Palestinians defy Trump

From the terrible squealing by the Palestinian leadership that greeted the unveiling of the economic component of Trump's blueprint for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one would be excused for thinking that Trump was planning to take from the Palestinians $50 billion over the next decade, rather than give it to them.

In the past, Palestinians were rather more enthusiastic about taking money.  Over the decades, billions came pouring from the international community, funneled through the U.N. into various projects and services, with not a few crumbs landing in the pockets of Palestinian leaders themselves — after all, Arafat is rumored to have died a billionaire, nor is Abbas exactly a pauper.  But this time around, there was a difference: Palestinians rejected the offer outright.  "The mask has fallen, and attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause in return for a handful of dollars have been made public!"

How does Trump's plan "liquidate the Palestinian cause"?  The answer is simple: not only do the Palestinians get the money under the plan, but Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon do, too.  And apparently, those moneys are allocated to absorb Palestinians who now live in the camps, deprived of the right to work and participate in the larger society.  Currently, they are segregated and live on a U.N. pittance.  Apparently, Trump plans to make them full-fledged, happy citizens of the host countries, to the horror of Palestinian leadership who are decrying the $50-billion investment as "the price for liquidating the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees [UNRWA] and the rights of Palestinian refugees."

So here we have it: Trump's plan apparently includes normalization of the lives of those who are now huddled in the camps, deprived of normal lives.  What exactly is wrong with them living well?  Well, per Palestinian leaders' thinking, it is this: by getting absorbed by their host countries, they will become unavailable for the role assigned to them by the "Palestinian cause" — of eliminating Israel through exercising the "right of return."

All of this tells us not only about the general contours of Trump's "deal of the century," but also of the "Palestinian cause."  The Oslo agreements are cited as Palestinian acceptance of the existence of Israel, and their abandonment of the plans to destroy it.  Not so fast.  The brouhaha over the economic component of the "deal of the century" tells us that in the minds of Abbas and co., plans to destroy Israel are alive and well.  Else, he would have rejoiced that the people whose suffering he so laments will soon do well and live happily ever after.  That he prefers that they don't tells volumes about his real plans, and his views on the nature of the "Palestinian cause."