talal10_SAID KHATIBAFP via Getty Images_palestinechildrefugee Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

Where Is the World for the Palestinians?

The Trump administration's peace plan for Israel and Palestine embodies none of the ingredients of successful conflict resolution, including talking and listening, accommodation of core interests, and a compromise solution that the majority can support. It reads, not surprisingly, more like a real-estate transaction.

AMMAN – It should come as no surprise that the proposed US peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians bears all the hallmarks of a real-estate transaction. This supposed “Deal of the Century” certainly embodies none of the ingredients of successful conflict resolution, including talking and listening, accommodation of core interests, and a compromise solution that the majority can support. And how could it when the most important partners in the conversation – the Palestinians – were notable only by their absence, having been forced from the room by impossible demands.

Shortly after Jared Kushner’s laudable comment in May 2018 that the pursuit of peace is “the noblest pursuit of humankind,” the journalist Robert Fisk asked the right question about Kushner’s plan: “After three Arab-Israeli wars, tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths, and millions of refugees, does Kushner really believe that the Palestinians will settle for cash?”

The cynical among us might conclude, with Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, that “peace between Israelis and Palestinians is not a consideration. It is just cosmetics.” The US administration’s earlier actions – endorsement of Israel’s West Bank settlements, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and cutting funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (which supports Palestinian refugees) – certainly suggest as much. As Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, put it in 2018: “It’s very clear that the overarching goal is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence.” Kushner’s proposal does the same to the Palestinians as a whole and Palestine as a functioning entity.

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