The New York Times reports on the insulting sham that is the Trump administration’s “peace plan” for Israel and Palestine. Many Palestinian businessmen have made clear that they have no interest in participating in an absurd process that tries to bribe Palestinians into abandoning their aspirations:
But leading Palestinian businessmen, including some who said they already received invitations to Bahrain and others considered likely to be asked, dismissed the event as insulting and counterproductive.
There is absolutely no reason to take the administration’s “peace plan” seriously. It is designed to offer the Palestinians none of the most important things that they consider to be sine qua non in any settlement, and in place of real concessions from Israel the U.S. is proposing to offer them some crumbs of investment. The administration’s treatment of Palestinians consists of piling multiple insults on top of numerous injuries. This is typical of how they have approached several other foreign policy issues. First they trample on the interests of the people they say they want to negotiate with, then they inflict collective punishment on them in an attempt to force them to the table, and then they think that the people whom they have already wronged and aggrieved will be willing to trade in their dignity and self-respect for some money.
Shibley Telhami explains why this approach will never be acceptable to Palestinians:
Let’s start with the principles of the approach as revealed by Kushner and other members of Trump’s team. While ignoring prior peace agreements, U.N. resolutions, and international law, Trump’s approach is anchored on three flawed principles: “realities” on the ground as they are, appeal to ethnic/religious justifications of Israeli control of occupied territories, and economic incentives to appease Palestinian political aspirations. The first ignores the history of the U.S. role in creating these realities; the second ignores the future consequences of framing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as an ethnic/religious conflict, instead of a nationalist conflict; the third misses not only the nature of the Palestinian struggle, but of the human condition.
If a people is under occupation without political and civil rights and regularly suffers abuses from an unaccountable government, offering them economic benefits as a substitute for statehood, independence, and self-determination is profoundly disrespectful and arguably worse than giving them nothing. It amounts to throwing some spare change at someone that you have been regularly beating for years. “Here, this will make it up to you.” No one is going to accept such an offer, and no one will be interested in talking to someone who would deliver such an insult.