U.S. to reveal ‘Deal of the Century’ to Israel in early November

from: Middle East Monitor (MEMO) | October 27, 2018

Israeli public radio reported that the U.S. administration would reveal the details of its “Deal of the Century” to Israel during the first week of November.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, is scheduled to travel to the region to meet with Israeli officials and reveal the details of the U.S. plan, Quds Press reported.

The so-called “Deal of the Century” is claimed by Trump’s Administration to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict …

(See MEMO’s original article with its pro-Palestinian rhetoric.)

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Demise of the U.S. Consulate General to Jerusalem after 174 years

On October 18, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the merger of the U.S. Consulate General to Jerusalem with its Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

Citing significant efficiencies and increased effectiveness, Pompeo said that a full range of reporting, outreach, and programming in the West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem will be conducted through a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the U.S. Embassy.

Pompeo added that this action does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip. “As the President proclaimed in December of last year, the United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders. The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.”

The Consulate General to Jerusalem was established as an independent mission in 1844. Since 1912, it has operated out of a complex on Agron Street in western Jerusalem not far from its earliest location in the Old City.

The U.S. State Department built a contemporary annex in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood. Although styled as an annex, this new campus is larger than the facilities on Agron Street.

In May 2018, the U.S. Embassy to Israel began operations on a small scale in the Arnona annex.

U.S. warns no one will be ‘fully pleased’ by Israeli-Palestinian peace plan

“No one will be fully pleased with our proposal, but that’s the way it must be if real peace is to be achieved,” officials said. “Peace can only succeed if it is based on realities.”

NoOnePleasedPeacePlan

(Times of Israel August 15, 2018)

From the Quran: giving and taking away power

From the Surah “Family of Amram” — Chapter 3
Verse: 3:26

Say, “O G-d! the L-rd of all power, You grant power to whomsoever You will and take away power from whomsoever You please, and confer honor and dignity on whomsoever You will and disgrace whomsoever You will. All good lies in Your hand. Verily, You are the Possessor of full power to do all You will….”

(I misplaced the source for the above translation.)

This verse is cited at the end of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s legislative body, the Palestine National Council, on November 15, 1988.

An English translation of the declaration that is attributed to Edward Said reads:

[In the name of G-d, the Compassionate, the Merciful:]
Say: O G-d, Master of the Kingdom, /
Thou givest the Kingdom to whom Thou wilt, /
And seizes the Kingdom from whom Thou wilt, /
Thou exalted whom Thou wilt, and Thou /
Abasest whom Thou wilt; in Thy hand /
Is the good; Thou art powerful over everything.

(See Benny Morris, One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 125-6)

Also see the translation of this verse by Maulana Muhammad Ali at the website of The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (retrieved July 20, 2018):

Say: O Al-lah, Owner of the Kingdom, Thou givest the kingdom to whom Thou pleasest, and takest away the kingdom from whom Thou pleasest, and Thou exaltest whom Thou pleasest and abasest whom Thou pleasest. In Thine hand is the good. Surely, Thou art Possessor of power over all things.

Proposed U.S. plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict

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“)

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Gleaned from:

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.

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* beware of malware – A false Microsoft screen. Perhaps triggered by visiting the site. A Saudi cyber attack comes to mind.

Vice President Mike Pence tells Israel’s Knesset, “the U.S. will support a two-state solution”

Remarks | Foreign Policy

Issued on: January 22, 2018

The Knesset – Israel’s parliament
Jerusalem, Israel *

“And President Trump reaffirmed that, if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution.”

Arabs rejected the two-state proposal in 1948-49 when the Arab Legion invaded Palestine just before the British Mandate ended. Then, the Kingdom of Jordan annexed the West Bank, Eastern Jerusalem, and the walled Old City of Jerusalem.

The “two-state solution” became the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. Everything since then has been bluster by Arabs before they drive all Jews into the sea.

Driving Jews into the sea – the Mediterranean – may be literal. On the other hand, it seems to hearken back to the days of Salah ad-Din  (Saladin) who drove Crusaders “into the sea” – back to Europe. This subtlety seems to be lost on literal-minded Arabs who don’t want to see Jews when they look out their windows.

Pence addresses Israel’s Knesset – video from The Washington Post

The White House’s text of Mr. Pence’s speech.

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* Jerusalem – Israel’s capital since 1948