The Deal of the Century
“I think we all have to recognise that if there ever is a deal, it’s not going to be along the lines of the Arab peace initiative. It will be somewhere between the Arab peace initiative and between the Israeli position,” Kushner told Al Jazeera in an interview that will air on Tuesday.
Palestinians burned portraits of President Donald Trump as they protested in both the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Monday against U.S.-led plans for a conference on their economy in Bahrain.
For Jordan to cooperate with the U.S. peace plan is “suicidal” politically, said Labib Kamhawi, a Jordanian analyst and activist. “Jordan does not want to offend the Jordanians, but at the same time, they cannot oppose the Americans or the Saudis or the Gulf, so they will try to find a halfway solution.”
After holding a few tours of Judea and Samaria, and learning about the joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial areas there, the two concluded that 12 industrial areas should be established that will employ over 200,000 Palestinians. Today, some 30,000 Palestinians are employed in Area C, around half of them in industrial areas and the remainder in settlements.
PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh writes, “What Kushner and the plan’s other authors don’t seem capable of grasping is that Palestinians cannot be bought off or bribed into accepting anything less than our full freedom and rights. The gilded cage that Kushner and Netanyahu have in mind for us is still a cage.
James Zogby and Mel Levine write in the LA Times, “It is against this background, with no lessons learned, that we believe the ‘workshop’ in Bahrain will fail. It will not fail because Palestinians are largely boycotting the event. Rather it will fail for the reasons those Palestinians are staying home. They’ve been down this road before, and they know that unless there is a political horizon that provides for an end to the occupation and the freedom and independence they need to grow their economy, they will not prosper.”
Yara Hawari writes for Al-Jazeera, “Whatever the outcomes, they will not “fix” the Palestinian economy because they would not address the main problem: the Israeli occupation. The colonisation and oppression of Palestine cannot be remedied with a depoliticised economic solution.”
Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher, and Orni Petruschka write in Politico, “By putting economics first while ignoring the end game, Trump is repeating a colossal mistake: resuming talks without defining the end goal. For both Palestinians and Israelis, that goal should be ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel within 1967 borders, with necessary land swaps. Unless both parties and the mediating power state this clearly at the outset, the expectations gap will breed mistrust. Thus, sitting down together will be futile. This will lead to further disillusionment—and escalating violence. Unless the goal of the talks is explicitly defined as ending the conflict and establishing a Palestinian state, more lives will be lost.”
Anti-BDS/Anti-Free Speech/Pro-Settlement Lawfare
Initiated by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, this year’s meeting hosted 350 pro-Israel and Jewish leaders and activists from 40 countries, with the goal of strengthening and consolidating the global pro-Israel advocacy network.
Occupation & Human Rights
Admissions committees in communities of up to 400 households are authorized by Israeli law to reject applicants for residency residents based on the criteria of “social suitability” and the “social and cultural fabric” of the town. This allows a de facto situation in which these committees reject interested residents who are Palestinian citizens of Israel – as well as other marginalized groups – solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, or other identity. The mechanism allows the effective implementation of housing segregation between Arab and Jewish citizens.
Israel will indefinitely stop the transfer of fuel to the power plant in the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. COGAT said the reason was the launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israel, which sparked fires in neighboring Israeli communities.
The network’s founding members are Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair, The Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, The New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T’ruah. The organizations have chosen this moment to launch because of the extreme peril that far-right leaders and parties pose to the fundamental values on which the State of Israel was founded and that American Jews hold most dear.