The Imminent Catastrophe

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 6 December / Dec 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

So much will follow Trump’s reckless, catastrophic decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel the beginning of preparations to relocate the embassy.

The first of many questions is “why now”?

There are no current Israeli pressures on Trump to push for such a decision. Western media quoted various Israeli politicians saying they were surprised that Trump was even more persistent on the issue than Netanyahu’s government!

Some would say Trump is haunted by his electoral promises, and that he is under the spell of Zionist lobbies and extremist Christian groups who see in his recognition a delusional prophecy come realised. A belief also shared by Trump!

On the other hand, there is a political explanation for Trump’s decision.

The truth is that Trump really has a plan for peace, of some sort, between the Palestinians and the Israelis in mind, and he had already informed some of his allies of its main highlights.

In order to secure Arab and Palestinian approval, he pre-emptively proposed it as a fait accompli reality, to rule out Jerusalem from the final negotiations.

This way, Abu Deis becomes the candidate capital for the promised Palestinian state, as underlined by the New York Times a few days ago.

Some politicians would rather wait for Trump’s lives speech, after midnight, to get their answers; what will Trump say exactly? Will he recognise Jerusalem, in its entirety, as the capital of Israel? Or is he talking about West Jerusalem, leaving the Eastern part of the occupied city to the Palestinians?

Is the relocation tied to a peace accord with the Palestinians? In other words, has Trump made the relocation on the condition that Israel abides by the peace process?

What is Trump giving the Palestinians and the Arabs in return for this ransom gift he gave the occupation?

Meanwhile, unprecedented pessimism is rising among Arab diplomats on Washington’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli struggle.

America’s allies in the region are more outraged than his elsewhere. So what is giving his friends in the Middle East to maintain US alliances?

On the other hand, what will Arab states do in response to Trump’s catastrophic decision, in regards to his promised solution? Will the Palestinian leadership give into the newly imposed US reality, the Deal of the Century, as Trump describes it?

In general, it is difficult for any Arab or Palestinian leader to agree to these terms.

By going moving forward with this decision, the US is totally giving up on its intermediary role between Palestinians and Arabs and the Israelis.

During the former rounds of negotiations, the Arab party showed considerable flexibility in regards to the refugees’ return and exchange of lands.

However, in regards to Jerusalem, given its symbolic, national and religious weight, no concessions were afforded by any Palestinian or Arab leader to the Israelis in East Jerusalem or the religious sites there, naturally!

Evidently, Trump’s floundering administration did not sink this through.

Honestly, what is expected to come from this?

The possibilities of calamity in the Arab region, Palestine, and Jerusalem in particular, are endless.

The US administration seems to have not prepared answers for the Arabs and the Palestinians.

It seems that the White House is acting on the President’s impulse, lacking the least possible sense of responsibility and scientific leadership!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.

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