They are all occupied territories, and Israel needs to quickly withdraw from them. Why did he change his position? Our first response was to stop contacts with the US administration, except for security relations. We cooperate with the US in combating terrorism. We are committed to combating all forms of terrorism. Abbas further criticized Israel for deducting millions of shekels from tax and tariff revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians in response to payments made by the PA to families of security prisoners and Palestinians killed during attacks on Israelis. Abbas said Israel rejected his offer to sit with the Palestinians and Americans to resolve the dispute over the payments.
Not a single resolution has been implemented. We came to listen to you and see what are the views you could give us so we can take the appropriate decision at the appropriate time, especially as we are about to convene our Palestinian Central Council in mid-May to take appropriate, decisive and final decisions. Jerusalem Post Arab-Israeli Conflict. By Khaled Abu Toameh. As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. Share on facebook Share on twitter. Related Content.
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July 4, Top Iranian commander says country has 'secret weapons'. Hamas tests rockets, launches several towards the sea. Graham, Van Hollen met with Erekat over pay-for-slay crisis. High Court Orders Israel to return seized boats to Gazan fisherman. Subscribe for our daily newsletter. Azmi Bishara. According to reports, details of the so-called 'Deal' will be released in June [Getty]. Date of publication: 13 May, More importantly, the "deal" has scored for the Zionist right embodied in the government of Binyamin Netanyahu gains hitherto undreamed of, such as gaining broader international legitimacy for the annexation of Jerusalem, expanding settlement activity, winning - probably - US recognition of annexing some settlement clusters, and taking the refugee issue officially and completely off the table.
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No doubt, the Zionist ideological right, which has formed the core of Israeli governments in recent decades, and which today holds a huge sway over Middle East policy and decision-making in the US administration, is assigning major strategic and conceptual importance to these "victories: Particularly the elimination of "final status issues" to use the terminology of the Oslo Accords, which include the refugees, Jerusalem, borders, and Israeli settlements, and the erosion of international consensus on these issues.
For their part, Trump, Netanyahu and politicians of their ilk, who combine far-right attitudes and political opportunism, see in the "deal" a chance to score a major coup in the eyes of their constituencies, as well as shoring up Israel's position internationally and weakening the Palestinians in any negotiation process. Indeed, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, which suspended negotiations with Israel out of misplaced optimism in Barack Obama's initial positions against settlements when he assumed office, before proving himself to be toothless, finds itself today facing off with an American president who has not only backtracked from that position but also publicly endorsed Israeli settlement.
All these steps have been made even before the anticipated announcement of the terms of the "Deal of the Century". A future US administration may revise these steps, if the US electorate and the world manage to be spared another Trump term. However, it will be difficult for any administration to revise them all at once, especially since some of them enjoy majority support in Congress in the context of domestic policy, while the White House has hampered translating them into foreign policy until now.
The "Deal of the Century" scheme is being executed at a time when the forces that oppose US-Israeli policies in the region are extremely weak, for reasons including their state of profound crisis, the internal conflicts with their societies, and the opportunism of their lip service to the cause of Palestine.
Meanwhile, the Arab regimes that fall into the satellite of US policy in the region broke free of all shackles after the Arab uprisings. They became more intertwined with Washington, because they are fighting for survival and believe the cure-all is an overt alliance with the Israeli lobby in the United States. This is what the current rulers of the UAE and Saudi Arabia are doing, for they believe Iran is the main threat and Israel an ally in that fight.
Nothing to fear but Russia itself
This shift in the Arab landscape has not only facilitated the radical shift in the already pro-Israeli American position, but also laid the groundwork for executing this shift without any Arab resistance to speak of. This has been reflected in the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, the suspension of funding to UNRWA, the halt to all criticism of settlement expansion, and the recognition of Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights.
Bar some feeble statements issued by even feebler summits, the Arab regimes, including the Palestinian Authority, made no real steps to object to these measures. The ideas of the "Deal of the Century" have already been executed by conferring legitimacy and recognition on what Israel has snatched by force. Waiting for the announcement of the deal's terms is absurd, and a distraction from what is really happening.
To be sure, the anticipated terms of the "deal" are being implemented, they are already reality in our lands, having long obliterated the foundations of the so-called peace process. Chance has allowed a rich, spoiled, inexperienced and unlearned youth who loves Israel and admires Netanyahu, and who is the son-in-law of a man who oddly enough became president, to manipulate the fate of an entire region and its people, gifting whatever of their land he chooses to Israel.
It is a chutzpah that our century has never known before and deserves to be named the Chutzpah of the Century. This young brat has captivated the media, elites and public opinion with vague ideas and hyped-up release dates, even though the deal is already being executed, and there is nothing left worth waiting for. Perhaps some terms of the deal have not yet been made public.
However, regimes with "weathervanes" such as the Jordanian regime have sensed them ahead of time and realised their danger. One of these terms is abolishing the idea of Palestinian statehood, which poses a threat to Jordan, especially when coupled with possible attempts to pressure the Hashemite kingdom into becoming the "sovereignty framework" for the Palestinian Authority.
This means turning the latter into an autonomous region governing highly populated areas in the West Bank while allowing Israel to annex the remainder of the West Bank and execute the land swaps it favours. Needless to say, the Palestinians and Arabs do not accept the current status quo, let alone accept legitimising it in a deal with Israel.
However, the issue here is how such rejection of dictates has played out in the past, the dynamics of the current status quo and what it may lead to. The missing link here is the Palestinian response that would be able to impose itself on the agenda of the Arab regimes, and other world states astonished by the sleight of hand of the US president's son-in-law and his "genius" ideas. Palestinian official conduct since the second intifada has practically been to surrender to the status quo, albeit with theoretical objection in diplomatic corridors.
Turn of the Century
The current leadership of the Palestinian Authority considers its own establishment, with dozens of institutions, hundreds of positions of high office, and tens of thousands of civil servants and security officers, to be a great historic achievement. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority does not want to risk this though any form of resistance. This, in a nutshell, is the current situation: An administration was created without a state. It developed policies and interests that justify its continued existence without statehood.
And under this administration, power struggles have erupted that have deeply divided the Palestinian people. Yet we are not in agreement even over this assessment. Some of us believe that this "historic achievement" is a major obstacle holding back the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
In its wake, the Palestinian cause splintered into many causes. The refugee issue became a set of disparate conditions slums, migration, and so on being addressed or rather, left unaddressed outside the context of the Palestinian issue. The blockade of Gaza became another cause, with the administration there preoccupied with securing sustenance and survival and anticipating the next Israeli attack.
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and security coordination with Israel that is both the lynchpin and the undoing of its relationship with Israel, and Jerusalem, still another issue.
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The Palestinian entity that once brought together all such issues under the banner of the Palestinian cause, i. However, this entity is today marginalised and made absent.