The next seven days will effectively define whether the United Nations and the rule of international law are any longer relevant in a twenty first century world dominated by the global bully on steroids, the United States of America.
In the week beginning 10th February the United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the extraordinary, outrageous and unprecedented plan for the future relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
I refuse to call it a “peace plan” because that would be a perversion of the English language. It is not remotely designed to promote ‘peace’ in the Middle East but instead represents a complete extinction of Palestine as a viable independent state.
On Saturday the 22 nation Arab League met in Egypt’s capital of Cairo to discuss President Donald Trump’s Middle East initiative launched with massive fanfare and mainstream media publicity last Tuesday in the White House. The plan was widely recognised to be the pet project of the woefully under-qualified Jared Kushner, a Trump Senior Advisor and son-in-law, with experience of property development and newspaper publishing but zero experience or understanding of the history, complexities and sensitivities of the Middle East and Palestine. The thirty-nine-year old’s searing incompetence in the area is matched only by his arrogance according to serious observers.
Born into massive wealth and privilege and gaining access to Harvard Law School on the back of daddy’s big fat cheque donation ($2.5 million to be precise) Jared Kushner’s role in devising the Trump Middle East plan simply adds grotesque insult onto horrendous injury. The guy is a spoilt little rich kid dabbling in areas of world politics that he does not understand or comprehend. Every appearance on TV only serves to underline his ignorance and arrogance and remind you of the famous scene from the 1940 classic Pinocchio “Am I a real boy?”
Palestinians Not Consulted On Their Own Future
No representative of Palestinian Authority was consulted in the course of developing the new plan for the future of the state and none were invited to the trumpet call in Washington with the dastardly duo in full flow, impeached Trump and corruption charged Netanyahu.
Predictably, the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas rejected the plan out of hand as an unfair, unworkable and Israeli inspired proposal but the presence of representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman may have given the impression that the Arab world would be receptive to the document. Fortunately, that has proven to be utterly unfounded.
The Arab League convened an emergency meeting of its 22 member nations on Saturday in Cairo and unanimously rejected the Kushner/Trump proposal which Trump had cheaply and egomaniacally referred to as ‘the deal of the century’. The Times of Israel reported:
The Arab League on Saturday unanimously rejected US President Donald Trump’s controversial Middle East plan, calling it “unfair” to Palestinians.
The pan-Arab bloc said in a statement that it “rejects the US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people”.
Arab leaders also vowed “not to… cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan”.
Whole of Arab World Rejects Trump Middle East Plan
The Arab League pronouncement has been followed by yesterday’s (Monday 3rd February) significant and unanimous rejection by the 57 nation member body the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which met in the Saudi Arabian city of Jiddah in an emergency session and issued a firm dismissal of the plan and support for the Arab League call for non-cooperation. As reported by Al Jazeera:
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said it rejects US President Donald Trump ‘s recently unveiled Middle East plan.
The 57-member body, which held a summit on Monday to discuss the plan in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, said in a statement that it “calls on all member states not to engage with this plan or to cooperate with the US administration in implementing it in any form”.
While Trump’s plan was widely trailed in the Western mainstream media and pitched as the definitive next steps in the region you would struggle to find any mention of the robust and comprehensive unanimous rejection of the plan by the bodies which collectively represent the views of the various nations in that region of the world.
The Arab League represents 22 nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation consists of 57 nations, and both bodies have completely rejected the Trump ‘deal of the century’ yet hardly a peep has been reported by the Western media. Of course, such biased reporting of events in the Middle East is commonplace and reflects the inherent pro-US/pro-Israel nature of the billionaire owned media. The Trump ‘deal of the century’ has been unanimously rejected because Arab nations and the Palestinian people reject the idea that Palestine is for sale at any price.
United Nations Must Robustly Reject Trump Plan to Destroy Palestine State
Palestinians and the nations in and around the Middle East have rejected the Trump plan and so too should the United Nations when it convenes next week. Failure to do so robustly would be a betrayal of the Palestinian people, international law and every motion and independently brokered peace deal on the area since 1967. The Trump deal is a disgraceful and dangerous dismissal of the rights of millions of Palestinians and anything other than wholesale rejection signifies the end of international and humanitarian law as we know it.
Under Trump’s new plan, the Palestinians will be granted limited autonomy within a Palestinian homeland that consists of multiple non-contiguous enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The government of Israel will retain security control over the Palestinian enclaves and will continue to control Palestinian borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and the electromagnetic spectrum. Israel will be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in the West Bank.
The Palestinians will be allowed to select the leaders of their new homeland but will have no political rights in Israel, the state that actually rules over them. The biased content and intent of this plan was already clear in last years’ landmark decision to reverse decades of US definition of Israeli settlements in Palestinian land as illegal.
In reality, the Trump plan can be defined as a US President giving another country absolution for illegally occupying another sovereign nations land for the last fifty years and permission to continue that illegal occupation for eternity. If that is what the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and other developed nations permit then we really have reached the end of civilisation as we know it and the beginning of a new, dark, dangerous and lawless epoch. The Arab world has rejected this plan unanimously and so too must the UN and EU.
Israel ‘Meets All International Definitions of Apartheid’
Trump’s plan for racial control and segregation should sound disturbingly familiar. Indeed it should immediately bring to mind the Bantu homelands which were the cornerstone of South Africa’s ‘grand apartheid’.
While ‘petty apartheid’ was the term used to describe racial segregation on buses and public facilities in the United States throughout the 1950s and ’60s, ‘grand apartheid’ referred to the many laws which enforced territorial and political separation between black and white South Africans. This Trump plan formalises the already operational ‘grand apartheid’ which exists right now between Israel and Palestinians. From the United Nations to the respected War on Want campaign Israel’s apartheid status is recognised:
“There is overwhelming evidence that the system instituted by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people meets the UN definition of Apartheid.
In effect, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory constitute one territorial unit under full Israeli control. As of 2016, of the total population of people that live in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, around 6.45 million are Jewish Israelis and about 6.41 million are Palestinians.
Under Israeli law, and in practice, Jewish Israelis and Palestinians are treated differently in almost every aspect of life including freedom of movement, family, housing, education, employment and other basic human rights. Dozens of Israeli laws and policies institutionalise this prevailing system of racial discrimination and domination”.
The internationally acclaimed and experienced Middle East commentator and historian Robert Fisk, who unlike Jared Kushner actually knows what he talks about, has caustically analysed the Trump proposal. I urge every reader of this column and the leaders of nations that declare their commitment to the international rule of law and respect for national sovereignty, to heed his words and understand his conclusion that this plan has zero chance of delivering peace but will inevitably spawn more conflict, war and continued acts of ‘terror’:
“The document wasn’t just a gift to Israel. It embodied every Israeli demand ever made to Washington (plus a few more) and effectively destroyed every effort made by the United Nations Security Council; every UN resolution on Israeli withdrawal; every effort of the EU and the Quartet on the Middle East to produce a just and fair resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli war.
In short, Israel will – under this wretched “deal”, doomed though it was within seconds – get all of Jerusalem forever, most of the West Bank, own almost every Jewish colony in occupied land and dominate a disarmed, truncated, neutered Palestinian people who must promise to call Israel the “nation state of the Jewish people” (albeit almost 21 per cent of its people are Arabs), censor its own schoolbooks, arrest and interrogate anyone daring to oppose the Israeli occupier, and who will have a cluster of villages outside Jerusalem’s walls to call a capital”.
Aye right, Trump. Your ‘deal of the century’ is nothing more than a ‘pact with the Devil’. It is a shady, shoddy and shameful proposal reflecting your ignorance, arrogance and unfitness for office.