Concluding the Palestinian Issue

Bringing the last chapter of the Palestinian issue to a full and final conclusion has become a declared aim within the so-called Deal of the Century which reflects itself in the measures undertaken by Netanyahu and Trump vis-à-vis Jerusalem, the Golan and the decision to annex 30% of the West Bank’s territory including Netanyahu’s red lines concerning a united Jerusalem, and the refugees file. It further reflects itself in a conspicuous manner in the negotiations taking place between America and Israel in isolation of the Arab sides and amid their collaboration. The Arab regimes are attempting to deliberately deviate the compass of the Palestinian issue by making the challenges of the Deal of the Century directed at the Jordanian regime and the Palestinian Authority and by confining the options of resistance within the framework of adhering to the “two-state solution” in order to allegedly preserve the Jordanian and Palestinian identities. Hence, as the Gulf States and other Arab countries have acquired the pretext to deal with Israel, which they now feel they can openly discuss, such as the case with the UAE, since they are outside the circle of struggle with Israel now that Iran has volunteered to dismiss Israel as the scarecrow. The Jordanian regime and the Palestinian Authority amplified the threat of annexing the occupied Jordan Valley and confined their vision and pinned their hopes on tackling this issue based on the results of the US presidential elections and on the return of the Democrats to power. This is after Netanyahu had dashed their hopes in the “two-state” solution, and after they had been let down and sacrificed by the Gulf States in exchange for their continuance in power; and this will be adopted by the Jordanian regime and the Palestinian Authority as a pretext to compromise the Palestinian issue further. 

Although some of the official Arab positions rejecting the annexation have recently emerged, somewhat devoid of any practical steps to prevent it, the context in which these stances have surfaced is expressive of America’s desire to delay the annexation rather than cancel it, thus making the official Arab rejection concordant with American wishes, and in turn, expressive of the regimes’ fear of its fallouts. Arab rulers have dared to express their aversion to the annexation after having exploited the division in the European stance towards it and the frail international support for it, even though the division in the European stance on which the Palestinian authority and some Arab regimes are banking is merely on how to confront the decision to annex the Jordan Valley, i.e. whether to impose “token” sanctions or only express concern. The same applies to the Democratic party on which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan are relying, since its leaders are split on whether to call for imposing sanctions, as Sanders wants, or pursue the customary token objections as Biden wants, especially that the annexation is related to the issue of security and sovereignty, and there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats vis-à-vis the security and sovereignty of Israel save for the arrangements proposed by former security adviser General John Allen in 2014 to Secretary of State John Kerry and which Netanyahu rejected.

In this context, “Israeli” newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published an article by the UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba in which he addressed the Israel; not only did the scope of the article exceeded normalization and touched on the alliance with the Israel, it also addressed the issue of turning the whole region, regimes and people alike, as subjects of Israel., This led former Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt to declare: “I still look forward to eating kosher food when I travel to the UAE. I hope that the UAE will still proceed to develop the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, where a mosque, a church and a synagogue will be collocated in the same complex. I would be excited to pray there with my tefillin.”

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