By: Labib Faleh Taha
When the harsh terms of peace were imposed on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 at the end of the First World War, the seeds of World War II were grew; the war which was more ferocious and brutal than its predecessor.
When the Treaty of Sèvres was imposed on Turkey in 1920 at the end of the First World War, its harsh conditions also led the Turks to launch an independent war that led to signing a better treaty, the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, with additional human and economic cost.
In the Palestinian context, in Camp David Accords signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979, Israel insisted on the denial of Palestinian rights; the Lebanon war in 1982 and the first intifada were cost of that denial.
The “carrot” and “stick” approach policy has been practiced toward Palestinian people; the stick approach represented by oppression and wars, this approach did not succeed in dissuading the Palestinians from seeking their rights. The carrot approach represented by financial appeals introduced to Palestinians to give up their rights in exchange for economic and living benefits sponsored by the United States. United States had a long history of achieving its interests by money; they bought Alaska from Russia; California, Nevada and Utah from Mexico, Louisiana from France and Florida from Spain. The United States wants to practice this policy in Mideast, but this time not from the US Treasury or from the US taxpayer’s pocket.
Wars and repression against the Palestinian people were the stick approach, and it was necessary to hint at the “carrot” or appeals of the Palestinians to agree to peace conditions they refused by oppression and occupation. Israeli plans have been based on economic appeals since 1967, as in Yigal Allon plan in August 1968, which called for an economic solution to the refugee issue, the Galili plan in August 1973, and through many Israeli plans that were concerned with “improving” Living standards to Palestinians.
Since the beginning of the current US president, Donald Trump, some have long waited for a settlement plan called the “Deal of the Century”. The deal leaks say it ignores what can be called the “three pillars” of the Palestinian state: sovereignty over its territory, the right of return of Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem as its capital. The American deal achieves Israeli ambitions in peace with the Arab states with the least concessions and a winning deal for Israel and its patronage of the United States.
Many people, including the writer of these lines, believe that the deal will not succeed. The business man, Donald Trump, is good at doing business; he calls his plan a “deal” which means he considers the Palestine issue a financial deal that does not care much about achieving a political compromise. It is based on the two previous approaches to dealing with the Palestinian issue, namely, oppression or crumbs, or, in other words, stick or carrot.
Why insisting on an approach that has already been tried and has not succeeded?! Did the descendants of Einstein and their allies read his definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
Conquering the Palestinians and making their fate like the Red Indians is unexpected, and their acceptance of the crumbs at the expense of historical and national rights is almost impossible. When Israelis are surprised by the Palestinians’ rejection of the deal despite their difficult reality, it is good for them to remember that the businessman can accept a loss in a deal for the need for liquidity or disposal of goods that are almost expired; he can not a accept a loss in a deal that determines the fate of a homeland and a people.