Saudi Arabia attempts to derail Trump’s deal of the century

August 24, 2020 by David Singer
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It didn’t take long for the euphoria to dissipate after President Trump announced the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Trump’s assessment was decidedly upbeat:

“Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead”

Trump’s expectations were dashed within days.

Sudanese acting Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din dismissed Haidar Badawi from his position as spokesman and head of the media division at the ministry after Badawi said Sudan was:

 “looking forward to concluding a peace agreement with Israel… There is no reason to continue hostility between Sudan and Israel. “ 

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal – responding to President Trump’s confident prediction – made clear the price Saudi Arabia would exact from Israel for establishing diplomatic relations: 

“Any Arab state that is considering following the UAE should demand in return a price, and it should be an expensive price. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set a price for concluding peace between Israel and the Arabs – it is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital, as provided for by the initiative of the late King Abdullah.”

Abdullah’s 2002 Arab League Initiative offered Israel normalised ties in return for full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), Gaza, East Jerusalem and resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue according to UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Al-Faisal voiced understanding for the UAE’s decision – noting the UAE had secured a key condition – a halt to Israel applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria as designated in Trump’s Peace Plan.

Al-Faisal – a former ambassador to Washington and ex-intelligence chief – holds no government office now but remains influential as current chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Al-Faisal’s comments endorsed those made by Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan a few days earlier when confirming Saudi Arabia remained committed to Abdullah’s 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

“Saudi Arabia affirms its commitment to peace as a strategic option based on the Arab Peace Initiatives”

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative is poles apart and irreconcilable with Trump’s 2020 Plan calling for Israeli sovereignty in 30% of Judea and Samaria and a Palestinian State in Gaza and possibly the remaining 70% of Judea and Samaria. 

There is no prospect for ending the Arab-Jewish conflict based on the Arab Peace Initiative – as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made very clear. 

The 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict could be possibly ended if the Arab League gets behind Trump’s Plan and the Palestine Liberation Organization announced its readiness to negotiate with Israel on that Plan.

The Arab League, however, made its position clear in a statement issued by Foreign Ministers of its member states on 1 February 2020 that it:

 “rejects the US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people” whilst vowing “not to … cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan.”

The PLO was equally as adamant as PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas exploded:

“After the nonsense that we heard today, we say a thousand no’s to the ‘Deal of The Century'”

Trump has seemingly been misled in believing Sudan and Saudi Arabia would quickly replicate the UAE-Israel deal.  Their failure to do so could soon see Trump giving Israel his permission to immediately restore sovereignty in that part of the biblical heartland of the Jewish People detailed in Trump’s plan. 

Another opportunity to end the long-running conflict will have gone begging due to Arab intransigence.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and a foundation member of the International Analysts Network

 Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” – one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog


3 Responses to “Saudi Arabia attempts to derail Trump’s deal of the century”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Arab nations are not a block who all think the same.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    The Saudis were once mates with Trump. Remember the sword shaking ceremony from a few years ago?

  3. Eion Isaac says:

    The Peace Initiatives agree to Land Swaps so the areas for the Jewish State in Judea and Samaria say 1675 sq Km can be given to the Arabs of Gaza on the Sinai peninsula adjacent to the Gaza Strip there is easily 1675 square km there .
    The Trump plan had areas in the Negev with areas for a huge desalination pipe for agriculture and solar energy powered industries .
    As for UN 194 it is Arabs who want and have the capacity to live in peace with Judaism and at most would be one generation and over a generation .
    This is with completely demilitarised areas in Judea and Samaria and Gaza .

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