Irish Examiner View: Trump ‘deal’ is a recipe for war

Irish Examiner View: Trump ‘deal’ is a recipe for war
President Donald Trump welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House earlier this week. Picture: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, agreed with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has more to do with both men’s personal tribulations than representing a genuine attempt to bring lasting peace to the Middle East.

Trump is in the middle of an impeachment trial while Netanyahu is a prime minister under indictment on corruption charges and is about to face his third election in a year.

The so-called “Deal of the Century” is a classic colonial construct, the equivalent of the Balfour Declaration.

This was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. It is considered a principal cause of the ongoing conflict.

In many ways, it is more colonial than Balfour as that declaration made clear that:

Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.

Trump’s plan offers the Palestinians no such overarching guarantee. It imagines new Israeli borders and “a demilitarised Palestinian state” with Israel retaining security responsibility west of the Jordan River.

The plan would mean that Israel would effectively annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank, with American approval.

That’s a recipe for war, not peace.

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