US President Donald Trump’s “peace plan of the century” is not designed to solve the Palestine question and achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, but to legalise Israel’s occupation, expansion, and violations.
Trump believes the US as the sole superpower can bully the Palestinians, Arabs, and the international community to impose this plan. Dr Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s executive committee and Palestinian chief negotiator, revealed in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV on 28 January 2020, that the so-called Trump “plan of the century” is in fact an Israeli plan in its entirety originally proposed by the Netanyahu government in 2011 and rejected by the Palestinian authority. If anything, this shows how much the US Middle East policy has been hijacked by Israel and its lobby.
The plan prolongs and intensifies the conflict by adding additional fuel to the fire in the Middle East, which sooner or later will explode for years to come, by giving legitimacy to Israel’s occupation, expansion, violations of international law, relevant UN resolutions and denial of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right of the refugees to return to their cities and villages they were ethnically cleansed from in 1948. Additionally, it inspires the law of the jungle and is a threat to world security and stability.
In order to understand what the plan means and its rejection by the Palestinian people, it is essential to realise the root cause of the Palestine question because only when we understand the historical and political context of this conflict, we will be able to know what is needed to achieve a just and lasting solution.
The aims of the Zionist Organisation, from its founding father Theodor Herzl to Israel’s fathers Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and its current leader Benjamin Netanyahu, was never for coexistence with the Muslim and Christian Palestinians, nor to establish a Jewish state on part of Palestine. Their aim all along has been to colonise all of historic Palestine and parts of neighbouring Arab states, which they call “Eretz Israel” (the Land of Israel) and to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians.
Herzl wrote in his diary that the area of the Jewish state stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.” He wrote we should “try to spirit the penniless population across the border” and the process of dispossession must be done “discreetly and circumspectly.”
In 1947, the United Nations issued UN resolution 181 recommending the partition of Palestine into two states in order to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish state. Under the bayonets of British troops, it gave the illegal Jewish immigrants whose number from 1917 to 1947 reached one-third of the population owning less than 6 percent of the land – to over 56 percent of Palestine’s best cultivated land and cities, and the two-thirds indigenous Palestinians — who owned more than 94 percent of the land — 42 percent of their country.
Despite the Zionists’ claim of accepting the UN partition plan, Jewish terrorist groups (the Haganah, the Irgun and the Stern Gang) launched a war putting “Plan Dalet” into force with two objectives: to establish a Jewish state beyond the boundaries demarcated by the UN partition and to establish a state devoid of its Palestinian population. Through tens of massacres they ethnically cleansed between 750,000 and 850,000 Palestinians and confiscated all their properties and belongings, and on 14 May 1948 they declared the establishment of a Jewish state on 78 percent of Palestine and renamed it Israel.
A few months after the catastrophe, the international community passed “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, declaring “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
The following day, on 11 December 1948 the United Nations passed resolution 194 calling on Israel to allow the refugees to return to their homes and pay them compensation. All countries, including Australia supported the resolution. Israel refuses to do so until today because the Palestinian refugees are not Jews; on the other hand, they encourage any Jew from anywhere in the world to immigrate no matter what nationality they hold just because they are Jews.
Palestinian refugees are the essence of the Palestine question, which is the core of conflict in the Middle East.
The right of the refugees to return to the cities and villages they were ethnically cleansed from in accordance with international law and UNR 194 is sacred, legal, and inalienable. It is the most basic human right. There can never be a just peace without the achievement of their inalienable rights.
In 1967 Israel launched another war occupying what remained of Palestine and parts of neighbouring Arab states, ethnically cleansed another 325,000 Palestinians, and put three million Palestinians under brutal military occupation.
The UN Security Council adopted resolution 242, emphasising “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and called on Israel to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied territories. The resolution also affirmed the necessity of “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem“.
Once again, Israel refused to comply.
From day one Israel demonstrated its expansionist objectives. It illegally annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights of Syria, expanded the colonisation into the 1967 occupied territories and Jerusalem, confiscated land, and built more Jewish colonies.
Every country has defined borders, but not Israel. Its borders expand every few years.
Since Israel’s inception, it continues its aggression and expansion towards the establishment of the greater Israel with the complicity of the US, under its protection and with its finance and armament.
The Palestinian leadership and people have shown their commitment to peace as a strategic choice. They have made their historic compromise. In September 1988, the Palestine National Council, the exiled Palestinian parliament, and highest body in the PLO accepted the two-state solution, agreeing to establish their state on the territories Israel occupied in 1967, which represents only 22 percent of their homeland. This is a generous, huge and painful compromise of 78 percent of our country for the sake of peace. No other people would have done that.
Anyone who reads Trump’s so-called peace plan explained in the 181-page titled “Peace to prosperity” would realise it is written by Netanyahu and his extremists.
No wonder Netanyahu showers Trump with compliments and praises him as “the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House” and his plan as a “great plan for Israel.” He congratulated its quartet team, who are all committed Zionists, Jason Greenblatt, Avi Berkowitz, David Friedman, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Indeed, it is a great plan for Israel. It recognizes Jerusalem as “its undivided capital” giving Israel sovereignty over more than thirty percent of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and other strategic areas in the West Bank as well as the Golan Heights of Syria and denies the Palestinian refugees their inalienable right to return. This will leave less than 15 percent of Palestine for a fragmented Palestinian state under Israeli control.
Trump’s plan does not deceive the fourteen million-strong Palestinians, for they know their rights and are determined to achieve them in full, nor the hundreds of millions of their supporters around the world. But it deceives the colonialist Jews and their supporters by giving them false hopes that they may enjoy peace and security in Palestine without recognising the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in their homeland. No plan which ignores the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people will see the light of the day.
The “two separate states” solution has been given a chance and Israel has missed that opportunity by opting for the “greater Israel” project and the building of Jewish colonies. This has made the creation of a viable Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital impossible. Therefore, the only solution now is for the Palestinian people and the PLO to demand equal rights and the establishment of a democratic state in the historic state of Palestine where Moslems, Christians and Jews have equal rights, as is the case in all democratic and civilised countries.
Ali Kazak is a former Palestinian ambassador to Australia.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Licence and may be republished with attribution.