The fate of the deal of the century is unknown as the deal continuous running into problems. The West struggles with new plans to put the deal into operation, but these plans can be easily derailed if the right strategies are adopted.
The deal, initially proposed by the United States President Donald Trump and his allies, targets the conflict between Palestine and Israel, but instead of solving the problem, it aims to delete it by trying to remove Palestine altogether. The deal was first suggested around a year ago, but to the Washington’s surprise, it has not yet come to any conclusion.
The deal has been designed based on Trump’s business outlook to everything and seeks to solve the issue by luring in the Palestinians with offering economic rewards. In fact, the deal has regarded one of the most important issues in the world as a commodity that can be traded and has paid no attention to the humanitarian side of the problem and coming up with a just solution that respects the rights of all people involved in the issue.
The future prospect of the Deal of the Century
According to the Deal of the Century, the Palestinians will be settled only in Gaza Strip and some parts of the West Bank. The deal will cancel the return of displaced Palestinians who currently live in other countries (mostly Arab countries like Lebanon and Jordan) to their homeland and they have to remain in their residing country. The plan also envisages assigning $10 billion for development of the remnants of Palestine by building industrial towns, new cities, airports, and ports in the Gaza Strip.
The deal doesn’t move Israelis out of the Palestinian lands they invaded in 1976, including the West Bank and the area around Al-Quds. In this deal, U.S. has offered Abu Dis village, in the east of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), as the new capital of Palestine. In return, Israel would retreat from three to five Palestinian villages around Al-Quds that were occupied by Israel usurper regime in 1976.
However, the old part of Al-Quds will remain under the sovereignty of Israel.
According to Amos Harel, the journalist of an Israeli news agency, Haaretz, the Deal does not give any suggestions for retreatment of Israelis from their current residential areas including the settlements in Ariel, southern Nablus, Gush Etzion (near Bethlehem) and Ma’ale Adumim.
Trump’s plan is a shrunk Palestine that has no army or weapons to defend itself.
The essence of the Deal of the Century is not negotiation; conversely, it aims to force the terms and conditions of Israel and the U.S. on the Palestinians. It is not a mutual deal, but a one-sided one, so it cannot be regarded as an offer for reconciliation.
Over the past year, everything Washington did about the Palestine issue were unilateral actions that led to the Deal of the Century. These actions included recognition of Al-Quds as the capital of the Israel, transferring American embassy from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds, closing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), stopping the usage of the word “refugee” for displaced Palestinians and trying to settle them down in other Arab countries.
Possible future scenarios of the Deal of the Century
1.The failure of the deal
According to this scenario, the deal will fail. As described above, the Deal of the Century is a completely pro-Israel deal, so any of the Palestinian groups, even the ones who are in favor of reconciliation will not accept this deal.
If the Palestinians resist the deal, they can derail it. Over the last 70 of Israel-Palestine conflict, tens of similar plans for reconciliation were thwarted. On the other hand, it is unlikely that Arab countries pressure Palestine to accept the deal as the current trend is against the deal.
2.Carrying out the deal after making concessions to Palestine and Arab countries
In this scenario, the Americans and the Israelis will stop dictating their demands on Palestine and will suspend their interference in Palestine’s core issues such as the fate of Al-Quds, the Palestinian refugees and the ownership of lands.
This will definitely be a victory for the Palestinians and Arab countries, as a new deal with new terms will be derived out of the previous deal.
For example, Israel may become less strict over Palestine ruling over the West Bank and Palestine may gain more control over the eastern areas of the Al-Quds. Some older parts of Al-Quds can be jointly run by Palestine and Israel.
Also, Tel Aviv may stop building new residential areas over the West Bank and stop expanding the current settlements.
It will also be agreed that a Palestinian government will be established over a short time-frame and some rules will be revised including the ones about Palestine’s sovereignty over some lands and its economic independence. The siege of the Gaza Strip will stop, new ports and airports will be built and a safe route will be established between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
According to this scenario, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas will hand over the control of the Gaza Strip to Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah and a proper environment will be established for resuming the reconciliation process.
3.The success of the Deal of the Century according to the terms and conditions forced by the U.S. and Israel.
According to this scenario, U.S. will threaten the Arab countries to stop helping them in dealing with their regional conflicts and even in dealing with their own nations. Also, Washington will threaten Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority with getting him removed and replacing him with someone who would agree to their all terms and conditions.
Considering all the above options, it seems that the first scenario is more likely to happen as all Palestinian groups are against the deal and the resistant Palestinian groups are in full power; also, many Arab countries are against the deal and the U.S. itself is not confident about its foreign policies in the Middle East.
There are other reasons to assume that the Deal of the Century will fail. the operation of the deal has been long delayed; furthermore, over this time, many demonstrations and groups have showed their opposition to the deal, an example is the “return demonstrations” that have been held every week over the Gaza Strip over the past year.
Despite all the oppositions in thwarting the Deal of the Century, stopping the deal still needs more effort, some strategies are suggested here.
Strategies to stop the Deal of the Century
Developing Palestinians’ national unity and concentrating all their powers in order to thwart the deal.
Writing a declaration that will bind all Palestinians to commit to upholding the principles and goals of the Palestinian nation and rejects any treaty that would violate their rights, including the Deal of the Century.
Saving the Palestine National Reconciliation Agreement which was signed in 2011 and Beirut Agreement which was signed in 2017. Plus running Palestine National Council in order to revive the Palestinian National Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization in order to join all forces to serve Palestine’s national interests.
Quick removal of the sanctions imposed by Mahmoud Abbas on Gaza Strip.
Inviting all Palestinians to unite under a single leadership, so that they can use all their powers to defend the rights of the Palestinians until Palestine Liberation Organization is reconstructed.
Encouraging public-based organizations, groups, and societies inside and outside of Palestine.
Stopping any kind of military and security cooperation with Israeli usurpers.
Increasing people’s freedom in the areas under the control of the Palestinian National Authority in order to maintain the dignity of Palestinian residents and use their unified will for making political, social and military progress.
From our partner Tehran Times
China in the Middle East: Stepping up to the plate
By defining Chinese characteristics as “seeking common ground while reserving differences,” a formula that implies conflict management rather than conflict resolution, Messrs. Sun and Wu were suggesting that China was seeking to prepare the ground for greater Chinese engagement in efforts to stabilize the Middle East, a volatile region that repeatedly threatens to spin out of control.
The scholars defined China’s goal as building an inclusive and shared regional collective security mechanism based on fairness, justice, multilateralism, comprehensive governance, and the containment of differences.
By implication, Messrs. Sun and Wu’s vision reflected a growing realization in China that it no longer can protect its mushrooming interests exclusively through economic cooperation, trade, and investment.
It also signalled an understanding that stability in the Middle East can only be achieved through an inclusive, comprehensive, and multilateral reconstructed security architecture of which China would have to be part.
Messrs. Sun and Wu’s article, published in a prominent Chine policy journal, was part of a subtle and cautious Chinese messaging that was directed towards players on all sides of the Middle East’s multiple divides.
To be clear, China, like Russia, is not seeking to replace the United States, certainly not in military terms, as a dominant force in the Middle East. Rather, it is gradually laying the groundwork to capitalize on a US desire to rejigger its regional commitments by exploiting US efforts to share the burden more broadly with its regional partners and allies.
China is further suggesting that the United States has proven to be unable to manage the Middle East’s myriad conflicts and disputes, making it a Chinese interest to help steer the region into calmer waters while retaining the US military as the backbone of whatever restructured security architecture emerges.
Implicit in the message is the assumption that the Middle East may be one part of the world in which the United States and China can simultaneously cooperate and compete; cooperate in maintaining regional security and compete on issues like technology.
That may prove to be an idealized vision. China, like the United States, is more likely to discover that getting from A to B can be torturous and that avoiding being sucked into the Middle East’s myriad conflicts is easier said than done.
China has long prided itself on its ability to maintain good relations with all sides of the divide by avoiding engagement in the crux of the Middle East’s at times existential divides.
Yet, building a sustainable security architecture that includes conflict management mechanisms, without tackling the core of those divides, is likely to prove all but impossible. The real question is at what point does China feel that the cost of non-engagement outweighs the cost of engagement?
The Middle East is nowhere close to entertaining the kind of approaches and policies required to construct an inclusive security architecture. Nevertheless, changes to US policy being adopted by the Biden administration are producing cracks in the posture of various Middle Eastern states, albeit tiny ones, that bolster the Chinese messaging.
Various belligerents, including Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey, but not Iran or Israel, at least when it comes to issues like Iran and the Palestinians, have sought to lower the region’s temperature even if fundamentals have not changed.
A potential revival of the 2015 international Iran nuclear agreement could provide a monkey wrench.
There is little doubt that any US-Iranian agreement to do so would focus exclusively on nuclear issues and would not include other agenda points such as ballistic missiles and Iranian support for non-state actors in parts of the Middle East. The silver lining is that ballistic missiles and support for non-state actors are issues that Iran would likely discuss if they were embedded in a discussion about restructured regional security arrangements.
This is where China may have a significant contribution to make. Getting all parties to agree to discuss a broader, more inclusive security arrangement involves not just cajoling but also assuaging fears, including whether and to what degree Chinese relations with an Iran unfettered by US sanctions and international isolation would affect Gulf states.
To be sure, while China has much going for it in the Middle East such as its principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of others, its affinity for autocracy, and its economic weight and emphasis on economic issues, it also needs to manage pitfalls. These include reputational issues despite its vaccine diplomacy, repression of the Uyghurs in the north-western province of Xinjiang, and discrimination against other Muslim communities.
China’s anti-Muslim policies may not be an immediate issue for much of the Muslim world, but they continuously loom as a potential grey swan.
Nevertheless, China, beyond doubt, alongside the United States can play a key role in stabilizing the Middle East. The question is whether both Beijing and Washington can and will step up to the plate.
The US doesn’t deserve a sit on the UNHRC, with its complicity in the Saudi war crimes in Yemen
Last week, the US State Department communicated its intention of joining the UN Human Rights Council later this year. The UN General Assembly will be voting this October on who gets to join the 47-member UN Human Rights Council. 47 members is less than a fourth of all UN member states, so only very few countries get a seat and a say.
The United States does not deserve to join the UN Human Rights Council, with its complicity in the Saudi war crimes in Yemen.
The Human Rights Council is often criticized, especially by the right in the US, for having only bad human rights actors with atrocious records as members. But the US is not an exception to the atrocious human rights record club.
In the seemingly war-less Trump period, the US nevertheless still managed to get engaged in war and war crimes in the completely devastated Yemen, which was hit by the worst humanitarian crisis and famine over the last years, after US-backed Saudi forces basically flattened the country. Over 13mln people suffered from starvation. Media and human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch alike have pointed to US complicity in war crimes in Yemen.
Months ago, I criticized UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore for lauding the Saudis’ “humanitarian leadership” in Yemen for the price of USD 150mln. The UN blue-washing partnerships were possible after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres removed Saudi Arabia from the UN blacklist in 2020 to make sure the rivers of cash by the Saudi humanitarian heroes kept flowing in the UN’s direction. But in October this year, it is not Antonio-it’s not a big deal-Guterres that decides who gets on the UN Human Rights Council. It’s all the UN member states. And many of them will not be impressed by the Saudi humanitarian leadership.
And even though a month ago, new US President Joe Biden announced that the US is ending its support for the Saudi offensive – and in parallel the US intell revealed the Khashoggi report which outlined the Saudi prince’s involvement in the murder of the journalist – questions still persist about the US role in the Yemeni situation from now on. 73% of all Saudi arms imports come from the US. The US State Department will simply be playing on words from now on in redefining what constitutes “offensive” support for the Saudi coalition, as the State Department Spokesperson Ned Price seemed to suggest. Any military expert knows how difficult it is to differentiate between offensive and defensive capabilities. Unless it’s really barb wire standing on your border, it’s pretty hard to make the case that something will serve for only defensive purposes. Especially if the “defense-only” capabilities are for a war-driven Saudi-led coalition. So, basically the Biden policy is the Trump policy, but much more polished. The language is more technocraticly elegant, but the essence is the same – just like many of the other decisions by the Biden Administration in its first weeks. It’s basically Trump, only the phrasing is much more polished and professionally shrewd.
This week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Yemen’s Houthies for breaking the peace in responding to the Saudi forces, but it is safe to say that there isn’t much peace to break in Yemen, and the US has also taken care of that. So, Blinken’s statement reveals a new doze of hypocrisy – hypocrisy, which also characterizes the US’s decision to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council.
Biden’s Syria strikes that left many Biden supporters quite surprised last week also indicated that many of us who thought Biden would be a classical Democrat centrist were actually wrong. Biden has much more in common with the right now, judging by his very first policy choices – at home and foreign policy wise.
The US government will have to try a bit harder than “we are not Trump”, if it wants to convince the rest of the countries in October that it deserves a sit on the human rights table. If the Biden Administration continues the same way, it’s not going to be able to do so.
Beyond the friendship diplomacy between Morocco and Mauritania
Over the past decade or so, many politicians and diplomats have held that the most significant bilateral relationship has been between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. That remains true today, and it will be likely the case for long- term partnership to come, even as the sort of that relationship changes over time. Due to, diplomatic rapprochement between them and bilateral cooperation on several levels, Mauritania, tends formally to withdraw its full recognition of the Polisario Front “SADR” before the term of the current president, Mohamed Ould Al-Ghazwani, ends.
Yet, the truth is that Mauritania has unalterably shifted from the previous engagement with Morocco to the recent conflict with it on nearly all the key fronts: geopolitics, trade, borders security, finance, and even the view on domestic governance. To that extent, Mauritania was the most affected by the Polisario Front militia’s violation to close the Guerguerat border crossing and prevent food supplies from reaching their domestic markets. This crisis frustrated Mauritanian people and politicians who demanded to take firm stances towards the separatists.
In the context of the fascinating development in relations between Rabat and Nouakchott, the Mauritanian government stated that President Ould Ghazwani is heading to take a remarkable decision based on derecognized the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Polisario Front as its sole representative and follow up the recent UN peace process through the case of Western Sahara conflict under UN Security Council resolutions.
Similarly, the United States announced that “Moroccan (Western) Sahara is an integral part of The Kingdom–a traditional Ally, and it supports the Moroccan government’s constitutional procedures to maintain Moroccan Southern provinces strong and united.” It was rapidly followed by all major countries of African, and the Arab Middle East also extended their supports to the government in Rabat. What a determined move against the Polisario Front separatism in a sovereign state!
During the Western Sahara dispute, the Moroccan Sahrawi was humiliated to the end by Polisario Front: it not only lost their identity but also resulted in the several ethnics’ claim for “independence” in the border regions within. currently, Morocco is the only regional power in North Africa that has been challenged in terms of national unity and territorial integrity. The issues cover regional terrorism, political separatism, and fundamental radicalism from various radical ethnic groups. Although the population of the “Polisario groups” is irrelevant because of Morocco’s total population, the territorial space of the ethnic minorities across the country is broadly huge and prosperous in natural resources. besides, the regions are strategically important.
In foreign affairs doctrine, the certainty of countries interacting closely, neighboring states and Algeria, in particular, have always employed the issue of the Western Sahara dispute in the Southern Region of Morocco as the power to criticize and even undermine against Morocco in the name of discredit Sahrawi rights, ethnic discrimination, social injustice, and natural resources exploitation. therefore, local radical Sahrawi groups have occasionally resisted Morocco’s authority over them in a vicious or nonviolent way. Their resistance in jeopardy national security on strategic borders of the Kingdom, at many times, becoming an international issue.
A Mauritanian media stated, that “all the presidential governments that followed the former President Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidala, a loyal and supporter to the Polisario Front, were not at all satisfied with the recognition of the SADR creation due to its fear that it would cause reactions from Algeria. however, Mauritania today is not the state of 1978, it has become a well-built country at the regional level, and the position of its military defense has been enhanced at the phase of the continent’s armies after it was categorized as a conventional military power.”
This is what Mauritania has expected the outcome. Although neighboring Mauritania has weeded out the pressures of the Algerian regime, which stood in the way of rapprochement with the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Mauritanian acknowledged that Nouakchott today is “ready to take the historic decision that seeks its geopolitical interests and maintain strategic stability and security of the entire region, away from the external interactions.” Hence, The Mauritanian decision, according to the national media, will adjust its neutral position through the Moroccan (Western) Sahara issue; Because previously was not clear in its political arrangement according to the international or even regional community.
Given the Moroccan domestic opinion, there is still optimistic hope about long-term collaboration on the transformation between Morocco and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, even considering some temporary difficulties between the two in the Western Sahara conflict. For example, prior Mauritania has recognized the Polisario since the 1980s, but this recognition did not turn into an embassy or permanent diplomatic sign of the separatist entity in Mauritania, the Kingdom has a long-standing relationship with Mauritania and the recent regional politics would not harm that, because it’s a political circumstance.
Despite the strain exerted by the Polisario Front and Algeria on Mauritania, and intending to set impediments that avoid strategic development of its relations with Rabat, the Mauritanian-Moroccan interactions have seen an increased economic development for nearly two years, which end up with a phone call asked King Mohammed VI to embark on an official visit to Mauritania as President Ould Ghazwani requested.
For decades, the kingdom of Morocco has deemed a united, stable, and prosperous Maghreb region beneficial to itself and Northern Africa since it is Kingdom’s consistent and open stance and strategic judgment. Accordingly, Morocco would continue supporting North Africa’s unity and development. On the one hand, Morocco and Mauritania are not only being impacted by the pandemic, but also facing perils and challenges such as unilateralism, and protectionism. On the other hand, Rabat opines that the two neighboring states and major forces of the world necessarily established their resolve to strengthen communication and cooperation with each other. To that end, both states would make efforts to set up long-term strategic consensus including mutual trust, reciprocal understandings, and respect to the United Nations and the current international system based on multilateralism.
In sum, both Morocco and Mauritania are sovereign states with a strong desire to be well-built and sophisticated powers. Previous successes and experiences in solving territorial disputes and other issues have given them confidence, which motivated both countries to join hands in the struggles for national independence, equality, and prosperity. In sense of the world politics, two states promise to advance the great cause of reorganization and renovation and learn from each other’s experience in state power and party administration.
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