Opinion: Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is not a deal if it fails to acknowledge both parties.

Tala A.

D.+Freija+%28%2720%29+and+T.+Abourakbah+%28%2720%29+holding+the+Palestinian+flag+after+ASD%27s+International+Week+opening+ceremony.

Photographer: M. Amani ('20)

D. Freija ('20) and T. Abourakbah ('20) holding the Palestinian flag after ASD's International Week opening ceremony.

Tala A., Reporter

“I am originally Palestinian. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict affects me directly, and to see how this conflict is being solved by the Trump Peace plan, saddens me,” says Mr. Tawfik Abourakbah. 

The Trump peace plan is a proposal by the Trump administration to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. US President Donald Trump revealed the plan in a White House press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 28, while Palestinian representatives were not invited.

“I first heard about the ‘deal of the century’ at the beginning of the year, and my reaction to it was that I was hopeful that it would help the conflict in Palestine. But once I really read it and realized the sacrifices that Palestinians would have to make versus the sacrifices that Israelis would have to make, I didn’t really agree on the peace plan anymore,” D. Frieja (‘20) explained.

Likewise, H. Kamel (’22), the creator of the Equality For Palestinians Club at the American School of Doha described her reaction to Trump’s peace plan: “When I first heard of the ‘deal of the century,’ I was extremely heartbroken and disappointed that the hurt and voices of the Arabs, especially the Palestinians, weren’t being heard. It felt like our whole culture was just being erased, and it was all in the hands of Israel and the United States.”

Once the news of Trump’s peace plan was revealed, Kamel explained that “the Equality for Palestinians Club dealt with Trump’s announcement by informing the group of what the deal is and what it means for Palestinian people. We then started meetings every Wednesday we called ‘Palestine: Remembering the Names’ to teach people what Palestine used to be and the beautiful history of the country. With that, we also talk about what changed and how the changes affected Palestinians.”

The Trump peace plan is broken down clearly by Vox into four main elements:

1) Israel keeps the vast majority of Jerusalem as its sovereign capital; 

2) Palestinians get no right of return; 

3) it redraws borders mainly between Israel and the West Bank; and 

4) it doesn’t allow for Palestine to create a fighting force to defend itself.

While I appreciate Trump’s attempt to solve this ongoing conflict between the rivaling parties, the peace plan is simply unjustifiable. Not only does Trump’s peace plan completely negate the voices of Palestinians, but it also doesn’t seem to benefit them in any way. 

The solution I see to solve the conflict is to have one state, which will include all Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, and Christians in one country. It will be a secular state and citizens will all have equal rights.

However, Freija disagrees with me. She believes, “there is no solution to this conflict because it’s a conflict that’s been ongoing for many, many years. I think that it’s just too hard to have a solution that will fix everything between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

Not surprisingly, Trump’s peace plan was rejected by Palestinian President Abbas  He said, “Jerusalem is not for sale. Your conspiracy deal will not pass.”

Nonetheless, this continues to displace millions of Palestinians around the world as they wait for the day they can return to the homeland.

 

 

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