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TRUMP'S "MARSHALL PLAN" FOR MIDDLE EAST

George C. Marshall, U.S. Secretary of State, January 21, 1947 to January 20, 1949

At long last, US President Donald Trump will take the wraps off his "deal of the century" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The date, June 24-25: the venue will be Bahrain in the Arab oil-rich Gulf. His special envoy, Jared Kushner, will present a novel peace package - my guess is it will resemble another historic American program "The Marshall Plan," initiated by President Harry Truman to rebuild war-torn western Europe after WWII. It was one of the most ingenious and humane economic plans in history that laid the groundwork for rebuilding the continent and even included Nazi Germany, the perpetrator of the devastation.

The US transferred 13 billion dollars (the equivalent of 100 billion US dollars in 2018) to rebuild Europe. The Marshall Plan named and implemented by US General George Marshall in his new job as Secretary of State proved to be a tremendous success. It laid the groundwork for the seven decades of relative peace after two horrific world wars had ravaged the continent.

The Palestinians have rejected every attempt to hammer a two-state solution; one Jewish, one Palestinian.

Fast forward to 2019, the fine print has yet to be revealed. But, from what little is known, the US strategy is to set out on a different course to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But looking back to the Partition Plan of 1947, the Palestinians have rejected every attempt to hammer a two-state solution; one Jewish, one Palestinian. So, where does Trump enter the picture?

Shortly after entering the White House, Trump was asked, with Netanyahu by his side, whether he supported a two-state solution. His response was something like this, "One state, two states, whatever the sides agree." Now, after wrestling with it, Trump and his two aids, Kushner and Greenblatt, will apparently offer the Palestinians the vision of a much brighter future than their self-inflicted misery of today. This is a different approach from the various peace attempts that focus primarily on a political solution involving territory and borders.

Seven hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians left, many of them believing that they would return when the Arab armies drove the Jews into the sea.

Now Trump, who considers himself to be "master of the deal," is apparently bent on cajoling Saudi Arabia primarily, and the other Arab Gulf States to create a massive international fund, and possibly resettle Palestinian refugees. Just look at the facts. When the UN Partition Plan of 1947 divided the land into two separate entities, Jewish and Arab, the Palestinians (backed by the armies of the Arab world) declared war on the new-born Jewish state. Seven hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians left, many of them believing that they would return when the Arab armies drove the Jews into the sea. A much smaller number were forced. This number has now burgeoned into 5 million. In Gaza, two million live in abject poverty while others are spread throughout refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and on the West Bank. Jordan is the only Arab country to extend citizenship to the Palestinians. The question is whether the Trump plan will also call on the Arab world to help resettle the Palestinians in their territory. As for the Arab states, Egypt and Jordan have already signed peace treaties with Israel. Moreover, Saudi Araba and most of the Gulf states now view Israel as an important ally against the common enemy of Iran.

Angela Merkel (CC EU2017EE)

Germany calls BDS anti-Semitic...

Who could be better qualified than Germany to determine whether the BDS movement is anti-Semitic? And that is what the Bundestag, Germany's Parliament, has just done. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions crown has conducted a vicious campaign against the Jewish state for years. In submitting the resolution, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that BDS recalled "the terrifying Nazi campaign lodged by Adolf Hitler against the Jewish people." In welcoming the German decision condemning BDS, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called on other countries to adopt similar legislation.

This year's Eurovision was held in Tel Aviv

Today, anti-Semites have focused on the Jewish country whose history goes back three thousand years to its ancient homeland. The German condemnation came in the midst of the annual Eurovision song contest that was held in Tel Aviv this year, in keeping with Israeli singer Neta Barzilai winning first place last year. BDS called for a boycott of the event viewed by 200 million people across Europe and also Australia. The BDS attempt to boycott the Eurovision in Israel totally failed. In fact, the Israeli production of the songfest was wildly acclaimed and considered to be the best Eurovision ever, with 26 countries participating. This year the first prize was won by singer Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands.

 

 

Political Analyst David Essing

 

David Essing

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