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The scenarios ahead of the Deal of the Century

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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

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Middle East

“Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen.”

Eric Zuesse

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On August 17th, an anonymous German intelligence analyst who has perhaps the world’s best track-record of publicly identifying and announcing historical turning-points, and who is therefore also a great investigative journalist regarding international relations (especially military matters, which are his specialty) headlined at his “Moon of Alabama” blog, “Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen”, and he opened:

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia’s sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a “limited fire” in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.  …

The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their “biggest-ever” operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming. 

New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen’s Houthi-allied armed forces

Today’s attack is a check-mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range.  …

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will.

He went on to say that the drones aren’t from Iran but are copies from Iran’s, “assembled in Yemen with the help of Hizbullah experts from Lebanon.”

He has been predicting for a long time that this war couldn’t be won by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud (MbS). In the present report, he says:

The war on Yemen that MbS started in March 2015 long proved to be unwinnable. Now it is definitely lost. Neither the U.S. nor the Europeans will come to the Saudis help. There are no technological means to reasonably protect against such attacks. Poor Yemen defeated rich Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi side will have to agree to political peace negotiations. The Yemeni demand for reparation payments will be eye watering. But the Saudis will have no alternative but to cough up whatever the Houthi demand.

The UAE was smart to pull out of Yemen during the last months.

If he is correct (and I have never yet found a prediction from him turn out to have been wrong), then this will be an enormous blow to the foreign markets for U.S.-made weapons, since the Sauds are the world’s largest foreign purchasers of those, and have spent profusely on them — and also on U.S. personnel to train their soldiers how to use them. So (and this is my prediction, not his), August 19th might be a good time to sell short U.S. armament-makers such as Lockheed Martin.

However: his prediction that “the Saudis will have no alternative but to cough up whatever the Houthi demand” seems to me to be the first one from him that could turn out to have been wrong. If the Sauds have perpetrated, say, $200 billion of physical damage to Yemen, but refuse to pay more than $100 billion in reparations, and the Housis then hit and take out a major Saudi oil well, isn’t it possible that the Sauds would stand firm? But if they do, then mightn’t it be wrong to say, at the present time, that: “Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen.”? He has gone out on limbs before, and I can’t yet think of any that broke under him. Maybe this one will be the first? I wouldn’t bet on that. But this one seems to me to be a particularly long limb. We’ll see!

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The message behind the release of Iranian oil tanker

Mohammad Ghaderi

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The Gibraltar court ordered the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 to be released. The tanker was seized by the British Royal Marines about a month ago. 

This verdict was the ending of an elaborate game designed by John Bolton National Security Advisor of the United States and Mike Pompeo, carried out by the Britain government. 

With seizing the tanker, Bolton was trying to put psychological and political pressures on Iran and force other countries to form a consensus against Iran, but he couldn’t fulfill any of these goals. 

Iran’s firm, logical and wise answer to the seizure of Grace 1 (like making solid legal arguments) and the seriousness of our country’s armed forces in giving a proper response to Britain’s contemptuous act, made the White House lose the lead on reaching its ends. 

Washington imagined that the seizure of Grace 1 will become Trump’s winning card against Iran, but the release of the tanker (despite disagreement of the U.S.) became another failure for the White House in dealing with Iran.  

Obviously, London was also a total loser in this game. It is worth noting that U.S. was so persistent about keeping the oil tanker in custody that John Bolton traveled to London and insisted on British officials to continue the seizure of the ship. Their failure, however, clearly shows that the White House and its traditional ally, Britain, have lost a big part of their power in their relations with Iran. 

Clearly, the illegal seizure of the Iranian oil tanker by Britain proceeded by the seizure of a British tanker by Iran and the following interactions between the two countries is not the whole story and there is more to it that will be revealed in coming days. 

What we know for sure is that London has to pay for its recent anti-Iran plot in order to satisfy Washington; the smallest of these consequences was that Britain lost some of its legal credibility in international arena as it illegally captured an Iranian oil tanker. 

The order of the Gibraltarian court revealed that London had no legal right to seize the Iranian oil tanker and nobody can defend this unlawful action. Surely, Iran will take all necessary legal actions to further pursue the matter.  

In this situation, the Islamic Republic of Iran is firm on its position that it doesn’t have to follow the sanctions imposed by the European Union on other countries (including Syria). 

No entity can undermine this argument as it is based on legal terms; therefore, Iran will keep supporting Syrian nation and government to fight terrorism. This is the strategic policy of the Islamic Republic and will not be changed under the pressure or influence of any other third country. 

Finally, it should be noted that the release of Grace 1 oil tanker was not only a legal and political failure for Washington and London and their allies but it was also a strategic failure. Undoubtedly, the vast consequences of this failure will be revealed in near future. 

From our partner Tehran Times

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Middle East

Business and boxing: two sides of the same coin

Dr. James M. Dorsey

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What do a planned US$15 billion Saudi investment in petroleum-related Indian businesses and a controversial boxing championship have in common?

Both reflect a world in which power and economics drive policy, politics and business at the expense of fundamental rights.

And both underscore an emerging new world order in which might is right, a jungle in which dissenters, minorities and all other others are increasingly cornered and repressed.

Rather than furthering stability by building inclusive, cohesive societies both support trends likely to produce an evermore unstable and insecure world marked by societal strife, mass migration, radicalization and violence.

A world in which business capitalizes on decisions by a critical mass of world leaders who share autocratic, authoritarian and illiberal principles of governance and often reward each other with lucrative business deals for policies that potentially aggravate rather than reduce conflict.

No doubt, the planned acquisition by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned national oil company Aramco of 20 percent of the petroleum-related businesses of Reliance Industries, one of India’s biggest companies, makes commercial and strategic economic and business sense.

Yet, there is equally little doubt that the announcement of the acquisition will be read by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, days after he scrapped the autonomous status of the troubled, majority Muslim region of Kashmir, as a license to pursue his Hindu nationalist policies that discriminate against Muslims and other minorities and fuel tensions with Pakistan, the subcontinent’s other nuclear power.

The ultimate cost of the fallout of policies and business deals that contribute or give license to exclusion rather than inclusion of all segments of a population and aggravate regional conflict could be far higher than the benefits accrued by the parties to a deal.

Underscoring the risk of exclusionary policies and unilateral moves, cross border skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani forces erupted this week along the Kashmiri frontier in which at least five people were killed.

The timing of the announcement of the Aramco Reliance deal in a global environment in which various forms of racism and prejudice, including Islamophobia, are on the rise, assures Indian political and business leaders that they are unlikely to pay an immediate price for policies that sow discord and risk loss of life.

Like in the case of Saudi and Muslim acquiescence in China’s brutal clampdown on Turkic Muslims in the troubled, north-western Chinese province of Xinjiang, the most frontal assault on a faith in recent history, the announcement risks convincing embattled Muslim minorities like the Uighurs, the Kashmiris or Myanmar’s Rohingya who are lingering in refugee camps in Bangladesh that they are being hung out to dry.

To be sure, Kashmiris can count on the support of Pakistan but that is likely to be little more than emotional, verbal and political.

Pakistan is unlikely to risk blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international anti-money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog, at its next scheduled meeting in October by unleashing its anti-Indian militants.

Anthony Joshua’s controversial fight with Andy Ruiz scheduled for December in Saudi Arabia, the first boxing championship to be held in the Middle East, pales in terms of its geopolitical or societal impact compared to the Saudi Indian business deal.

Fact is that Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the championship has provoked the ire of activists rather than significant population groups. The fight is furthermore likely to be seen as evidence and a strengthening of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s selective efforts to socially liberalize the once austere kingdom.

Nonetheless, it also reinforces Prince Mohammed’s justified perception that Saudi Arabia can get away with imprisoning activists who argued in favour of his reforms as well as the lack of transparency on judicial proceedings against the alleged perpetrators of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia insists the killing was perpetrated by rogue operatives.

What Saudi investment in India and the scheduled boxing championship in the kingdom have in common is that both confirm the norms of a world in which ‘humane authority,’ a concept developed by prominent Chinese international relations scholar Yan Xuetong, is a rare quantity.

Mr. Yan employs the concept to argue without referring to President Xi Jinping, Xinjiang, China’s aggressive approach towards the South China Sea or its policy towards Taiwan and Hong Kong that China lacks the humane authority to capitalize on US President Donald J. Trump’s undermining of US leadership.

Mr. Yan defines a state that has humane authority as maintaining strategic credibility and defending the international order by becoming an example through adherence to international norms, rewarding states that live up to those norms and punishing states that violate them. Garnering humane authority enables a state to win allies and build a stable international order.

Mr. Yan’s analysis is as applicable to India and Saudi Arabia as it is to China and others that tend towards civilizational policies like the United States, Russia, Hungary and Turkey.

It is equally true for men like Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn and business leaders in general.

To be sure, Aramco is state-owned and subject to government policy. Nonetheless, as it prepares for what is likely to be the world’s largest initial public offering, even Aramco has to take factors beyond pure economic and financial criteria into account.

At the end of the day, the consequence of Mr. Yan’s theory is that leadership, whether geopolitical, economic or business, is defined as much by power and opportunity as it is by degrees of morality and ethics.

Failure to embrace some notion of humane authority and reducing leadership and business decisions to exploiting opportunity with disregard for consequences or the environment in which they are taken is likely to ultimately haunt political and business leaders alike.

Said Mr. Yan: “Since the leadership of a humane authority is able to rectify those states that disturb the international order, the order based on its leadership can durably be maintained.”

What is true for political leaders is also true for business leaders even if they refuse to acknowledge that their decisions have as much political as economic impact.

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