U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century,” hailed as a promise to restore peace in the Middle East and end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is now a done deal, except for one unmistakable fact: it’s no deal at all.
While it might save the political skin of a scandal riddled and beleaguered Israeli prime minister, it promises to not only put the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution, but also hastens the demise of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
When future historians pen their obituaries for the state of Israel, they will look upon Trump’s “Peace Plan” akin to a Shakespearean tragedy, in which short-term gain brings about long-term pain, and then ultimately a crushing and self-inflicted defeat. For while its intention is to “finish off the Palestinian cause,” the most likely outcome will be one in which Israel finds itself cut loose from the Western democratic orbit and set adrift as an international pariah.
The details of the plan hardly matter, given it was crudely and hastily cobbled together without consultation with the Palestinians
The details of the plan hardly matter, given it was crudely and hastily cobbled together without consultation with the Palestinians, amounting to little more than a political gift for two desperate and craven men – Netanyahu and Trump – who are each faced with increasingly steeper climbs in their respective bids for reelection.
Netanyahu can boast to his right-wing coalition that he has successfully lobbied the United States into granting him every item on the Zionist wish list, while Trump can stand before his most stubbornly loyal voter base—white evangelicals who subscribe to the Christian Zionist ideology—and brag he has delivered more to the Jewish people of Israel than King David himself.
Christian Zionists helped put Trump in the White House, and the 45th president rewarded them by surrounding himself with those who spend their evenings praying hard for the Christian biblical apocalypse and “end times.” His appointment of Mike Pence as Vice President, Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders as former White House Press Secretary, all of whom are unabashed Christian Zionists, speaks to this claim.
In the mind of a Christian Zionist, the fate of Israel and the United States are inextricably linked, as is the fate of the Christian belief itself.
In this perverse form of logic, Christian Zionists assert their love for Israel while also longing for the ultimate destruction of the Jewish people. That is if the Jewish people don’t renounce Judaism and convert to Christianity after Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ. In the mind of a Christian Zionist, the fate of Israel and the United States are inextricably linked, as is the fate of the Christian belief itself. This is an extremist ideology to be sure, and, fortunately, one shunned by a majority of the world’s Christians.
All of which circles back to Trump’s unveiled “Peace Plan” that undercuts Palestinian hopes for recovering stolen and occupied land, while paving the way for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the Jordan Valley.
What future awaits two million encaged Palestinians in Gaza remains unclear and uncertain, although $50 billion has been set aside as a bribe to pull Palestinian leadership into accepting the unacceptable. It’s more likely they will patiently wait out Trump’s time in the White House.
In granting Netanyahu and the settler movement’s every desire, Trump has put the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution. No matter how delusional, Israeli reorganized realities on the ground have made the probability of two separate states living side-by-side impossible.
Israel’s coming and formalized annexation of the Palestinian territories means Israel is presented with an existential conundrum: does it choose to be a Jewish state—one in which it enacts a system of apartheid, existing under the notion of two distinct sets of laws for two peoples, or does it hold claims to being a democratic state—one in which all citizens have equal rights, given its Arab population will outnumber its Jewish population?
If history is a guide, it will inevitably choose the former, remembering that in 1948, Israel was faced with this very same dilemma when 1.2 million Palestinians lived alongside 600,000 Jews the day prior to Israel’s foundation on May 14, 1948.
Israel’s founding fathers knew they could hardly lay claim to being a “Jewish state” given the Palestinian population outnumbered Jews on a scale of two to one, so its military and associated Jewish militias forcibly evicted 700,000 Palestinians.
Israel’s founding fathers knew they could hardly lay claim to being a “Jewish state” given the Palestinian population outnumbered Jews on a scale of two to one, so its military and associated Jewish militias forcibly evicted 700,000 Palestinians. At that time, Palestinians represented more than half the total Arab population, as Israel went about liquidating more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages.
To this day, those forcibly removed are still denied the right to return to the land and homes they still legally own, even as Jewish settlers from all over the world squat illegally on their seized properties.
With the settler movement now the driving force in Israeli politics and society today, it’s impossible to imagine its political leaders granting full civic and voting rights to Palestinians currently living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and soon the Jordan Valley.
As such, the world will see clearly that Israel of the near future is no different to that of apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, with a privileged set of laws favoring the former, while subjugation, segregation, and disenfranchisement becomes an even deeper entrenched reality for the latter.
Global calls for an Israel boycott will inevitably send a crashing economic tidal wave upon its shores, casting the apartheid Jewish state alone and economically ruined in an unforgiving neighborhood. Ultimately, Israel will be left with no choice but to reverse course, the same way isolation presented South Africa’s white minority government with no option other than to abandon its system of apartheid three decades ago.
Far from promoting peace, Trump’s plan, and by extension the Christian Zionist ideology that drives it, only heaps further humiliation and suffering upon the Palestinian people while, at the same time, hastening the demise of the Jewish state.