Veteran Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan says the Middle East peace plan unveiled by Donald Trump on Tuesday (dubbed the “Deal of the Century”) is in fact a revival of the racist South African “bantustans” system.
The Deal of the Century, put forward by Donald Trump and his follower Benjamin Netanyahu, is a surrender document for the Palestinian people and their leadership.
It includes a recognition of defeat and full submission to the conditions of the Israeli victor, and not signing this document will lead to repression and siege, and perhaps the transfer of Palestinians to Jordan as an alternative homeland.
We are facing an old and renewed form of the racist system in South Africa that the entire world fought and succeeded in overthrowing, in which the Palestinians share a “ghetto” of high-density population blocs consisting of a few “bantustans” in three regions – Area A, Area B, and the bantustan of Gaza.
Security, water sources and airspace will all be under the control of the Israeli government. The Palestinians will have no choice but to eat, drink, sleep and serve the occupation as slaves.
When the Al-Aqsa Mosque is converted into the Temple Mount, and all of Jerusalem inside the wall becomes the capital of the Jewish State, the right of return will be canceled, the settlements and the Jordan Valley will be annexed, and there will be greater involvement of the Palestinian Authority in fighting “terrorism” and disarming the Gaza Strip.
So Netanyahu has the right to celebrate because the Deal of the Century is the greatest moment in his life; even greater than the declaration of the establishment of of “Israel” in 1948, as he obtained more than he was dreaming of in terms of security, stability and land from his greatest friend Trump.
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The sins of the Palestinians
But before we blame the Arabs, we Palestinians must recognise our submission and committing the most serious vices and sins unparalleled in history – that is, the conversion of 40,000 of us into spies and guardians of the settlers. And it is this that has brought us to this result.
And we speak here explicitly about the Palestinian Authority that is supposed to represent us, which compromised on 80% of Palestinian land in order to be blessed with jobs, VIP ID cards, cars and luxury villas.
It’s true that there has been a clear rejection by this Authority and other Palestinian factions of this deal, but the refusal seems facile if it does not translate into practical steps to resist the Occupation by all means.
And this does not mean going to the Arab League and begging for sympathy in European capitals and international organisations; or by continuing negotiations which have lasted 26 years already; or by encouraging Arab countries to normalise with Israel; or by sending long “solicitation letters” from the pulpit of the United Nations General Assembly; or by joining international organisations.
And the most painful thing is that our Authority and leadership is still adhering to this same approach, and that there are still those who support and trust it!
President Abbas should not be doing more begging and negotiations, but rather he should be igniting the resistance, revolutionising the Palestinian people, going back to Square One, resisting the Occupation, dissolving power and ending security coordination.
Also he should be canceling everything that resulted from the Oslo Agreements, recognising its failure, withdrawing and letting the Palestinian people lead their destiny. We must have leaders who are able to lead us to the next stage.
The white Apartheid regime that the Trump administration wanted to revive in Palestine has already been overthrown by the Resistance, and the renewed Israeli Apartheid regime can fall only in the same manner. A Palestinian Mandela will rise from the rubble of this deal sooner or later.
The first Intifada forced the Occupation to beg the world to save it and forced it to acknowledge the existence of a struggling people. And the second Intifada made Shimon Peres beg the Palestinians and the world and the great states rushed to form a peace plan.
Likewise, the Deal of the Century will inevitably fall, just as the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip fell, and its counterpart in southern Lebanon fell. But this will only take place by resistance in all its forms, and not by Ramallah’s surrender approach and its protection of “Israeli security.”
The Palestinian people are at a crossroads which is the most dangerous in its history. As for giving up land and dignity and accepting the bribe of $50 billion as a price for Palestine, what is cheaper than this insulting price? Rather, resistance is a right guaranteed by all international laws, and liberated by more than 170 member states of the United Nations.
Where is the British Empire that the sun would never set on? Where is the French Empire that occupied most of Africa? How did the American intervention in Vietnam and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan end? Please, do not talk to us about the “balance of power” and its imbalance in the favour of the enemies, as this is the excuse of the defeated.
We are currently living in the second stage of Israel’s great construction as all of Palestine has come under the rule of Zionism. The second step includes Jordan and then Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, which must unite all Arabs and Muslims in facing this danger.
Yes, the Deal of the Century will not succeed as long as there is resistance, and the Palestinian people are ready to give as they gave birth to thousands of Palestinians who resisted after the defeat of 1967.