Global Affairs Canada minister promises to “examine the details” of Trump’s “Deal of the Century”- CTIP offers him a 10 point summary

 

francois_philippe_champagne

Canada’s new Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made a very cautious statement about Trump’s “Deal of the Century”. He avoided referring to it as a “peace” plan, or to its claim that the deal would create a Palestinian State. He said he would “examine the details”. For the minister’s benefit, CTIP offers a quick summary of the plan… Read more..

“Canada recognizes the urgent need to renew efforts toward a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and will carefully examine the details of the U.S. initiative for the Middle East peace process,” wrote Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne in a carefully written press release.

The Minister’s statement implies that his department has not yet studied or formed an opinion on Trump’s 181 page “Deal” (official title: “Peace to Prosperity: A vision to improve the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people“) which has been angrily denounced by all Palestinian parties, and many human rights organizations. The list of critics even includes some liberal Jewish ones. Not surprisingly, it has been praised by all of Israel’s political leaders and by the Jewish establishment in Canada like CIJA and Bnai Brith.

For the Minister – CTIP offers a 10 point summary of the “Deal”

To help Minister Champagne make up his mind on the substance of the “Deal”, CTIP offers this quick summary of some of its key elements. Notwithstanding its official claim to be a “peace plan” it does not take much examination to see that its proposals amount to a complete victory for Israel, and a complete capitulation for the Palestinians. It is a plan of conquest – not peace – and not one that any Palestinian leader could accept.

Here are ten of its main provisions:

  1. Expansion of Israel’s Borders: Israel’s borders will now extend to the Jordan river. In the process, Israel will gain another 20% of the West Bank. It will give up some mostly uninhabited desert land in the Negev near the Gaza-Egypt border. Israel will retain sovereignty over territorial waters, which means not only that it will control access to Gaza, but also the subsea resources (chiefly natural gas) off the Mediterranean coast.
  2. Exclusive Israeli control over Jerusalem: Palestinians will have to accept that all of Jerusalem (“undivided”) is Israel’s Capital and under Israeli control, including the Old City. Palestinians will be allowed to keep some land on the periphery of East Jerusalem and call it their “capital”. (In Canadian terms, “we will take Ottawa as our capital and you can have Barrhaven“).
  3. Settlements: Israel will annex the Jordan Valley and claim sovereignty over 100 Israeli settlements in the West Bank. This includes 15 isolated settlements, which will be enclaves within an eventual Palestinian state. The Israeli military will have access to these isolated settlements.
  4. Israeli military control: Israel will be in control of security from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The IDF will be able to go anywhere in the West Bank and Gaza.
  5. Right of return denied for almost all refugees. Over half the Palestinian population are refugees – between 5 and 7 million people. They are the descendants of non Jews (Muslim and Christian) who were driven out of what became Israel in 1947/48. But according to the plan only a small number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants will be allowed into the new Palestinian “state”. None will have the right to enter Israel. The rest will have to give up the idea of return, despite the fact that it is guaranteed in international law.

    proposed map of new palestinian state

    The proposed map of the strangest “state” in the world (in green).

  6. A Palestinian “quasi” state – “eventually? maybe?”. The plan does not include immediate recognition of a Palestinian state; rather, it holds out the prospect of a future Palestinian “State”  – eventually, and under certain conditions. But this state is unlike any other state in the world. It will be a strange collection of separate “areas” cut off from each other by Israeli only roads, and pockmarked by Israeli settlements which will be Israeli territory.  The Palestinian state would have no territorial contiguity, and the parts of the West Bank will be connected via 12 tunnels or bridges. Israel will maintain control of all its borders. The West Bank and Gaza Strip will be connected by a 20 km tunnel.
  7. Some Palestinian Israelis could lose Israeli citizenship: The plan leaves open the possibility that Israel will redraw its borders to exclude several large Palestinian towns now on Israel’s borders. By including them in the future Palestinian “state”, Israel would reduce the number of non Jews in Israel by several hundred thousand. 
  8. An end to resistance: Trump also called for the disarmament of Palestinian political factions like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and “firm rejection of terrorism” as a requirement for Palestinian statehood. Palestinians would give up their right to defend their homes and schools from attacks by settlers, for example. The plan also demands that the Palestinians drop their request that the International Criminal Court investigate Israel for “crimes against humanity”.
  9. Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State: Palestinians would be required to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, and accept that the Israeli border will be along the Jordan valley. Israeli citizens who are not Jewish (i.e. Palestinian citizens of Israel who number 1.5 million) will have to accept permanently their situation as second class citizens with fewer rights than those of Jewish Israeli citizens.
  10. Promises of new investment and job creation: The plan holds out the lure of 50 billion dollars in investments over 10 years. “Over the next 10 years, 1 million great new Palestinian jobs will be created,” Trump promised, adding that the poverty rate will be cut in half, and the Palestinian GDP will “double and triple.” He did not say who would pony up the money, however. The implication seems to be that it would come from other Arab states, though none offered to do so.

Notwithstanding its official claim to be a “peace plan” it does not take much examination to see that its proposals amount to a complete victory for Israel, and a complete capitulation for the Palestinians. It is a plan of conquest – not peace – and not one that any Palestinian leader could accept. It would be very difficult to find ANY Palestinian, or human rights advocate who would think that this is “fair” or a “peace deal”.

What will Canada’s assessment of the plan be?

Will Minister Champagne dare to criticize (or make any comment) on the Trump plan after he “examines the details”?

In addition to asking Palestinian Canadians, international lawyers, UN experts like Professor Michael Lynk who is the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, who called the plan “lopsided”, he might want to check with a non Zionist Jewish organization like Independent Jewish Voices Canada, or even a liberal Zionist organization like Canadian Friends of Peace Now (CFPN).

CFPN was scathing in its assessment, calling the plan the “sham of the century.” CFPN said the plan is “guaranteed to exacerbate rather than resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The plan pays lip-service to a two-state solution, but, at the same time, green lights immediate Israeli annexation of the entire Jordan Valley and the extension of Israeli sovereignty to settlements in the West Bank.” The group characterized the plan with terms such as dangerous, “one-sided” and “double speak.”

CTIP does not agree with Zionism of course and we often disagree with CFPN. But on this point, CTIP feels obliged to agree.

NEXT WEEK – Trump isn’t stupid. So why is he proposing a plan that he knows won’t be accepted?

___________________________________________

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue.

Want to learn more about what we do? Go to http://www.ottawaforumip.org.

For short commentaries check out our new Instagram account @chair.OFIP

Contact us at: ofip.chair@gmail.com.

 

16 comments

  1. Thanks for this concise and helpful summary of the plan. (This means, I will not have to read 25 books like Jerod Kushner.) In all seriousness, your outline offers a good outline in writing the Minister to outline concerns that the Canadian government should articulate about this disaster that is a waste of paper for everyone except the hard core supporters of the most extreme forms of Zionism.

  2. Propose the Arab peace plan based on UN conventions to which Kushner paid lip service. US has asked for a counterproposal. This could be basis for discussions.

  3. Peter,

    My belief is that we are given this shameful sham far more attention than it deserves. It seems designed to be unacceptable. When (not if) it is rejected, Israel and the US will use the rejection as evidence that they have no “peace partner” and take that as a license to continue their step-by-step annexation of all of the former Palestine and expulsion of its non-Jewish citizens and residents. Netanyahu has already declared that what is proposed is “the best deal that they will ever get” essentially saying that if they don’t take this, they will get less. In fact, even if they were to accept the proposal, they would eventually get less anyway.

    Hebron is a good illustration of what would happen. The text never mentions Hebron except in a list of possible projects where it is stated to be the site of a mysteriously funded (i.e. unfunded) gas-fired power plant. Hebron is one of the most disputed parts of the West Bank. The much vaunted map shows Hebron in the “Future State of Palestine” but the ancient town is already divided with a Jewish settlement that forced Palestinians out of their main street and, thereby, forced businesses to close. Hebron is associated with Abraham who is considered a founding Patriarch by all three “Abrahamic” religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism). Hebron will not be given up by the extremists who determine Israel policy. The “plan” ignores this problem completely. It also ignores the frequently repeated Israeli procedure of starting “illegal” (by Israeli law) settlements, using IDF soldiers to protect them, and eventually declaring them legal and allowing the settlers to stay. That process will continue even if no official settlements are built in the next four years.

    It is misleading to compare Barrhaven to the plan’s proposed capital of the misleadingly named “sovereign state of Palestine”. There is no wall between Barrhaven and the rest of Ottawa but Abu Dis and the other areas are separated from Jerusalem by walls and checkpoints . The plan “generously” allows the area to be renamed “Al Quds”, which has long been the Arabic name for all of what we call Jerusalem. In other words, the plan allows Palestinians to pretend that they got what they wanted by playing with words. Similarly, the plan tells the future “sovereign” state what it must do with the small areas left to it.

    If the Government of Canada has any integrity, it will soon declare that the Kushner plan is not worthy of consideration.

    1. Hey David,
      thanks. Right you are. As for the Canadian government. I think there is very little chance it will say much more than platitudes. Not much upside in getting cross threaded with the Donald on a plan he is heavily invested in, especially since we can’t really do much about it. My guess, anyway.

  4. Thank you Peter for this public service. Minister Champagne and PM Trudeau, unfortunately do not appreciate that they have an analytical resource and friend of true news in their backyard should they only be willing to listen.

  5. These so-called “peace plans” are essentially thinly-disguised surrender documents which have been presented to the Palestinians by Israel and successive US governments for five decades dating back to the 1967 Israeli occupation. The latest is simply the most thinly-disguised effort to legitimate the occupation, and it’s illusory to see it providing a possible opening for any meaningful “negotiation” between the parties.

    Even the conservative Arab League – which includes staunch Trump administration allies like the Saudis, Gulf states, and Egypt – has felt compelled to (at least publicly) reject the plan.

    If the current effort represents a departure from previous US-Israel initiatives, it is only in the sense that the Trump administration is no longer as hesitant as its predecessors in giving the green light to Israel’s formal annexation of the occupied territories. Outside, that is, of a few scattered Bantustans in which the Palestinians will ostensibly exercise sovereignty in a striking re-creation of apartheid South Africa.

    1. Hey Dimitri, thanks for flagging this. It was in the title but not in the statement itself. I was so focussed on the mealy mouthed statement, that I overlooked the title. In any event, I will be very surprised if the minister makes any further statement on this. I think he will prefer to stay away from anything that could annoy Trump.

  6. This is clearly a plan of expansion of the state of Israel and subjugation of all 3 groups of Palestinians — those in the occupied territories, those who are citizens of Israel, and those who are refugees. It contravenes everything we must learn about making a more peaceful world. History teaches repeatedly that subjugation “deals” entrench hatred, aggression, and in the society of the aggressor, fear.
    I hope our government in Ottawa can call a spade a spade.

  7. I was sent this comment by a friend.

    This is a ludicrous solution as Peter points out. However, it should serve as an object lesson on how hopeless a 2 state solution is as a reasonable goal. Sadly, the Palestinian and world leadership is still fixated on this quixotic non solution that will never happen as Israel and the Zionist project has had as it’s goal for 100 years the return of Jews to their biblical, God given lands ie Israel and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

    Only when the world and the Palestinian leadership finally accepts this has been the Israeli goal, and that nothing short of this will ever be agreed to by the foreseeable Israeli leadership, which now has the support of the vast majority of Jewish Israelis, can a workable solution be found.

    And the only such solution is a one Jewish state solution which includes Palestinians, including some now in refugee camps, with equal rights to its Jewish citizens. And that means giving the Palestinians (Muslims) their own national legislature in Al Quds with governance over Muslim Palestinians regarding religious and civil rights and sharing power over such things as military, policing, budgets and other matters of joint consequence with the Knesset (Jewish parliament). Non Muslims can pick which body they want to be governed by. And with the continuation of the same kind of proportional representation as now exists, which has no geographical basis, the problem of scattered communities of Jews and Muslims makes no particular difference.

    Of course, this would be a complicated negotiation but with the help of the best political, respected minds of the world helping out, I think it can be done. And if Israel refuses to negotiate such a deal (which means a Jewish state over all its biblical lands with no possibility of a population “war” leading to the end of the Jewish state) then it can be legitimately ostracized as was South Africa until it brought apartheid to an end. But until the Palestinian leadership recognizes that the Palestinians have lost the territorial war with Israel and what is left for them is not worthy of the name of a state, the current hopeless situation of the West Bank Palestinians and those in refugee camps elsewhere will continue indefinitely.

    And Israel will continue its domination and tormenting of this stateless, powerless community using the chimera of a 2 state solution to justify its treatment of the Palestinians, awaiting its leadership to abjure terrorism (freedom fighters) and the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and seeking the return of the West Bank to their control. Palestinian and Arab leadership has made many bad decisions dealing with the Zionist movement and Israel for 100 years, decisions which the latter have taken full advantage of to place itself in the absolutely dominating position it now holds. And that success it has bred such an arrogance and callousness that no fair minded person could possibly call Israel a “light unto the nations”; rather it is turning into a “blight” among the nations in some important respects.

    And now that Israeli citizens are backing right wing parties there is little chance of their leaders showing the magnanimity in victory that is needed to recognize the fact that the Palestinians, like the Jews of Biblical years, are a people dispossessed of the lands they occupied for 700 years by colonial powers and Zionists, and with even more justification than did the Jews, have some right of return, if not to their original villages and towns, which have been obliterated (over 550 of them), but to the ample space still existing in the West Bank and Israel for new settlements. There is no reason the Palestinians can not create settlements, even on apparently barren land, which is exactly what the Jewish West Bank settlers have done.

    Of course, with 100 years of enmity between the two descendants of Abraham, it will be a slow process and a miracle ( a la Sadat & Begin) to integrate Palestinians and Jews into a single society, but with leadership on both sides willing to make this happen , with the benefits of a unified country becoming immediately obvious ( eg. family reunification, jobs) and with a ridding of both school systems of the skewed history and hatreds that pass as history education today, perhaps after a generation or two there will indeed be a unified country living in peace.

    Thanks for posting it. I have no objection to my name associated with it.

    Jon Snipper

  8. I doubt that even Netanyahu considers the “deal of the century” as a viable plan for a peace process

    Besides the obvious goal of providing a distraction from the impeachment trial in Washington and the looming bribery trial in Jerusalem there is one more goal : the “deal of the century” will be the new baseline, the new reference point for future peace plans.
    I suspect that future peace plans, will be much more palatable for the Palestinians once you compare them to the “deal of the century”

      1. According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu has said about the Palestinians, “I think over time they’ll see they’ll never get a better deal,” . Who should we believe?

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