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Peace to Prosperity: A Wake-up Call for Palestinians and Beyond
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis apply their footwear in a sign of deliberate disrespect to posters depicting US President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a demonstration against the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace proposal on February 3, 2020. (Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

Peace to Prosperity: A Wake-up Call for Palestinians and Beyond

This deal/vision is a new Marshal Plan that will be implemented over 10 years. It consists of two frameworks: a racist political framework followed by a creative economic framework. With the potential to facilitate more than $50 billion in new investments over 10 years, the Trump Administration claims that Peace to Prosperity represents the most ambitious and comprehensive international effort for the Palestinians to date.

After studying the 181 pages, it appears that Peace to Prosperity is indeed an ambitious vision for prosperity through an economic plan for Palestine, jointly with the region and the Middle East, and heavily focused on normalization. However, the first 50 pages of Trump’s vision lay down the political framework, which is nothing but an American attempt to achieve a Zionist vision for Palestinian society. It is designed by Israeli opportunist leaders who don’t care about the strategic future of the State of Israel.

One must ask how this plan can guarantee the security of Israeli citizens while it deprives the Palestinian people of their basic political rights.

Studying the proposed vision, I witnessed a lot of creative thinking, innovation, technology, pragmatism, modernity and a lot of dreams that were produced professionally to confiscate Palestinian rights.

The economic framework will look attractive/seducing to many. Nevertheless, any deal/vision for peace based on international references, UN resolutions and the pre-1967 borders could have achieved much more in the way of economic benefits than those in the Trump vision.

Granting statehood to the people of Palestine along the pre-1967 border line is an overdue international promise. It is needless to reiterate the international consensus that negotiating the final status issues (Jerusalem, refugees, borders, water, resources and security) is the responsibility of the two parties alone; they should decide without unilateral actions.

It is worth noting here that while the international community never refrains from advocating for the two-state solution, we don’t see those governments recognizing the State of Palestine nor do we see them identifying the borders of the State of Israel since 1948!

The setting of the release of the Deal of the Century was very much a provocative scene that neglected the legitimate existence of the Palestinian people’s rights. It undermined international law and, above all, smashed global political consensus.

With the de facto implementation of this annexation vision, the Trump team wishes to make it de jure by seeking approval from Arab and European governments. However, the Israeli/American vision is already underway to confiscate/annex what remains on the ground.

Under the motto “two-state solution,” Trump and Netanyahu are not waiting for Palestinian approval of the deal. The announcement is a short notice to the Palestinian people that the situation is shifting to a one-Jewish-state solution where the Palestinian people will be treated as a class of less fortunate citizens, as already declared by the Knesset in its Nation State Law.

This is a wake-up call for the Palestinian people – and the “snooze button” for the international community if it continues to issue statements instead of taking action.

One thing I am confident about is that the Palestinians will stay here, and no Palestinian will be party to this deal of annexation.

It will be said that the Palestinians are wasting a chance for peace.

Allow me to highlight that in drafting the plan, the Trump team used the term “facilitator” instead of “mediator.” As its members are perfectly aware of the role of a mediator in trying to bring two sides to common ground, they have abandoned their role as mediators. This is a blunt confession that this is a business deal rather than a win/win peace deal, as they verbally indicated.

The last lines of the vision say, and I quote: “While the vision is ambitious, it is achievable. The future of the Palestinians is one of huge promise and potential.” With the following words, the vision ends: “The Palestinian story does not end here. Their story is just being written.”

The Trump team is 100% right when it says that the Palestinian people deserve a better reality.

Yes, the people of Palestine are longing for prosperity, peace and freedom. We are a nation full of visionary people, dreamers and hard workers who are capable of changing this miserable and racist reality. In fact, we are passionate about bringing peace, prosperity and strategic stability to the entire region.

We teach our kids to respect Hanukkah like Easter and Adha. Palestinian kids are not taught that one race or religion is superior to another. President Trump, with this political framework, is destroying the open-mindedness, tolerance and humanity that we have worked so hard to instill in our kids.

Empathy is indeed a universal value that needs to be reconsidered by the president of the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world, in order to bring the change that suits every nation rather than changing realities to suit one side’s interests at the expense of the other’s.

After reading the summary I have drafted for the “deal of the century” (see below), one can only imagine the tremendous pressure that has been, and will continue to be, exerted on Palestinians to force them to conform. Not least is the insinuation that future deals will be less advantageous, an attempt to sugarcoat a cyanide pill.

What is more important than this mutilated, stillborn-baby of a deal is a Palestinian strategy that continues to be reactive, seemingly spontaneous and largely nonexistent or dependent on the UN and international community.

The seeds of opportunity are always cloaked in misfortune. It is our duty to find them. It is not what the deal of the century will do for us; instead, we should ask when, where, who and what we should do to materialize our dreams and aspirations.

We, the people of Palestine, alone are entitled to write/narrate our story of liberation, freedom, dignity, resilience and peace.

 

 

Deal of the Century – Summary 

 

After carefully studying the Deal, here is my summary for the 181 pages:

The Deal of the Century calls itself a vision to improve the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people. The deal came in two frameworks:

Political Framework – first 50 pages

Economic framework – the rest 130 pages

The Political Framework

I will cover this in bullet points to cover (Jerusalem, Refugees, Prisoners, Borders, Security, International Relations, UN, Sovereignty and State)

 

Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, undivided is the capital of Israel.

Palestinian capital in the section of East Jerusalem (Kafr Aqab, East Shufat, Abu Dis) can be called Al Quds or otherwise.

Arabs Jerusalemites could choose a political identity separate from Israel or Palestine.

Palestinian world class touristic zone in Atarot to support Muslim tourism.

Jerusalem-Al Quds joint tourism Development Authority JTDA

Multi Latéral Development Bank to administer the funds allocated to peace to prosperity economic plan.

 

UN and International Resolutions

The Trump vision does not recite UN Resolutions (General Assembly or Security Council) as the deal clarifies: UN resolutions including 242, have not and will not solve the conflict, those resolutions have enabled political leaders to avoid addressing the complexities of the conflict rather than enabling a realistic path to peace!

The deal contradicts itself as it says in the last pages, once the deal is signed by both parties, a UN resolution (SC & GA) will be adopted to terminate the conflict and the claims to it! The agreement shall end the Palestinian Israeli conflict and all claims which shall come as a new UNSC and UNGA resolutions!

 

Sovereignty, Security & International Relations

Sovereign powers, Security, territorial waters and airspace is Israel’s responsibility

Sovereignty on Roads, Borders, Airspace and Entry Points is for Israel

No Port No Airport

Regional Security Cooperation: Israel is NO threat to the region, New chapter on the Middle East history where courageous leaders understand the shared threats had created a regional cooperation, Israel is not a threat to the region whatsoever. Threat from Iran and the shared interests between Israel, the Gulf, Palestine, Jordan & Egypt should form « OSCME » organization for Security and cooperation in the Middle East.

Security Criteria (Review committee) and (Regional Security Committee) Israel decides when Palestine has fulfilled the Security Criteria and if it is eligible for a Statehood status

If Palestine meets the security criteria, then the USA will reopen the PLO office in Washington, will open a mission for the PNA and later an embassy in Al Quds.

Palestine will be able to establish diplomatic relations. But can’t join all Int. organizations that contradicts commitment to demilitarization and cessation of political and judicial warfare against the state of Israel!

Palestine can’t join international organizations without the consent of Israel.

Palestine should take no action & dismiss all actions against Israel in ICC and ICJ or Interpol.

Peace Education (textbooks, curriculum) joint commission on acceptance and tolerance.

Arab countries and Palestine should cease to support BDS or any anti-Israeli initiative.

Israel, Palestine and Arab countries should counter Hezbollah, ISIS, Hamas.

Palestinian negotiators must commit to non-violence, recognize the state of Israel.

Security portion of this Vision was developed as presented by successive Israeli governments to the United States.

 

State

Palestine, fully demilitarized State

Nation State of Palestine and nation state of the Jewish people

Nation state of the Jewish people to be recognized throughout the world

Future Palestinian State (Demilitarized, self-governed, legal status, innovative network of roads, bridges, and tunnels) that enable freedom of movement.

In order to enjoy statehood, Palestinians have to meet the security criteria and include peace in the Palestinian curriculum in addition to terminating the payments to families of Martyrs and Prisoners (the plan refers to them as Terrorists)

Normalization with all countries

Transportation contiguity greatly reduces the need for checkpoints!

International Fund for (tunnels, port, roads, bridges, fences, overpasses, rail links, border crossings)

 

Borders

Land Swap for populated areas include the triangle communities to become part of the state of Palestine.

Borders and access roads under Israeli sovereignty

Wall will be aligned to match new borders

Crossing Board – security personnel shall wear civilian uniforms

 

Prisoners

Prisoners will be released: except for those linked to killing Israelis directly or indirectly.

Those will sign a pledge to promote co-existence and they can seek asylum in a 3rd country.

Condition of release: All Israeli captives have to be returned to Israel.

 

Refugees

Palestinian & Jewish refugees as a result of conflict

The vision equates between Palestinian and Jewish refugees

A fair, just and realistic solution to the Palestinian/Jewish refugees must be found with no mention of 194. No right of return to Israel. Eligibility to refugees’ rights; individuals must be registered by UNRWA.

3 options: become citizens of the country they are in, resettle in a 3rd country or move to the new state of Palestine.

The Palestinian refugees Trust will be created for compensation.

Compensation for Israeli refugees, compensation for the state of Israel for the cost of absorbing Jewish refugees. Jewish refugees’ solution must be implemented through an international mechanism separate from this peace agreement.

Upon signing, UNRWA will be terminated.

Refugee camps will be dismantled and replaced with permanent housing.

 

Gaza

Gaza (Demilitarized, Disarmed)

Once Israel decides that Palestinians had met the security criteria, Gaza shall have an artificial island on its shores to host an airport and port, a model like Singapore is imagined for Gaza.

 

Settlements

Settlements/Israeli enclaves shall become part of the state of Israel – no uprooting

Access routes under Israeli security responsibility

 

Jordan Valley

Jordan valley under Israeli sovereignty.

Existing agricultural enterprises controlled or owned by Palestinians shall continue after licenses or leases by Israel.

 

ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK

1 million new jobs over 10 years

50 billion investments over 10 years

Reduce poverty by 50%

Double GDP

 

Trade & Prosperity

Free trade Zone between Jordan and Palestine/ exporting goods through a Jordanian airport

Free Trade agreement between Palestine and the US.

Port facilities in Gaza in the future if Israel decides that Palestinians had met their security criteria. For now, Ashdod and Haifa ports. Fast track transportation system under Israeli security control under applicable tariff agreements. Charging and collection of taxes is the responsibility of Palestine.  No rental fees.

Aqaba port in Jordan Fast track transportation system for Palestine, taxes are Palestinian responsibility. Palestinian state pays rental fees.

Gaza Port & Airport: 5 years after the agreement port on an artificial island.

 

Tourism

A vision for a prosperous tourism boosted economy with hotels

Al Quds World Class Touristic zone in Atarot

Dead Sea resort area for Palestine under Israeli sovereignty with linking road to Palestine. The resort should not alter the distribution of natural resource between Jordan and Israel.

Transportation contiguity through Bridges, Tunnels and a road network greatly reduces the need for checkpoints!

 

Water, Electricity and Gas

– The vision recognizes mutual water rights with emphasis on technologies and desalination projects for waste water management.

– International initiatives to improve delivery of water, electricity, movement of goods and job creation

 

Citizens, Government & Economy

The vision introduces complete business plans in excel sheets for national and regional investment projects to meet Economic potential, empower people, government reform. Here the vision focuses on:

 

Role of Private sector

Role of regional countries (Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon)

Importance of initiatives and international support to improve services in Water, Electricity, Gas, Employment and Trade.

 

It is interesting that the vision (Peace to Prosperity) in its economic framework had introduced strategic projects with detailed proposals that included numbers, target groups, shareholders, budgets:

 

Energy Projects (Gas, Electricity, Power plant Gaza, desalination waste water project)

Touristic projects (Hotels, roads, infrastructure, companies and services)

Governance projects, proposals include Governmental projects to ensure Accountability, Transparency, Anti-corruption, Institution building (Reform, E government, Judicial independence, accountability, Transparency, Civil society)

Cultural, Arts, Athletes & Cultural projects (Cultural center and the Palestine museum)

Women & Youth empowerment

Health projects to guarantee quality, availability and affordability

Educational Projects: STEM projects (Science, technology, engineering and Mathematics) and Establishing at least one Palestinian university in the global top 150

Technical and vocational education, internships and trainings, Entrepreneurship and innovation, Small-Medium businesses

Promoting private sector growth in (Tourism, Agriculture, Housing, Manufacturing and natural resources)

Improving the legal and regulatory framework to support private-sector growth and create new economic opportunities.

Creating a better business environment Property Rights, Legal and Tax Framework, Capital Markets, and Monetary Policy, International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment.

 

Conclusion

Peace to Prosperity is an American attempt to achieve a Zionist vision in the Palestinian society, designed by Israel, aiming to be implemented through the private sector. It includes an Economic vision for Palestine and the region and the Middle East.

This Deal/Vision is a New Marshal Plan that will be implemented over 10 years. It consists of three initiatives that will support distinct pillars of the Palestinian society: the economy, the people, and the government. With the potential to facilitate more than $50 billion in new investment over ten years, the Trump administration claims that Peace to Prosperity represents the most ambitious and comprehensive international effort for the Palestinians to date.

It is important to note that the proposed projects are drawn from private sector proposals, government planning documents, independent analysis, and the work of previous studies from organizations such as the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Office of the Quartet, and others.

The author of this blog or other opinion piece is a third-party contributor who is independent of The Media Line Ltd and its partners or supporters. All assertions, opinions, facts, and information presented in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and are not necessarily those of The Media Line and/or all parties related thereto, none of whom assumes any responsibility for its content.

If you believe you have discerned any form of abuse, please contact editor@themedialine.org

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