Washington’s Latest “Gaza Peace Proposal” Is a Non-Starter

U.S. President Biden announced on May 31, that as a result of his great personal efforts and those of his diplomatic and intelligence team, a grand “roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages” has been pulled together, which if Hamas accepts, will eventually lead to peace. An unnamed “senior administration official” then gave a background briefing on the details of the three-phase proposal, which have since been much commented on in the media.

However, what is not reported is that the proposal comes down to a geopolitical gambit, the premises of which ensure that it cannot work, and will not bring peace. First, there is no mention of a Palestinian state. In answer to an AP reporter who asked how a two-state solution comes in, if at all, since it was not mentioned, the official danced around the question, but never uttered the phrase “Palestinian state”. The administration is “realistic,” he said, and spoke of excluding Hamas, reforming the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank [sic], and “ultimately having an interim administration in Gaza that can help [sic] with stabilization and a pathway forward there.”

Second, the explicitly stated objective of the proposal is to push aside the Palestinian “problem,” in order to launch a new war in the region: against Iran. Joe Biden himself had explained that “with this deal”, Israel could potentially conclude a “normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia”, and “be part of a regional security network to counter the threat posed by Iran”.

Although the U.S. President presented the scheme as an “Israeli proposal” Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement making clear that the Prime Minister was not on board. (“Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: The destruction of Hamas military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”) The worst extremists in the extremist Israeli cabinet, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, had threatened to bring down the coalition if President Biden’s terms were accepted.

A more serious perspective for resolving the conflict was discussed at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum on May 30 in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “broad-based, authoritative and effective international peace conference”, as well as the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, with full sovereignty and membership in the UN.

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