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Deal of the century doomed to failure? Deal of the century doomed to failure?
by Joseph Gatt
2019-05-06 09:22:10
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We won't know what the Palestinian-Israeli deal of the century will be until after Ramadan. But given the teasers that have been provided, the peace plan looks like it has been drafted by idealistic grad students rather than by experts in the region.

So here are the mistakes I've noticed from looking at the snippet views:

kushn01_400-Kushner says there will be an economic growth plan for the Palestinians: that should have been left out of the peace deal, because the PA is a bit of a monarchy where economic growth threatens the stability of the monarchy. That is in a democracy like the US there is no king, so rich people don't really threaten the king. But money is power as they say, and Abbas and his folks don't really want Palestinians to start making enough money so they can challenge his authority on decision-making. So economic growth or lack thereof is not the result of lack of culture or poor economic planning, but is the result of Abbas not wanting people with fat bank accounts to threaten him at his throne.

-”History's not important”: history means a great deal to both Palestinians and Israelis and some answers need to be pulled out of history books. Kushner-Greenblat seems to want pragmatic solutions to the conflict that are future-oriented, and seem not to want to look back at history. But in my humble opinion, any peace plan would need to at least make some mention of Oslo and Madrid and Camp David and so on.

-You can't bribe the Palestinians too much: that is you could give Abbas and his cronies a fat paycheck for some concessions, but Abbas would get killed if he ever gave up too many concessions. So in my humble opinion, you would need slow, symbolic concessions and trust building before you move to larger concessions from the Palestinians. The first symbolic concession for the Palestinians would be too fully, and not implicitly, recognize the State of Israel. The second symbolic concession would be for Palestinians to cease all violent hostilities against Israel. Then you take it from there, one step at a time.

-Kushner says Arabs have been lied to and deceived for way too long: is Kushner playing politics and playing music to the ears of the Arabs, or does he really believe that the Americans and Israelis have been lying to the Arabs and deceiving them. Because such claims almost confirm some of the biases the Arabs have about Americans and Israelis. Arabs have never been great at telling the truth either.

-Kushner says there are no fresh ideas about the Israel-Palestinian conflict: I'll give you lot's of fresh perspectives, Jared. Kushner could use some of the articles I have written on the topic, and there are others who have fresh perspectives on the conflict. Everything from Meretz who wants to apologize for “colonizing the Palestinians” to the Labor party who wants the creation of a Palestinian state the day it gets elected to power, to all sorts of different perspectives on the conflict from the one state solution to the three state solution (Gaza, West Bank, Israel) to ceding Gaza to the Egyptians and the West Bank to Jordan. Kushner-Greenblat could use some of those Israeli and Palestinian perspectives.

In sum, if Kushner-Greenblat want peace through economic development of Arab states and Palestine, they would need to understand that Arab states don't really want economic development because an oligarchy that is too big would lead to very complicated power struggles. Remember that Arab states are mostly tribal states where the King's cousin of nephew is always in line for the succession, and you can only strike it rich if you marry the King's daughter or niece.

In my opinion, any peace strategy would need to look at three things: security, real estate and movement of population and goods. That is whatever the peace treaty contains it would need clauses on the cessation of Palestinian hostilities. Any peace plan would need to clarify land disputes, and any peace plan should contain clauses on what trade should look like and what population movements and immigration should look like. I hope Kushner-Greenblat fix their deal of the century before it turns into the deal of next century.

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