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Disasters of the Failed Betting
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
March 16, 2018

Trump's team stresses that the US plan "Deal of the Century", is ready for practical launch, and that it is not open to discussion, with any of the parties concerned, but it is for implementation. And that each of these will have a role in line with the path that the American side wants, in connection with arrangements, that will ensure Washington to redraw the political map of the region.

The members of the team had announced early, that the Palestinian side specifically would not have the right to participate, even in expressing an opinion, on the steps, taken by the US administration in the implementation of the plan.

For this reason, the team has not put into account the extent of the influence of the Palestinian political and popular reactions on the course of implementation, considering that the main entrance for it, is the regional framework, which requires the official Arab components, related to the deal, to take the task of "convincing" the Palestinian side to accept and not to think to look for another track in which Washington is not the only party in the settlement process.

Since the first official meetings between the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration, it has become clear that the late American interest in the Palestinian official leadership and the opening of channels of communication with it was not to give it an opportunity to present its perceptions of the settlement and to discuss about the destructive role played by Israeli governments towards the chances of progress in the settlement process according to Oslo Accords and their mechanisms of implementation. The American goal was to inform the PA about the steps that Washington wants to be implemented, in order to be convinced, that the Palestinian side is ready to re-engage in the negotiations, if the new US administration develops its vision on this issue.

It was later revealed, that the conditions, set by Washington to the leadership of the PA, by its envoy, Greenblatt, were fully coordinated at the first official meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, shortly after the new US president was inaugurated. It was also found that at that meeting, Netanyahu told President Trump that the main reasons for the failure of progress in the settlement process, is the position of the former US administration on the issue of settlement, and that its passage of the Security Council resolution in this regard was the most expressive of this position. Many observers believe that the meeting focused on the regional framework of the solution that gives it the momentum to become a reality on the ground. In that meeting also, Netanyahu managed to convince Trump, that the Israeli prime minister's "economic peace" plan, was an economic motive to implement the "regional solution" from the Palestinian perspective. Since then, the language of settlement has no longer anything to do with borders, land swaps, or even the "two-state solution", which Trump announced its death just days after he was appointed as the head of US administration.

On the other hand, the Palestinian leadership and its circles greatly exaggerated their welcome with the official American contacts with it, and considered this as a renewed recognition of the legitimate Palestinian leadership and a powerful blow to "all attempts by some to undermine this legitimacy", though Trump's administration was not too late to reveal its conditions that are complied with the Israeli vision.

The US administration has launched a number of positions against the rights of the Palestinian people, with regard to its embassy in Israel and the intention to transfer it to Jerusalem, in addition to the settlement that "does not conflict with peace" according to the statements of the American president; and his denunciation to the international resolution on settlement.

Unfortunately, the official Palestinian leadership did not take these positions seriously, as new indicators of the new administration's vision on settlement; nor did it take into consideration the American nine conditions, compatible with the vision of the occupation. The official Palestinian leadership was waiting for something from this administration, under the pretext that it did not receive anything officially from Washington, which eluded so much in requesting sufficient time to launch its initiative.

Based on this policy, the official leadership froze all the steps that were supposed to be carried out in the United Nations and refrained from activating Palestine's membership in international institutions, especially the "International Criminal Court" for fear that the Trump administration would be provoked and thus refrain from launching its initiative.

Thus, two completely different aspects emerged in dealing with the American position. At a time when the PA ignored all the indicators that reveal the position of the Trump administration corresponded with the occupation, Netanyahu has read these indicators correctly and realistically and built on them, many policies, in the area of settlement, through two integrated axes, first on the ground, and second in the Knesset through the approval of bills that legislate Judaization and annexation.

Only on 6 December last year, the PA leadership took notice of the Trump declaration on recognizing Jerusalem, as the capital of the occupation. However, it has failed to take the necessary national steps to deal with this serious aggression.

So far, the decisions of the Central Council in its previous two sessions have not been implemented, despite all calls to do so. The Central Council has decided to: cut ties with Oslo, boycott the occupation, launch and protect the popular resistance, and start the internationalization of the Palestinian issue starting with the application to recognize Palestine as a full member and the national rights in the General Assembly of the United Nations.

At the same time, as the Palestinian official leadership continues to adhere to the obligations of Oslo and their consequences , the Trump administration announces its intention to launch the executive mechanisms of the so-called "Deal of the Century" after its blatant announcement its plan to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem on the eve of the Palestinian Nakba in May, and after its freezing of half of its contribution to "UNRWA" 's budget, as a part of its policy of pressure and extortion, against the Palestinian people and its national rights.

It is clear that Washington is in progress in these positions , which requires the Palestinian situation to re-organize its priorities, and begin serious steps to get it out of the state of hesitation and negativity , and deal seriously with the crises, experienced by the Palestinian situation at all levels, starting from the division and the absence of a unified Palestinian strategy in the face of the US-Israeli alliance, which clearly declares its plan to liquidate the cause of the Palestinian people and its rights.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is the Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Ibrahim Motlaq

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