Sanctions against Palestinians Are the Secret to Clinching the “Deal of the Century”

There’s been heavy skepticism about Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” and the recently unveiled economic component didn’t generate much interest, but the secret to the possible success of this sell-out stratagem is the US’ ability to impose primary and secondary sanctions against the Palestinians in order to get them to agree to the political concessions that will be demanded from them later this year, failing which Washington will let Israel assassinate their leaders in advance of a bombing campaign aimed at forcing the rest of the population into submission.

Much of the world is mocking the underwhelming response given to the recently unveiled economic component of Trump’s much-touted “Deal of the Century” (DoC) that was just made public during this week’s conference in Bahrain, noting that the Palestinians and many of their Arab allies boycotted the event while the Israelis didn’t send any high-level representation given the sensitivity of rolling it out ahead of its unexpected second elections in September. Haaretz perfectly summed up the situation last weekend when one of its journalists wrote that

“Not much joy will come from this wedding, to which the Palestinian bride is absolutely refusing to come, the Israeli groom is sending low-ranking representatives and the guests are being asked to maintain as low a profile as possible.”

The Palestinians refuse to be bought off and won’t sell out their struggle, having refused to do so several times over the decades since the idea was first unofficially bandied about, but this is the first time that the US so overtly made it clear that it’s trying to bribe them and spent several years trying to make this a multilateral effort with regional stakeholders. Nevertheless, just because nobody seems to be too interested in this at the moment (or at least publicly) doesn’t mean that the DoC is DOA (dead on arrival) since the world needs to wait until its political element is made known later this year and the US officially demands certain concessions from the Palestinians. While nobody knows for sure what these might entail, a leaked document from early last month might offer some clues about what to expect.

As could have been predicted, it basically amounts to a capitulation by the Palestinians, but the most important detail is the enforcement measures that the US is reportedly putting forth. According to the report, the US will cut off all financial assistance to the Palestinians and make sure that nobody else is able to transfer funds to them either, strongly implying the imposition of primary and secondary sanctions. Furthermore, the document declares that the US will support Israeli attacks against the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad (a euphemism for assassinating them) in the event of a war breaking out if they refuse to sign the deal alongside the PLO. In other words, the US will worsen the already terrible humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank in the hopes that this will compel the Palestinians to pressure their leaders to sell out and sign the deal for sanctions relief, as well as divide the various Palestinian factions in order to pick them off one by one.

It’s not to say that this strategy will necessarily succeed, but just that it appears to be the most likely that will be pursued if that detail of the leaked report proves true, which isn’t unbelievable since the Trump Administration’s policy-making trademark has been the weaponization of sanctions for political ends. The DoC is so important for Trump’s re-election campaign, international prestige, and ultimate legacy that it’s hard to think that he wouldn’t at least try going through with an interconnected sanctions and Israeli assassination strategy as a last-ditch effort to salvage his administration’s unrealistically hyped-up plan if it’s rejected by the Palestinians (which they’ve pledged to do). With that in mind, the economic component of the DoC can be seen in a new light as the developmental alternative to the death and destruction that the US and Israel will wreak.

There’s no “gentle” way to put it — the US will do its utmost to harm ordinary Palestinians even more than it already has through what might turn out to be the strictest sanctions regime on the planet if their leaders don’t agree to sell out their struggle, and should some of them dare to attack Israel or respond to any of its militant provocations, then Washington will fully support Tel Aviv’s assassination campaign against their top brass. The DoC therefore isn’t a “deal” at all, but an ultimatum for the Palestinians to either appreciate the little that they’re being promised and hope that the grandiose plans of turning Gaza into a “new Dubai” will materialize to some extent or face the unrestrained wrath of the US and Israel as they use fire and fury to force them to comply.

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Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Jerusalem Post


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Articles by: Andrew Korybko

About the author:

Andrew Korybko est le commentateur politique étasunien qui travaille actuellement pour l’agence Sputnik. Il est en troisième cycle de l’Université MGIMO et auteur de la monographie Guerres hybrides: l’approche adaptative indirecte pour un changement de régime(2015).

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