Last Tuesday, President Trump released his “deal of the century” for Middle East peace.
I couldn’t help but share with you my thoughts loudly. But who am I speaking to? Maybe to the Palestinians in the first place, because the ball of peace now is in their court.
Why? Perhaps to understand, it could be good to first share who I am…
I saw firsthand what happens in Syria, I left my home because of the war and I can clearly see what only eight years of complete insecurity can do to families, dreams and future, so that’s why I think this is the way to go.
Speaking about the image, and I’m not an expert in peace plans, but It could be more respectful for the Palestinians to have a representative in the room next to Netanyahu and Trump. If not Abbas, maybe a bunch of princes and kings from the region. They could have given more legitimacy to the peace plan, maybe…
I still remember the picture of the presidents Peres and Arafat shaking hands in Washington. I laughed at an image I couldn’t get out of my head, of Trump, Netanyahu and Abbas holding The Nobel Prize for Peace at the end of this crazy year, but honestly, I wish it could really happen!
To be fair, the deal that Trump proposed does not give the Palestinians a state, it’d be more like a semi-state, a group of isolated, scattered farms that do not even control its borders and air, in return for an absolute advantage for Israel in all respects, and to be fair, considering the balance of power on the ground, I see a real chance for peace now, if only the “leaders” would agree.
Faced with such a reality, I believe that the Palestinians have two options:
1- Accepting the deal, which preserves their current whereabouts, while giving them the shape of an independent entity, and taking advantage of the $ 50 billion that they would receive to develop these areas.
2 – The second solution, in my opinion, is the one-state project, that is, the transformation of the Palestinians into Israeli citizens in the fashion of the Palestinians of 48, with a major shift in the educational system to teach to love their “new” co-citizens and state.
In this case, all the land will be for them as Israeli citizens, and they will be able to move between them, and they will gain the opportunity to join the most powerful state in the region and have a democratic system enabling them to represent themselves in state institutions and collect their rights, and most importantly, demography will be in their favour.
It is true that trust is lost between the two sides, and not surprisingly, they do not believe in one another after eighty years of conflict, and it is true that things are not rosy.
And Israel, we love it or hate it, but it remains a living democratic system capable of creating solutions and repelling crises.
If the Palestinians make a sincere decision towards the peace option, if they give up the idea of liberation and resistance or to throw the Jews into the sea, and decide to turn into citizens who demand their rights in their state within the legal frameworks, then they will slowly build confidence, and earn on their side the liberal civil trend that constitutes the majority of Israeli society, which wants peace, an end to the state of war, and the maintenance of economic growth and a safe life. Together, they will weaken the common enemy who doesn’t want peace and lives from the continuation of the conflict, convinced that it will not end until the Judgment day.
Without complications, theories, philosophies and slogans. My opinion about the Century deal is very simple: I hope that the Palestinians will think outside the usual frameworks, take what is presented to them and try to get more, certainly, that is better than turning their struggle, later on, to achieve much less. Originally, if they had taken what was offered to them in the partition plan of 1948, the age of their State would now be equal to the age of Israel, and larger in size.
Don’t cry over spilt milk, we can speak about maps and history for another eighty years and that won’t change a thing.
On the other hand, I’m for giving this deal a chance, let’s try peace, think about the normal people who are living in a bad economic situation, and I think the Palestinians should know that, despite their situation, most of them are living better than their Arab neighbours in 2020, (think about Syria, Yemen, Iraq…) so at least let’s look at it as an opportunity that could ruffle some feathers.
I encourage the Palestinians to meet the deal maker with a brave counter-offer with the conditions they favour. Then negotiations that can earn the support of the Israelis before the international community so the next generations will live in peace and prosperity.