If the Peace Plan is a Win-Win, Why Are Palestinians Rejecting Trump's 'Deal of the Century'?

Published January 29th, 2020 - 10:09 GMT
Why Are the Palestinians Rejecting Trump's Middle East "Deal of the Century"?
Some commentators linked the timing chosen to announce details of the peace plan with the on-going impeachment trial of the US President Donald Trump. (Shutterstock)

In a press conference in Washington DC on Tuesday, accompanied by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz, US President Donald Trump finally lifted the curtain on his long-awaited peace plan, sparking feelings of anger and disappointment amongst Palestinians who protested the content of the deal on account of it being "strongly in favor of Israel."

The peace plan which was prepared by Trump’s Middle East team, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, introduces a new vision for the two-state solution explained in a conceptual map Trump posted on Twitter, featuring a fully demilitarized Palestine missing most of the Jordan Valley. The peace plan promises a Palestinian capital in some portions of East Jerusalem.

Besides many statements by Palestinian Authority officials expressing their total rejection of the plan, many Palestinians took to social media to criticize the map.

According to many Palestinian social media users, the drafted plan presents an "unpractical isolated and fractioned" Palestinian state that is "barely sovereign." They also protested the absence of Palestinians' contribution to the deal, despite the plan's direct impact on their lives, calling it a unilateral deal.

Translation: "It's interesting that Trump's Middle East plan was engineered by Jared Kushner, David Friedman, and Jason Greenblatt, all three with no prior political or diplomatic experience while they are all Orthodox Jews. It's also interesting that this deal isn't in line with the US foreign policy over the past decades."

Social media users said they felt the peace deal disregards many of the Palestinian demands that have been acknowledged by the United Nations, such as having the Palestinian state within 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as a future capital, and the refugees' right of return.

Some commentators pointed out the peculiar timing for the announcement, referencing the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump over withholding Ukranian aid. It also comes only six weeks before Israel's third elections in attempts to form a new Israeli government.

As the Israeli Prime Minister faces several corruption charges that could jeopardize his election campaign, it's been argued that both Trump and Netanyahu needed to create a historical moment that can support their efforts to be re-elected during 2020 and distract the public from their legal troubles.

The peace plan which seems to have won Israeli approval, having both Netanyahu and his political rival attending Trump's speech on Tuesday, doesn't seem to appeal to most Palestinians, prompting several protests across cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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