Hady Amr on the Irrelevance of 'the Deal of the Century'

Published February 20th, 2020 - 10:23 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

DC Insider spoke with Hady Amr, former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, to present a deeper picture of why the self-described 'Deal of the Century' is a non-starter for Palestinians. 

 

The PA has made it abundantly clear, on many occasions, that they are going to fight this plan with all their might. "We've informed the Israeli side ... that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties," Palestinian President Abbas said. "I will not have it recorded in my history that I sold Jerusalem," he said. Is that what this deal is, the 'selling' of Jerusalem?

"Arabic is a different language than English so in English, it really doesn't make sense. In essence, the way that the Trump plan deals with Jerusalem is entirely inconsistent with international law and past positions of U.S. presidents. It essentially gives Israel full control over basically all of Jerusalem, or all of anything that anyone would recognize as Jerusalem. The bottom line is that what this plan has done is confirm that the entire Arab world, the entire organization of the Islamic Council, the EU, and the United Nations all completely and totally reject the premise of the plan what it's done is verified to the world that it's a complete non-starter.”

Much of the global community has shunned Trump’s latest effort to further annex Palestine. How much significance does this latest ‘plan’ really hold?

“The plan is irrelevant. What relevance does it have? None. This plan does not matter. Just ignore it and pretend like it's not there. It has no legal basis. Israel already controls the whole situation. This plan has been in effect for 52 years and now, Trump and Kushner want to come forward and say that full Israeli control is going to continue? So what? It's continuing anyway and no one accepts it. Israel occupies the full territory, anyway. They occupy the West Bank, the blockade over Gaza... They already control it, so this plan is simply Donald Trump and Jared Kushner wanting to legitimize the status quo and they can go ahead and do it.

this plan is simply Donald Trump and Jared Kushner wanting to legitimize the status quo and they can go ahead and do it.

The entire world literally rejects it and so as soon as Trump disappears from the situation, this notion of acknowledging the status quo disappears. This is all a figment of Trump and Kushner's imagination... When those guys leave, this whole thing just leaves with them. Even the Israeli right wing has rejected the plan, and even the left. The only people that embrace this plan are Netanyahu/his party, Trump, and Kushner. They can continue with their fantasy plan for as long as they like but ultimately, it's just going to dissipate into nothingness. 

“We have begun positive steps to unify the Palestinian side. God willing, it will cause this deal to fail." Former Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal emphasized. What impact will this have on the Palestinian people? 

"Clearly, for the Palestinian people to succeed in establishing their freedom, prosperity, security, and rights, they need to overcome their differences and begin to work together in a more effective matter.

Regarding Meshaal’s comments, I believe that he means that the Palestinians are going to try and overcome some of the differences that they have with the Palestine Liberation Organization and work toward a common objective

I think that the Palestinians need to get their house in order, overcome their differences and work together towards their common vision for freedom, dignity, and human rights. Regarding Meshaal’s comments, I believe that he means that the Palestinians are going to try and overcome some of the differences that they have with the Palestine Liberation Organization and work toward a common objective.” 

The Trump administration has requested that Netanyahu stalls any further annexation, at least until the Israeli elections on March 3rd. Could you picture Netanyahu waiting to illegally occupy more land, especially with the upcoming elections that he needs to win in order to keep himself out of jail? 

"That is the real danger- if Israel goes ahead and begins annexing territory. But again, that annexation will only be acknowledged by the U.S. it will not be recognized by the EU, the Arab world, not by anybody- so there’s no point in even acknowledging it.“ 

Now the plan is on the table, can the ‘deal of the century’ ever be reversed, or has a precedent been established? 

"If Trump wants to say that the U.S. has recognized Israeli annexation of any parts of the West Bank, I can pretty much assure you that any future democratic president would reverse that recognition and so just as Trump has that power to recognize, so do future presidents. The Trump administration has made its intentions clear. Every step has been in pursuance of the agenda that we see. There's no reason to think that they'll do anything other than continue that pathway. The point here, though, is that just as they have done all these things, the next U.S. president can reverse all the decisions if they choose to do so.”

Basically, Donald and Bibi went into the backroom and this is what they came up with.

Trump and Netanyahu have reached a new level of U.S.-Israeli partnership. From the move of the Palestinian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to the cutting of UNRWA aid. Who’s really winning here? 

"This plan was developed in partnership with Netanyahu and gives Netanyahu everything that he could ever want. Basically, Donald and Bibi went into the backroom and this is what they came up with. With that in mind, there's no reason for their little map to work for anybody else. The bottom line is that any agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires equality and freedom for all people in the holy land and this plan provides none of that.”

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Al Bawaba News.


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