As Kushner unveils details in Warsaw summit, Trump's Palestine peace deal 'dead on arrival'

As Kushner unveils details in Warsaw summit, Trump's Palestine peace deal 'dead on arrival'
Analysis: Jared Kushner is making a rare speaking appearance at the Warsaw summit. But his Middle East peace proposal already being slammed as 'dead on arrival'.
4 min read
13 February, 2019
Kushner is reportedly finalising the long-awaited peace plan [Getty]
Reports that US Middle East envoy Jared Kushner may reveal details of the Trump administration's long-anticipated peace plan for Israel and Palestine at the Warsaw summit on Wednesday have been met with misgivings from policy experts, who have slammed the deal as "dead on arrival".

Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, has kept the proposal, dubbed the "deal of the century" by Trump himself, under wraps since he was tasked to lead the initiative with Jason Greenblatt by the President in April 2017.

However what has been understood of the deal so far has caused people on all sides to brandish it a non-starter, for a litany of reasons including the absence of either of the parties involved in the process.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month announced the two-day conference on peace and security in the Middle East starting Wednesday, saying that foreign ministers from around the world would come to Poland to take up the "destabilising influence" of Iran in the Middle East.

However most major European powers are sending only low-level representation to the summit, which has been criticised as an "Iran bashing meeting" and a distraction for Trump's "bankrupt" policies in the region.

Kushner, who is reportedly close to finalising the peace deal, is set to make a rare speaking appearance at the conference on Thursday. However he is not expected to unveil the full proposal until after elections in Israel on April 9.

Before the big reveal, the presidential son-in-law is set to visit the Middle East at the end of this month, which will reportedly include a stop in Saudi Arabia.

The plan, despite not being fully unveiled, has already been panned for a host of reasons, in both what it aims for and its means in trying to negotiate any agreement.

The Palestinians have not been included in the process since severing diplomatic relations with the US administration, after Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their respective capital.

The Palestinians have boycotted the conference, calling it an "American conspiracy".

"Such a 'deal' will be dead on arrival because it is not expected to address the lifting of the Israeli occupation or the affirmation of Palestinian sovereignty," Emile Nakhleh, a Professor and Director of the Global and National Security Policy Institute at University of New Mexico, told The New Arab.

Joe Macaron, a researcher on US policy in the Middle East, criticised the lack of involvement from the parties concerned, telling The New Arab: "The so-called deal of the century is the only attempt in the history of conflict resolution where the parties of the conflict are not included in the process, nor their regional backers are informed."

Such a 'deal' will be dead on arrival because it is not expected to address the lifting of the Israeli occupation or the affirmation of Palestinian sovereignty

Kushner, who had no diplomatic experience before being appointed to his current role, also faces criticism over his process, after repeatedly delaying unveiling of the proposal and keeping its main players in the dark.

According to Macaron: "Mr. Kushner plans a fundraising tour for the economic component of the plan while withholding the political component, hence expecting Arab allies to fund this plan and normalise with Israel even before learning about this secret recipe for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

Dampening any remaining hopes for the initiative, Macaron added: "There have been speculations about this plan that are yet to be confirmed, but considering the measures the Trump administration have taken so far, which took away key Palestinian negotiation cards, there is little hope of a potential breakthrough."

According to Nakhleh, the Warsaw summit has been arranged for "Iran bashing" as a means of distraction for the Trump administration's "bankrupt" policy in the region, and for crisis-stricken Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia wants to divert attention from troubles at home and abroad: "Much as he tries, Mohammad bin Salman's culpability in the Khashoggi murder is not going away without him having to pay a price for his involvement in and prior knowledge of this heinous crime."

"He and his Gulf friends, especially the UAE, would like to see the conference gloss over their disastrous war in Yemen and the humanitarian tragedy it has caused and ignore their illegal and failing boycott of Qatar," he added.

Agencies contributed to this report