First Reactions to the Farce of the Century

28 Jan

Rodrigo Craviero Supplemental Interview Questions


Q: What kind of comments would you add?


The release of Trump’s plan seems to have generated far less interest and enthusiasm, except on Netanyahu’s, and likely majority opinion in Israel, than I expected. It may be too soon to be confident that this first impression will turn out to be accurate. What seems clear from the timing and mode of release is that the Trump/Kushner plan is intended to help Netanyahu prevail in the upcoming Israeli elections, and will also be useful to Trump with respect to Evangelical and hard-core Jewish support in the presidential election in November. There is some reason to believe, whether knowingly or not, the plan, and the pre-release one sidedness was designed to ensure a Palestinian rejection, allowing Israel to embrace the plan and claim to seek peace, as well as go forward with unilateral moves such as annexing the Jordan Valley.


Q: How do you see also fact return of Palestinian refugees will be impossible, as Netanyahu told, and Jerusalem will continue indivisible?


The failure to address the issue of Palestinian refugees in a responsible manner is both a deficiency in the proposal, and a tragic humanitarian evasion. Palestinian refugee population, estimated at over five million, have long languished in a variety of refugee camps, without rights or decent life conditions. There can be no peace as long as this situation persists.


3 Responses to “First Reactions to the Farce of the Century”

  1. Beau Oolayforos January 30, 2020 at 1:12 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Thanks for your realism in pointing out the true reasons for this ‘peace plan’ – 2 slimy politicians, both under indictment, announce their self-serving scheme, from the White House. A far cry from the ‘handshake on the lawn’…at least Clinton was TRYING.

    “Deal of the Century” is a play on a book title…but low-IQ Donald never wrote, or could write, a book, any more than his son or Sarah Palin could. Barely literate themselves, they keep ghostwriters in business. Trump’s has long since acknowledged that his client’s a phony.

  2. Rabbi Ira Youdoin January 30, 2020 at 5:01 pm #


    I generally agree with much of your analysis of the Trump plan. On the other hand, you weaken your position by describing the situation in Gaza without any mention of Hamas’ armed takeover of the territory from the PA and its relentless use of the area as a staging ground for relentless attacks on Israel via rockets and missiles and through tunnels. Ariel Sharon took an enormous political risk in pushing for total Israeli civilian and military withdrawal from Gaza. He unambiguously insisted that Israel had no business being there. The tightened restrictions came as a justifiable response to the new threats posed by Hamas.

    Second. Although you take umbrage when I suggest that some of the policies you advocate are deleterious to Palestinian interests, I’ll do it again by suggesting that your support of the Palestinians’ boycotting negotiations is bad advice. The historical record shows that when the Palestinians remain aloof, they lose something. The Trump plan gives them 60 percent of the West Bank. The Olmert, Barak and Clinton proposals—all rejected—gave them as much as 96 percent. And the “Land for Peace” proposal immediately following the Six Day War gave them 100 percent.

    I understand that central factors in the Palestinian psyche make entering negotiations difficult for anyone other than courageous and visionary leaders. For one thing, the Palestinians are fatally divided into two mutually hostile factions. Consequently, there is no single leader or faction empowered to negotiate on behalf of the entire polity. A second and arguably more powerful factor is absence of a Palestinian consensus accepting Israel’s legitimacy, or even its reality as a permanent part of the Middle East. This omission is even more glaring now that Israel’s right-wing Likud government is offering the Palestinians statehood. (n.b. I realize that the dimensions of what is offered in Trump’s proposal do not make for a viable state. But geography is negotiable, although not if nobody comes to the table.)

    As I understand it, the strategy you recommend is for the Palestinians to offer peaceful existence until the nations of the world rise up to correct the historic injustice inflicted on them. But the tide is running in precisely the opposite direction with a force that BDS is unlikely to reverse. Six Arab nations reacted to the Trump plan. None of them joined with Abbas and his Hamas counterparts in denouncing it. In the past, these would have echoed the Palestinians’ rejection. These are Arabs, not Costa Rico or island nations in the South Pacific. Indeed, there are widespread and credible reports of fatigue among the Arabs who have tired of the Palestinians’ refusal to modify their demands. You have characterized this as a “betrayal.” But it’s real and driven in no small measure to Israel’s becoming a significant and stable force blocking the Iranian-led campaign to gain regional hegemony.

    The Trump proposal is seriously flawed. But there’s enough of an opening for Palestinian progress toward fulfillment of their national aspirations for them to jettison their familiar self-image as helpless victims and do something to move toward a better future.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk January 31, 2020 at 12:03 am #


      I appreciate your thoughtful commentary, but we disagree on each of your key points. I am
      traveling in Europe with a difficult schedule, and cannot now respond issue by issue.
      –Hamas is mis-characterized–by confirmed secret diplomacy and public initiatives they were
      encouraged to take part in the 2006 elections, and sought from the outset to establish a ceasefire;
      the interactions over the years produced a cycle of violence with the people of Gaza mostly on the
      receiving end;
      –you overlook the degree to which the Zionist agenda has staked claims to more and more of ‘the promised lamd’
      at each opportunity; the whole settlement movement was antithetical to a political compromise on the
      remnant of the land left to the Palestinians after 1948 and the 1967;
      –at this point due to Israel policies and practices, the question is what kind of one state outcome–based
      on apartheid/race as at present or on secularism/equality; every other way is at best a ceasefire;
      –just as in South Africa, when Israel is ready for ‘peace’ it will agree to dismantle apartheid structures
      and abandoned ideological justifications. Until then, negotiations are a trap for Palestinians, and not a path
      to peace.


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