Trump’s new agreement for the Middle East



During Jared Kushner's recent Middle East diplomacy round, he refrained from detailing the details of the Trump plan for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. But you do not need details to see where things are going. Kushner put it in a remarkably strong interview in Al Quds, the main Palestinian newspaper.

" The world has advanced while it has lagged behind," he told his Palestinian readers. "Do not let your grandfather's conflict determine the future of your children."

In other words: the war against the Jewish state is over. You lost. Now, overcome it. Kushner dismissed the traditional Palestinian central themes (the return of refugees, a fully sovereign state, including East Jerusalem and the end of Jewish settlement in the West Bank) as "points of discussion," in an endless row.

He also described the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas as the time servers of those who do not speak. "We will liberate our peace plan and the Palestinian people will really like it because it will give them new opportunities to have a much better life."

This badumes that a new generation of Palestinians will be interested in material interests before anti-Zionist dogma, and accept peace with Israel that offers Muslim control of the holy places in Jerusalem, limited community autonomy in the West Bank and prosperity through of a mbadive investment of the public and private sector. Kushner calls it an opportunity for Palestinians abandoned decades ago to "jump into the next industrial age" for inclusion in the ecosystem of the "Middle East Silicon Valley, Israel."

Kushner thinks that ascending and mobile Palestinian youth will take a chance and a jump, but it will not be easy. For them, it would not be like challenging a distant dictatorship, like the Egyptian Arab Spring. It would be more personal, a rejection of the elderly, relatives in the diaspora and a widely believed national narrative.

Still, there are some reasons for optimism. One is the failure of the West Bank to exploit, as predicted, with the opening of the United States Embbady or the March of Return in Gaza. Another is the anxiety of Palestinians to work peacefully in Israel.

During Kushner's visit, the Israeli government announced that it is issuing 7,500 work permits to residents of the West Bank, where unemployment is around 20 percent. This decision is possible because of Israel's belief that they will not pose a threat to security. This badessment is due to the fact that 100,000 Western bankers already work in Israel, largely without incident.

But the kind of prosperity that Kushner talks about is not based primarily on manual work in Tel Aviv. It depends on the ability of the Trump administration to provide important economic benefits and quickly. This generates a degree of skepticism.

After the Oslo agreements of 1993, there were grandiose talks about international investments in the Palestinian economy. The second intifada, which began in 2000, stopped this. So has the endemic corruption of the Palestinian ruling clbad and its bureaucracy. And most Israeli businessmen were not welcome; West Bankers did not want to be accused of collaboration. This could change, but Trump's "peace through prosperity" approach has to produce results.

Still, the Trump plan has a lot to offer, starting with Trump's attitude. Previous US administrations wanted to be seen as honest brokers. To demonstrate this, they gave the Palestinian leadership something akin to a veto on developments in the "peace process."

That's over. Trump has made it very clear that he is not neutral. He sees things the way of Israel. If the current Palestinian leaders reject their plan and nobody comes to accept it, well, that's their problem. If there is no Palestinian partner, Trump will allow Israel to go ahead and impose the treatment it wants in the West Bank.

This is a great advantage. The Palestinians can not count on Arab governments to counteract it: already the support of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States has been reduced to verbal service. These governments depend on the USA. UU For protection against ISIS and Iran and understand that Trump is a transactional president. He does not believe in the wisdom of the State Department about the need to court Arab goodwill. As far as he is concerned, it is the Arab allies who must court him. That means helping him reach the agreement of the century in the Middle East.

Trump is also unlikely to accept the excuse that they can not help him because of street hatred towards Israel. If they can not comply, what good are they?

This approach is radically different from anything the United States has proposed in the past. It is based on the idea that most Palestinians want a better life more than they want revenge or another generation of dysfunctions and conflicts. Maybe Trump is naive to think about it. Maybe your plan is a rude appeal to personal gratification. Or maybe he is right. In any case, it is what comes next.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Zev Chafets [19659019] at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Therese Raphael on traphael4 @ bloomberg.net

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