So the administration of US President Donald Trump finally published its “Ultimate Deal”, a document being trumpeted as a “peace plan”.
But in reality, it is nothing of the sort. It is more like a plan for the pacification of Palestinian resistance; a formula for the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. A scheme to sideline the Palestinian people and pretend that the realisation of their rights can be forever delayed.
Trump’s “Vision for Peace” would permanently trap Palestinians in bantustans, cementing Israeli apartheid.
But we will never surrender our rights and our land.
— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) January 29, 2020
Under the plan, the illegal Israeli colonies that scar the West Bank will remain. Palestinians will have what the plan terms “something ‘less than a state’”. Israel’s military dictatorship (“Israeli security responsibility”) in the West Bank will remain. Gaza will be reconquered by Israel’s puppet, the Palestinian Authority “or another body acceptable to Israel”.
Refugees will not return.
In a nutshell: everything to Israel, nothing for the Palestinians.
That is why even the collaborationist Palestinian Authority has dismissed the document as totally unworkable, with Mahmoud Abbas giving it “a thousand noes”.
The ridiculousness of the plan is clear from the maps that form a part of it, in annexes to the document, which Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been pushing this week.
Despite having already made the (to many Palestinians) unacceptable concession to give up access to life in 78 per cent of the territory of historic Palestine back in the late 1980s, the Trump-Kushner-Netanyahu plan demands that the Palestinians should give up yet more territory.
Around one third of the West Bank will be annexed to Israel under the plan. But crucially, the map shows that even the scraps of land notionally left to the Palestinians are isolated, broken, discontinuous territories.
These tiny bits of Palestinian land on the map are akin to Indian reservations in the US, or – even more aptly – the bantustans under the late, unlamented white supremacist regime in South Africa.
Reacting to increasing international outrage at its racism and violence, the apartheid regime’s white minority rulers concocted the bantustans – a series of “black homelands”. These were discontinuous, isolated statelets within South Africa, forcing black people off the vast majority of the land in South Africa, while the majority of the land was reserved for the minority white settler population.
The apartheid regime claimed that these powerless entities gave black people the realisation of their self-determination, even giving some nominal “independence” in the 70s and early 80s.
But the reality was quite the opposite. In truth, the bantustans were corrupt, violent dictatorships, which were deliberately established as local centres of power under the ultimate control of the regime. They were aimed at causing infighting within the majority black population, in order to undermine the African National Congress’s liberation struggle.
And so it is with the PA – which is also a corrupt, violent dictatorship, whose primary purpose is to protect Israel and undermine the Palestinian liberation struggle.
It is precisely for this reason that some minority elements of the global movement for Zionism – Israel’s founding settler-colonial ideology – are critical of Trump’s plan. The supposedly liberal and “leftist” wings of Zionism oppose the plan on a purely optical basis, not because of the fact that it undermines Palestinian human rights.
That is to say, liberal Zionists only oppose Trump’s plan because it make them look bad. It unmasks and makes plain the shabby reality of the way Israel, the US and the EU have for decades been trying to destroy the Palestinian liberation movement.
The way these “great powers” have been trying to do this, is to impose the false idea that there is a “two-state solution” to the “conflict” between “Israel and the Palestinians”.
The map, by making clear that only tiny crumbs of land in the West Bank will remain to the Palestinians, is too truthful in its open contempt for and racism against Palestinians.
In typical colonial fashion, he has claimed that Palestinians are “not ready” to govern themselves. He has derisively talked about Palestinians “saying they have rights” – making it very clear that this racist American considers Palestinians as less than human, and not deserving of equal rights to Israelis or other white people.
The silver lining to all this is that there is a kind of plain frankness to it. It is clear to all where the explicit racists stand.
But in reality, the “liberal” and “leftist” Zionists are just as racist against Palestinians – but they are more careful about revealing that fact in public. They have slightly better PR.
To be continued in Part Two.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.