.S. peace plan would seek to make an independent future Palestinian state little more than a pipe dream.
Indeed, Adelson wields great influence over the Trump administration, having guided the administration’s controversial Jerusalem decision, its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and its replacement of Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster with pro-Israel stalwarts and Iran war-hawks Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.
Adelson’s unprecedented influence means that the Trump administration will only present a peace plan that he supports. Given his open hostility towards Palestine – having once said “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian” — it’s an open secret that the upcoming U.S. peace plan will seek to wipe any vestige of Palestine off the map for good.
The U.S. as policy overlord
Though the report in Israel Hayom has yet to be publicly confirmed, the recent policies of some of the countries named and the alliances of all four with the United States make the report’s assertions of “unanimous” support for an upcoming deal worth considering.
As previously mentioned, Saudi Arabia had openly promoted the deal to Abbas last year and essentially threatened him to accept the deal. In addition, Saudi Arabia’s relative silence on Israel’s recent massacres of unarmed Palestinian protesters is in marked contrast to the rebukes such actions would commonly draw from the Saudis only a few years ago.
Saudi Arabia’s about-face on Palestine has come amid its warming relations with Israel, a phenomenon that has only grown since current Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman rose to power last year. Just last month, the Israeli ambassador to Egypt called bin Salman “a partner” of Israel.
In addition, the Saudis – just like the UAE, Egypt and Jordan – are U.S. allies and have previously shown a willingness to abandon solidarity with Palestine in order to join Trump’s aggressive stance against Iran, a stance that – like the “peace” plan – is largely shaped by the administration’s Israel policy and its top donor, Sheldon Adelson.
Furthermore, Trump’s tough tone and threats to cut aid and arms sales to countries that are at odds with his policies may have influenced countries like Jordan, which receives $1 billion in U.S. aid annually, to go along with a “peace” plan they normally would not support.
As a result, these nations are willing to throw their fellow Arabs in Palestine under the bus, all in an effort to maintain and strengthen their alliances with the U.S. and show sycophantic support for the Trump administration’s aggressive tone toward their regional foe, Iran.
If these countries do ultimately back the implementation of a “peace” plan without Palestinian support, they will be making their most public demonstration yet that their dependence on U.S. empire is the major driver of their foreign policy.
Top Photo | White House senior adviser Jared Kushner watches a ceremony where President Donald Trump was presented with The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, at the Royal Court Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. Evan Vucci | AP
Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.