- Or a plan to steal Palestinian lands
The so called “Deal of the Century” announced by US President Donald Trump aims at perpetuating the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands. The unilateral annexation of the Jordan River Valley and existing settlements violate both international law and multiple UN resolutions. As the plan has been announced without negotiations with the Palestinians it would be widely seen as a deal between Israel and the USA, thus perpetuating the conflict instead of bringing peace. While unveiling the controversial plan President Trump announced that Jerusalem would be Israel’s undivided capital. This would be widely resented by the Muslim community at large. Trump’s plan will provide the extremist organisations another cause célèbre to target the West in general and the USA in particular, and make a life support available to terrorist networks like Al-Qaeda and IS. While President Trump’s announcement has secured him Israel’s support in this year’s presidential election, it has estranged the left wing and liberal Jewish organizations in the USA which have held protests and called it another form of apartheid.
With Egypt and the UAE supporting the plan and Turkey and Iran opposing it, the plan would exacerbate the existing confrontation in the Middle East. Jordan has warned against the dangerous consequences of the plan, which legitimizes the annexation of the Palestinian lands. The plan has been rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the entire gamut of Palestinian factions in Gaza who have initiated protests against it. Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have also rejected it. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has called Jerusalem “our red line” and has vowed not to allow steps to legitimise Israel’s occupation and oppression. Iran has called the plan the treason of the century.
Ever since its creation, Pakistan has been an outstanding supporter of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state encompassing the entire annexed areas and with Jerusalem as its capital. The country’s Founding Father the Quaid-e-Azam had steadfastly supported the Palestinian cause even before the creation of Pakistan. The policy was continued by successive governments even when some of them had the closest relations with the US led Western bloc. One expects the present government also to consistently follow that policy. For Pakistan it is not possible to compromise on either Palestine or Kashmir.