By Ahmed Khan, The Rahnuma Daily Editor-In-Chief (Online English)
(RAHNUMA): Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner spent three years working on the Trump administration’s recently released Israel-Palestine peace plan. While the plan has not been met with a favorable response in both the Middle East and West, it has brought to light a key point which finally explains why this conflict has continued for the past 70 years, despite countless United Nations resolutions, and non-binding resolutions from the Arab League and the OIC. The OIC represents most of the nearly 2 billion Muslims in the world, except for us in India since the OIC has kept 200 million Indian Muslims out, and isolated us from the rest of the Muslim world, to appease Pakistan.
Kushner’s main talking point reveals the most important reality Palestinians and the Arab League and the OIC have not accepted for nearly 70 years: America’s secret support and endorsement of Israel’s continued illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, regardless of their legal status.
Let’s better understand what this means: The White House’s senior most official for finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestine stalemate says Israel’s illegal growth is basically okay, and unstoppable and has even implied it is US-backed. That ought to be telling enough for the Palestinians, and to the Arab League, and to the OIC.
Trump will be most likely re-elected in 2020, so unless the Palestinians found the Ark of the Covenant, they need to understand the odds are heavily stacked against them.
While some might find what Kushner said to be astounding, the fact remains, the only obstacle between the United Nations Security Council and Israel, is in fact America, which continues to use its power at the UNSC to prevent the international community from taking any action against Israel for breaking international law. That said, Kushner has basically made it apparent, if it was not before, that as long as Israel has America backing it’s actions, legal or otherwise, no one can nor will do anything.
There is a reality-check in this and as such, it is wise for the Palestinian leadership to avail the opportunity and make a deal, even if not this one.
Kushner’s statements make it clear Israel has always had a green light from US leadership to expand those settlements, despite their legal status in international law.
In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already called to annex 30 percent of the West Bank, after making an offer to recognize an independent Palestinian State with Eastern not East, Jerusalem as its capital.
That could make a fraught issue so much worse for the Palestinians who are very keen to not make any deal, like always, even when the Saudi Crown Prince offered them $10 billion USD to accept a peace plan agreeable to both sides.
In multiple interviews after the Trump administration released its proposal, Kushner said Israel’s rapid growth — in other words, the settlements — are precisely why Palestinian leaders should make a deal now. Sure, that is a big blow to most Palestinians, and even Arabs, but it is honest, and a undeniable reality that needs to be understood.
So clean is Kushner, that he has even made it clear why Israel continues to defy international law and consent without any consequences – American support. That is sad, but it is honest, and honesty is the first step to any real deal.
Kushner told Al Jazeera, “If we don’t do this today, at the rate at which Israel is growing, I think that it will never be able to be done, so we see this as the last chance for the Palestinians to have a state.”
He didn’t misspeak, which we know because he repeated this same talking point over an hour later to CNN.
Instead of getting emotional, and name calling, perhaps he should be applauded for his brutal honesty.
I certainly think his honesty makes it a lot easier to understand what the odds truly are.
In his statement on CNN, Kushner did a great service to this generation, and especially those who saw this conflict as unending, and subsequently, due to religious sentiment, and honor of Islam, have seen themselves in a state of unwanted conflict with Israel if it were to demolish the Haram Al Sharif Masjid Al Aqsa and the the Dome of the Rock.
In his proposal, Kushner trifurcated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into three separate parts.
Territorial, religious and security. The territorial conflict has American backing, and for the past 70 years, it is the same US backing which has allowed it to keep growing, despite it being illegal according to international law.
The religious conflict is, “a religious dispute with Israel and the entire Islamic world and that’s over the Haram Al-Sharif, the Al Aqsa Mosque..the President also got Israel to acknowledge …the special role the King of Jordan plays with that site (the Hashemite Custodianship) and also to say, all Muslims from throughout the world are welcome to come and pray and I do think that will help bring Israel and the Muslim world closer together…”
However, in 2018, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel President Trump whom praised during his peace plan press conference, David Friedman, was photographed receiving an aerial image of Jerusalem bearing a simulation of the Third Jewish Temple instead of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
The third part is security.
Both sides attack and retaliate against civilians, but want that to stop. This part requires Israel to reign in its crazies, and the Palestinians to reign in theirs. This will not be too difficult.
Kushner’s trifurcating of the conflict into three, makes prospects for negotiations for peace and an end to the religious conflict at least, a real possibility.
While virtually every good Muslim on earth today desperately wants to see this conflict resolved, especially the religious part, the most prudent question is, if America has been literally lying to the Palestinians and Arab and Muslim world over the Palestinian conflict, for the past 70 years by claiming to be non-biased, and if international law holds no real importance to America, what good are American guarantees that Israel will not demolish Haram Al Sharif Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and also annex whatever is left of Palestine?
I think the OIC and Arab League rejection of the Kushner plan today, and Jordan’s rejection of it in Saudi Arabia is telling of what the Muslim world truly thinks, even if it excludes India’s 200 million Muslims who have no representation at the OIC.
Ahmed Khan is the Editor-In-Chief & Publisher of The Rahnuma Daily (theRahnuma.com), the online English daily edition of The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper established in 1921. More than 81.1 million Indians identify Urdu as their language, and as per the annual INA (Indian Newspapers Association) report, ReDD ranks among the top 5 most widely circulated and read Urdu daily print newspapers throughout India. Ahmed resides in Hyderabad at his maternal ancestral home and can be contacted at, @editor_therahnuma, firstname.lastname@example.org