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Big deal

Dec 17,2018 - Last updated at Dec 17,2018

In William Shakespeare’s comedy “Much Ado About Nothing”, an avid reader may find tantalisingly funny quotes. The original title of the play, written between 1598 and 1599, was “Much Ado Over Noting”. The word “noting” in Shakespeare’s day meant gossip.

As the gossip has it, the “deal of the century” has become a classical work that everyone talks about, but no one actually knows of. Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, announced that the “deal of the century” would be revealed soon. It will not please anybody, but it would offer Israel security and peace, and the Palestinians economic gains, as Kushner had stated.

In the Arab world, leaders are divided over it. Given the full embracement of some Saudi authorities’ close aides, one can surmise that, officially, the deal is accepted. It is also seen as a way to vindicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman from the haunting unanimous vote of the US Senate indicting him of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The same applies to the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman. At least, this is what has surfaced so far.

On the other hand, there are countries that think that such a deal should be either rejected or should be based on the UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967. Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Algeria and Kuwait are pro such a solution. Naturally, even a sunshine eternal optimist does not believe that the “deal of the century” comes close to Resolution 242.

Therefore, we are like the characters of Much Ado About Nothing. We all mock marriage, as a quote from it says, “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me”. Yet, gradually, we, under the pressure of realpolitik, begin to adapt to that.

We begin by asking, “For which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?” Then, in the final episode we adhere to this quote. “I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest?”

Through these quotes, one can describe the hateful transition from outright rejection to a sorrowful surrender. Most people in the Arab world are not ready for a peace based on security, with land areas and authority to Israel in return for an economically gainful existence to the Palestinians. Who would take the responsibility for surrendering Jerusalem, Al Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as well as the right of return?

The martyrs who have given up their lives, from Palestine and Jordan, are telling the Kushners of the world and their allies, “Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.”

In the final analysis, is the “deal of the century” a real thing? Or is it just a figment of imagination, woven by a charlatan adventurer? Or is it a mere ploy to distract the Arab world’s attention away from the real challenge in Palestine and to weaken the Arab resolve to deal with the Palestinian solution in conformity with international law and relevant UN resolutions?

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