Friday, May 31, 2019

  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
It is very easy to be negative about the Trump/Kushner plan for the Middle East. Former diplomats, however, seem to feel almost threatened by it.

Because it might show that their very assumptions have been wrong for decades.

Any article that says why the plan is doomed before the plan is known looks like more of an attempt to sabotage it, rather than an honest attempt to help bring peace to the region. Why would people who dedicated their lives to peace in the region want to kill a completely different approach, even if they disagree with it? It isn't like their efforts have exactly been successful.

Aaron David Miller, who has been part of the negotiations since Oslo, writes an article in Time entitled "I've Spent Decades Failing to Negotiate Peace in the Middle East. Trump's 'Ultimate Deal' Is Doomed, Too."

Sure, these negotiations are part real-estate deal over land. But they are also shaped by a bitter struggle between two peoples, driven by historical trauma, identity, dignity, security and contested sacred religious space.
The Administration’s current plan misunderstands the Palestinian stake in the conflict and, even if it was not its intention, reveals that Trump and Kushner think the Palestinians can be bought off. It signals an assumption that Palestine can be induced to settle or compromise on what they regard as their basic rights in exchange for economic and financial incentives.

But if this was a matter of money and improving lives, we might well have bought a solution decades ago. I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned economic initiatives and Middle East Marshall Plans have gone the way of the dodo over the years. Kushner is right: creating better lives for Palestinians through accountable institutions and the development of both infrastructure and industry is a key factor in securing peace. But it’s not the key to achieving a conflict-ending solution.
I don't think this is the thinking. I believe that the Trump administration is looking realistically at the history of Palestinian leadership. Kushner and Trump see the consistent Palestinian rejectionism of peace combined with their ideas of entitlement to claim the spoils of intifadas they have lost and wars where they have consistently backed the wrong horse.

The old Oslo-era diplomacy gives respect to the Palestinian side - the side that should be compromising to get a state - and that respect has made them less likely to want to compromise.

Trump does not want to reward this behavior any more . It didn't work under Clinton and it was disastrous under Obama, where the more respect he gave Mahmoud Abbas, the less Abbas was willing to even negotiate, let alone compromise. This is not a sustainable model for peace.

However, it is all that traditional diplomats know how to do. The idea of actively disrespecting one party to the negotiations is anathema to normal diplomats. But diplomats usually don't have to deal with people who have as much bad faith as Palestinian leaders.

The upshot is that peace is literally impossible using the old, bilateral negotiations formula which fell apart long ago.

Ordinary Palestinian Arabs just want to live their lives in dignity. The majority don't care about Palestinian nationalism. Their ancestors, by and large, came from other areas of the Arab world and freely moved from place to place for economic reasons, not political reasons.

Admittedly, this has been changing. Decades of incitement and indoctrination in Palestinian and UNRWA schools have created a generation or two of people who are more likely to be stirred by the empty slogans of the PA or Hamas. But most Arabs are normal people who want to raise their families and to have decent jobs.

If there was a referendum on a decent economic plan, the Palestinians would overwhelmingly choose it.

Gulf leaders know this. They are the ones that have been throwing good money after bad, and have gotten tired of supporting a cause where even the Palestinian leaders cannot work together.

Top down strategies simply will not work with this dysfunctional, greedy Palestinian leadership for whom "dignity" means to beg for Arab money while rejecting tax revenues that don't include money for them to pay terrorists. Regular Arabs know that this is not real dignity. Regular Arabs are the ones paying the price.

It may be politically inconvenient for the Trump Administration to admit, but on this one, economics can’t trump politics. A vibrant economy that moves people and goods requires security, predictability, transparency, freedom of movement and capital, and, above all, buy-in from the political establishment. It can’t be done in a free-fire zone (see Gaza) or in a West Bank where 60% is still controlled by the Israelis and where the Palestinian Authority that controls the remaining 40% face serious political and economic constraints. Why would serious investors want to put their money into Gaza or the West Bank without assurance that the region will be stable and secure and that people and goods can move without impediments and restrictions? Or without a clearer understanding of who will have authority over land, water and development? Neither of those fundamental questions can currently be answered.
It is funny that someone who worked for a President whose strategy to win elections was the slogan "Its the economy, stupid" is now disparaging a plan to work on exactly that above all else.

The Trump plan is indeed to bypass the Palestinian leadership. Give them chance after chance to come to the table and let the people see that they won't even try.

The Palestinian leaders do hold the political cards - but only to stand in the way of economic help. Again, we don't know what will come out of Bahrain, but if there is a specific plan that would provide Palestinians with  jobs and a way to build their own economy outside the aid and NGO-based economy they have - and if their leaders block it - those leaders become more and more irrelevant.

Let's pretend that Israel allows the UAE to build a joint Palestinian-UAE industrial park in the West Bank, that would provide 50,000 jobs. Guaranteed market for their goods in the Arab world. Israel would support it, the UAE would support it, the Palestinian people would support it. Only their leadership would oppose it.

They would try to frame that opposition in terms of "dignity" but that wouldn't work, since Israel doesn't gain anything directly - no tax revenues - from such a plan.

Either the Palestinian Authority is shamed into doing what is best for its people, or it will be toppled, because the 25% or so unemployed in the West Bank will not pretend that false claims of dignity are more important than their families.

The chances of success are very low. Even Jared Kushner admits that. But the chances of Miller's and later John Kerry's style of diplomacy working are absolute zero. Since 2001, that style has made things worse.

Different and out of the box approaches to peace are difficult and unlikely to work - but people who really care about peace instead of their egos should be in the forefront of cheering a new approach on, rather than trying to derail it before it even starts.






We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Zvi

Blog Archive