Opinion |

Trump's Deal Is an ‘Opportunity’ Worth Missing

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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A view of Wadi Ara in northern Israel on January 30, 2020.
A view of Wadi Ara in northern Israel on January 30, 2020.Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

Once again, they’ll make sure to accuse the Palestinians of “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” a slogan that’s been worn to the bone from overuse. Even when the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem, the Americans asked the Palestinians to support the move, because if they didn’t, they’d “miss an opportunity.”

Now it’s the turn of the new player on the political scene, Benny Gantz, to chastise the Palestinians for their actions, saying that Mahmoud Abbas “again isn’t wasting an opportunity for rejectionism.” With this he joins the club of those crying crocodile tears, whose hearts bleed with sorrow for the Palestinians. But the Palestinians – well, what can you do? They are nay-sayers, sons of nay-sayers. They take the golden spoon brought to their mouths and ungratefully throw it straight into the garbage.

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Blaming the victim is an element of self-defense against pangs of conscience, as if the victim brought the evil on himself. But the “victim is to blame” approach is one of the worst types of human behaviors. Instead of self-examination or introspection, you blame the others and move on.

“The Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan,” many people say. Is this a sufficient excuse for the mass expulsions in 1948? “The Palestinians fled,” they argue. Let’s say that’s true. Is this argument enough to block their return to their homes once the battles were over? And so on and so on.

These are issues from generations ago. But everything that one chooses to take to the extreme will in the end lead to the opposite result – or, more accurately, to an absurd result. This time it’s especially blatant, since the American intermediary is even more eager to annex Palestinian territories than the eager Israeli side.

Only someone politically blind can fail to see how ridiculous the “deal of the century” is. Now all we need is the genius who’ll tell the Palestinians, “Don’t miss the opportunity to agree to the destruction of your homes,” or perhaps, “Just agree to bang the last nail in the coffin of the Palestinian state.”

Instead of listening carefully to Abbas’ speech – from the man who wagered all his political credit on calling for negotiations with Israel and not for a popular violent struggle; the man who objected with his whole being to an armed struggle; the man who promised to restore order to the Palestinian cities and who kept that promise – Benjamin Netanyahu and Gantz are criticizing him, armed with a false patriotism, because of things he said about the non-Jewish immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia. What’s even more absurd is that Shas chairman Arye Dery is echoing their criticism, even though the exact same things have been said by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.

Abbas indeed erred by entering that domestic Israeli discussion, but the disproportionate reaction to his comments is the weapon of those who want to divert the debate from the central issue, which is the plan that Trump has outlined for the Palestinian state, whose map looks like Swiss cheese, as Abbas said. A state of tunnels and bridges; a Disneyland state.

Disneyland may be great as a children’s theme park, but as a state? This is what the argument is over. The Arabs say, “He fasted all day, and at night he broke his fast on an onion.” All the fat will go to the Jewish state, and the Arabs will get the end of an onion. That’s Zionist justice at its best.

And of course, this plan doesn’t leave the “Israeli Arabs” out of all this goodness. There are bridges and tunnels being planned especially for them. Now who would dare transfer Moshav Mei-Ami, located near Umm el-Fahm, to PA territory? Perhaps they will also evacuate its residents and transfer them into Israel? So there’s another bridge, between Umm el-Fahm and Ara and Arara, and another tunnel under Harish.

Moreover, based on the tradition of the occupied territories, there will be additional checkpoints between Ara and Arara, between Taibeh and Kalansua, and maybe between neighborhoods in the same city; improvements are always welcome. If the matter didn’t affect people’s lives and future, one would be tempted to burst out laughing.