After years of build-up Donald Trump has finally released his “deal of the century”, touted as a “peace settlement” between Israel and the Palestinians.
In reality, it’s a green light to Israel to grab all but a few tiny scraps of what remains of Palestine.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and mover behind the deal, made clear what it’s about.
He threatened, “It’s the last chance for the Palestinians to have a state.
“It’s time for Palestinians to let go of past fairy tales that quite frankly will never happen.”
Any Palestinian “statelet” would be under the thumb of the Israeli military.
The plan includes Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital. And it would recognise Israeli settlements in the West Bank and its occupation and control over the Jordan Valley, which makes up around a third of the area.
It will be completely under the thumb of Israel, militarily and economically. There will be no justice for the Palestinians who have been robbed of their land and oppressed by Israel ever since its creation in 1948.
Trump has been building towards this since 2017 when he declared Jerusalem the “capital of Israel.”
This effectively approved Israel’s claim to the whole of the city.
He followed up on that by accepting Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which it stole from Syria in 1967.
Most recently his secretary of state Mike Pompeo declared last November that the US considers Israel’s West Bank settlements to be legal.
All of this has already encouraged Israel to tighten the screws on Palestinians.
It increased settlement building in anticipation of Trump’s deal—as well as demolitions and land grabs.
Violent Israeli settlers have stepped up their attacks on Palestinian villages and farmers in a bid to drive them from the land.
Meanwhile the Israeli government passed a law in 2018 denying citizenship to non-Jewish residents of Israel.
Many Palestinian activists now say they face a “new Nakba”—a catastrophe as significant as their expulsion in 1948.
Trump said on Monday that if the Palestinian Authority (PA) doesn’t agree, the deal won’t go ahead.
But he added, “In the end they’re going to want it. It’s very good for them.”
Does that mean if the PA doesn’t accept it, Trump will hold Israel back? Or is it—as seems more likely—a threat?
Some reports say that if the PA doesn’t accept the deal, Trump will allow Israel to annexe whatever it wants.
Whatever happens, Trump’s deal should be the final nail in the coffin of the “two-state solution”—the idea that there could be a state of Palestine alongside Israel. The Oslo Accords signed in 1993 claimed to pave the way to a Palestinian state.
In fact, it turned Palestinian leaders into enforcers of Israel, while the occupation steadily deepened.
And in any case such a solution would never right the historic wrong done to Palestinians as it wouldn’t allow them to return to the land they were expelled from in 1948.
There’s been a sustained effort in the West to make talk of a one state solution—a single state encompassing all of historic Palestine—unacceptable.
But a one-state solution is coming. It can either be the state envisioned by Trump and every mainstream Israeli politician, where Palestinians are expelled and marginalised.
Or it can be a single, secular state where Arabs and Jews can live together with equal democratic rights—the only just solution.
Winning that state will take a struggle by ordinary people across the Middle East against Trump, Israel and the Arab rulers who prop up US power.