Monday, June 24, 2019

Four Views on "The Deal of the Century" (Economic Summit in Bahrain)

Four Views of the Bahrain Economic Summit
(and the “Deal of the Century”)
John Kleinheksel, Kairos W. MI (June 20, 2019)

In preparation for unveiling “The Deal of the Century” to “end the conflict” in Israel/Palestine, the Trump administration is calling for an Economic Summit for Arabs, Israelis, and Palestinians, June 25, 26 in Bahrain.
Palestinian Arabs and most Arab states refuse to come. Israeli leaders have not been invited because of it.

There are at least four views on the meaning of this Summit (and the “Deal of the Century”)

1) The Israeli/US view: One – State, with Palestinians subsumed under Israeli control
Mr. Trump and his associates are billing it as an opportunity for Arabs and Arab Palestinians to boost the viability and effectiveness of a Palestinian-based economy (but tied to Israeli control mechanisms).
As summarized in the Wall Street Journal (May 19, 2019):

Palestinian officials have said they are wary of an effort by the Trump administration that would bring economic relief but doesn't acknowledge their political and national aspirations for an independent state.
“No matter how compelling a picture they paint of what life could be like in Gaza and the West Bank...the fact is you can’t trade Palestinian views on compromises on Jerusalem, statehood and sovereignty for a chicken in every pot, a computer in every house, aid and trade,” said Aaron David Miller, a distinguished fellow at the Wilson Center who has worked on previous U.S. Middle East peace efforts.
The administration is said to be seeking tens of billions of dollars for investment in Gaza and the West Bank as well as neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon [a Middle East “Marshall Plan”]
The economic plan is modeled after efforts to boost economies in Poland, Japan, Singapore and South Korea with an aim to allow the Palestinians and neighboring countries “to get to a place of self-sufficiency and get to a place to raise their standard of living,” the senior administration official said. [Wall Street source:]

2) A Christian Palestinian View: Two – States side by side, each with “autonomy” in their own space
The Palestinians have rejected it out of hand as it would mean (from their point of view) that they are accepting Israeli control of the One State reality, “relinquishing their right for full sovereignty over the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the right of return”.

In the words of Philip Farah, the Palestinians are still holding out for the Two State solution, with a viable Palestinian State, side by side with Israel, “with all governmental institutions.” In this view, Palestinians can build a Palestinian economy on their own once the barriers of Occupation are removed (Statement by the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace – PCAP).
Thus, they don’t want to be an economic entity tied to the Israeli economy.

3) A “Liberal Zionist” view: Two – States side by side (e.g., Aaron David Miller)
In a June 18, 2019 statement to CNN, Mr. Miller says “The Real Goal of Jared Kushner’s Peace Plan” (and, by extension, the Economic Summit) is three-fold:
1) Boosting Mr. Trump’s stock with US hardliner supporters of Israel
2) Gutting the Two-State solution
3) Entrenching the status quo in I/P (P. M. Netanyahu’s Likud in charge)

He sees Mr. Trump as fully supporting the present One State Israeli State under P.M. Netanyahu, and condescending to the Palestinians (who fully realize the US has no intention of pursuing the “Two-State”.)

But for all his erudition and knowledge about the Middle East, Mr. Miller has no suggestion as to a way forward, other than Mr. Trump “throw(ing) his support behind a candidate who is serious [about peacemaking]. There is NO such Israeli Prime Minister candidate that wants a Two-State solution. Here is his CNN article:

4) A Kairos view: One State with liberty and justice for all (Mark Braverman, KUSA Executive Director)
1) The Two-State never was a viable option (given the hard-nosed Zionist philosophy of controlling the One State, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River)
2) The US has never been an honest broker (the US has ALWAYS favored Israelis dominance)

In questioning Mr. Miller’s point of view, Mr. Braverman asks: “Is he asking for more effort to negotiate for the Two-State solution? Then we are “wasting our time with him”. Negotiating for a Two-State solution “is always a snare and delusion; it’s a dead end”, (post from Mr. Braverman to John Kleinheksel, June 20, 2019).

Strongly implied in this view is the need for BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) to apply “economic and political pressure brought against Israel” [as with S. Africa] (post to John Kleinheksel, June 20, 2019).

Thus, the Kairos USA position is to convince the Palestinians to give up the notion of the Two-State and hold Israelis accountable for bringing liberty and justice for all in One pluralistic (secular) Democratic State as here: [You have to do a search for "One Democratic State"]

Americans need to learn first-hand of the oppression experienced by Arab Palestinians, in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem (to say nothing about the second-class citizenship experienced by Arab Israelis, 21% of the population of Israel, who have minimal representation in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.)

Thanks to Mazin Qumsiyeh, we have a graphic look at how Israel has expanded its control over all of historic Palestine, all the while claiming Arab terrorists want to control “all” of it. Click here and explore what B’tselem, an Israeli human rights organization in Israel has now made clear.

Posted by John Kleinheksel, Executive Director, Kairos W. MI