The Art of the Deal
Following Netanyahu’s visit to the White House, a leaked transcript of President’s Trump’s daring proposals about a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians has come to light.
The White House has refused to comment, but Julian Assange of WikiLeaks said “more would be released very soon.” According to WikiLeaks, the following conversation took place on 22 February 2017.
Trump:” We’re gonna get the deal of the century…”
Tillerson: ”But what are we gonna do that’s new? Basically everything that’s been tried before hasn’t worked.”
Trump: “Can you summarise all the different proposals quickly, so we can review them?”
Tillerson: “Sure…hang on a minute please while I look them up.”
Trump: ”We’ll get a beautiful deal…a real beautiful deal, believe me, that will be the envy of the world.”
Tillerson: “We have the roadmap where Israel will retain major settlement blocs and the Palestinians establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza. We also have a situation where Israel trades land [in Israel] for land of equal size in the West Bank. Another scenario is Israel withdrawing completely to the pre-1967 cease fire lines in exchange for diplomatic relations with all Arab countries underwritten by American and European security guarantees. Another possibility is a single Israeli state from the Jordan River, and Jordan becomes Palestine. It already has a Palestinian majority and was Eastern Palestine before 1918. Or they can be compensated and go elsewhere—Chile already has a significant Palestinian community.
Trump: “Why did these proposals not work?”
Greenblatt: ”The Palestinians said that any agreement would not mean the end of the conflict as Israel had demanded and that they won’t recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jews. ..this was a key Israeli demand.”
Trump: That doesn’t make sense. How can you sign a final agreement that says that it’s not the end?”
Pence: ”There are a lot of things that don’t make sense Mr President.”
Tillerson:”So then, what are you proposing?”
Trump: “We have a scenario where Israel wants to be recognised as the Nation State of the Jews. The Palestinians refuse. They also want … actually I’m not really sure…but certainly they want some kind of state.”
Greenblatt: “Seems impossible to reconcile.”
Trump:” There will be a new country that can satisfy both parties. It will guarantee the aspirations of Israelis and the Palestinians. I am going to initiate a massive aid program like the Marshall Plan, but bigger. Ramallah will have the best golf course in the world…believe me…”
Greenblatt: ”With respect Mr President, massive aid projects have never worked with the Palestinians in the past.”
Trump:” They got it wrong…this will be different. I am going to get Jared to start a massive building scheme, run by a new subsidiary of Trump Towers called Trump Minarets…believe me…Ivanka will advise on fashions…stunning hijabs and burkas are going to be the envy of Paris…believe me. I will also make Palestine great again.”
Friedman:” And the Israeli demands for recognition as nation state of the Jews?”
Trump: ”I will pull of an amazing deal…believe me, just amazing.”
Trump: “The new state will be called Palestein.”
Greenblatt: ”The Israelis won’t agree to that.”
Trump: Not Palestine, but Palestein… spelt differently as in s-t-e-i-n, that rhymes with Goldstein.
So, both should be happy. Sounds Jewish and retains the old name.”
Friedman: “What happens if the Israelis want to pronounce it Palesteen or Paleshtein?”
Trump: “They can pronounce it anyway they want…that’s the art of the deal. It’s about the spelling.”
Tillerson: ”And the territory?”
Trump: “All the pre-1967 West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem. That‘s what the Palestinians wanted.
And also include Israel too. It will all be Palestein.”
Greenblatt: “And the Israeli communities… settlements there?”
Trump: “They remain but will fall under the government of Palestein, which will be a federal system. There will also be a rotating system of a Jewish president and Palestinian prime minister, every four years.”
Friedman: “If the country is called Palestein, then what are the people going to be called?”
Trump: “Good question—Palesteins…rhyming with Philistines. Call Bibi and Babbi…Abbas… and tell them about our deal.”
Tillerson: “It’s already been leaked Mr President. They know.”
Trump: “What the hell..?”
Tillerson: “In fact, we already got a response from the Israelis. They say it’s an interesting idea and want to study it.”
Trump: “Great! Believe me that’s the art of the deal. A fair win for all!”
Tillerson: “Mr President, the Palestinians have already rejected it.”
Tillerson: “They say Palestein sounds too Jewish.
Ron Jontof-Hutter is a Fellow at the Berlin International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism and the author of the satirical novel, “The trombone man: tales of a misogynist.”