The “deal of the century” or “ultimate deal” is U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This plan is a purported agreement between the U.S., Israel, and the Arab allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt to end the two-state proposal and to divide or share sovereignty over the Palestinian population in the occupied territories between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser (and the President’s son-in-law), has been brokering a deal with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, chief U.S. negotiator for the region, visited both Saudi Arabia and Jordan in June 2018 to prepare to release Mr. Trump’s proposal which, it has been suggested, has been 18 months in the making.
A decision to release the plan comes with no indication that 82-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President (and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization – PLO), will entertain the plan. He has refused to meet with U.S. negotiators since the U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
An unnamed senior Jordanian official said, “Arab states will not be the ones to throw a wrench in the wheels of the peace process, and that Abbas’s continued refusal to work with the Americans will lead to a regional peace plan being launched without him.”
One element of the proposal is that Saudi Arabia will control the Temple Mount in place of Jordan’s current custodianship. In addition, the town Abu Dis – adjacent to Jerusalem – will become the capital of the Palestinian Authority. Speculation has it that any Palestinian state would have limited sovereignty.
In related news, Mahmoud Abbas seeks to convene a session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) to break ties with Israel. The PNC, located in Amman, Jordan, has not met since 2009.
The council is:
the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and elects the PLO Executive Committee, which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The PNC is [the legislative body] responsible for formulating the policies and programs for the PLO. It serves as the parliament that represents all Palestinians inside and outside the Palestinian territories, and all sectors of the worldwide Palestinian community, including political parties, popular organizations, resistance movements, and independent figures from all sectors of life. (Wikipedia, “Palestine National Council“)
Al Jazeera – beware of malware * – “Four Arab states ‘support US plan’ for peace in the Middle East.” June 25, 2018.
Al Jazeera – beware of malware * – “Palestinian National Council to discuss ending ties with Israel.” April 28, 2018.
James M. Dorsey – academia.edu, “Saudi religious diplomacy targets Jerusalem.” December 2017.
James M. Dorsey, “Trading Jerusalem for Iran.” December 16, 2017.
Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Saudi Crown Prince: Iran’s Supreme Leader ‘Makes Hitler Look Good’.” The Atlantic. April 2, 2018.
Middle East Monitor, “White House senior adviser Jared Kushner discusses ‘deal of the century’ and Gaza siege with Netanyahu.” June 23, 2018.
Middle East Monitor, “Haaretz: Most Arab leaders agree to US ‘deal of century’.” July 2, 2018.
The New York Times, “Talk of a Peace Plan That Snubs Palestinians Roils Middle East.” December 3, 2017.
The Washington Post, “Trump axes the Iran deal and creates a new crisis.” May 9, 2018.
The Washington Post, “U.S. close to releasing Mideast peace proposal that Palestinian leadership may immediately reject.” June 21, 2018.
* beware of malware – A false Microsoft screen. Perhaps triggered by visiting the site. A Saudi cyber attack comes to mind.