(February 1) Kelly Craft, US Ambassador to the United Nations, on Friday issued a statement warning the Palestinians against expressing any criticism of Trump's "Deal of the Century" peace plan. She said that any complaints would achieve nothing.
Craft noted that she anticipated initial negative reactions to the plan but Palestinian displeasure should be channeled into negotiations. She said: "Bringing that displeasure to the United Nations does nothing but repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades. Let's avoid those traps and instead take a chance on peace." Why not negotiate in the first place instead of presenting a one-sided deal without any Palestinian negotiation? I think the answer is that the deal is intended not to be an agreement with the Palestinians but a plan to impose a solution on them that favors Israeli interests and is backed by the global power of the US.US expected to veto any critical resolution in the UN Security CouncilIf there is a resolution criticizing the Trump peace plan, it is expected that the US will veto. Even if this happens the resolution would show the extent to which other countries reject the plan. No doubt this is why Riyad Mansour the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN has taken the plan to the UN already.The Mansour resolutionMansour is working on a resolution critical of the Trump peace deal. He called the plan a "recipe for the destruction of the national rights of the Palestinian people." The Mansour resolution wants to condemn the text of the deal in the strongest possible language. This is doing exactly what the US envoy warned against.Should the US veto the resolution the Palestinians will very likely take the issue from the Security Council to the General Assembly giving the resolution even more publicity and no doubt showing that many countries reject the plan.The plan was created with absolutely no input from the Palestinian side. The plan is very much slanted towards the interests of Israel and many argue that it is slanted towards US interests. It would encourage Israeli annexation of the West Bank among other things. The US no doubt realizes that the plan will be roundly rejected by the UN. This is no doubt expect and will be used to advance the argument that the Palestinians will not negotiate peace. However, it is hardly surprising that the Palestinians do not accept a deal in which they were not involved and which favors Israeli interests.Former President Carter's criticismCarter noted that the Trump plan violated repeated calls by the UN for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. It was that year the Israel occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Trump plan considers occupied Jerusalem Al-Quds to be part of Israel's undivided capital. However, Palestinians want that part to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.Carter claimed that the US deal broke international law concerning issues of Palestinian self-determination, acquisition of foreign land by force, and annexation of occupied territories. He urged UN member states "to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions and to reject any unilateral Israeli implementation of the proposal by grabbing more Palestinian land."The US proposal also "breaches international law" addressing the issues of Palestinian self-determination, acquisition of foreign land by force, annexation of occupied territories, and also denied Palestinians equal rights, he added.Arab League rejects and condemns planIn a statement this Saturday the pan-Arab bloc announced it "rejects the US-Israeli 'deal of the century' considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people."The Arab states agreed not to cooperate with the US administration if it attempts to implement the plan and said that Israel should not implement the plan by force. The group insisted on a two-state solution based on borders before the 1967 war. They also called on East Jerusalem to be the capital of any future Palestinian State. The session was called by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. The Arab League took a clear stance opposed to the Trump plan as Mahmoud had requested.However, Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE had attended the unveiling of the plan. Saudi Arabia and Egypt said they appreciated Trump's efforts. Some Arab countries appear to be cosying up to Israel.The Trump deal is a dudThe Trump deal was not a deal in the first place but a plan that would have the US and Israel impose conditions on the Palestinians that would favor the Israelis. There was no participation by the Palestinians. What sort of agreement is it when one party is not involved or even consulted?The US and Israel paint the deal as a grand opportunity for the Palestinians which would solve many of their problems and if rejected would be a huge lost opportunity. Israel may very well try to implement the deal in spite of its rejection by many. In doing so Israel will no doubt have the support of the United States. Resistance by the Palestinians will be taken as showing they are ungrateful and impossible to negotiate with. Any violent resistance will be retaliated against as fighting terrorism.
Previously published in the Digital Journal