Host Joy Reid began a discussion with former Middle East correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin by noting that Jared Kushner, whom we saw on video admitting his background is in real estate, prepared for his work by reading 25 books on the Israel/Palestine conflict. “One thing he didn’t do is talk to any Palestinians,” she added, then asked Mohyeldin how they have assessed the plan.
The Palestinians call it an “insult” and “not worth the paper it is written on,” Mohyeldin said. “They will not even consider it.”
Even more important, according to Mohyeldin, is the Arab League’s “complete rejection” because that nullified Trump administration claims that some Arab countries were on board. Yes, there was some “lip service” from the Arab League which thanked us for trying and encouraged a return to negotiations, Mohyeldin said, but the unanimous rejection from the foreign leaders means more.
Mohyeldin described the plan as a fundamental misunderstanding of the Palestinian perspective. The U.S. and Israel apparently think what Palestinians want is economic prosperity. But “Palestinians repeatedly say they want an end of occupation. They want self-determination and they want freedom. They want the right to live in peace and security.”
Yet the plan does not provide for economic prosperity either. “Israel will maintain control economically over the Palestinians’ lives, control all of their entry points, control all of their access to the outside world,” Mohyeldin noted. So even if there is a future Palestinian state, it would be economically dependent on Israel. He called the plan, “Occupation Lite.”
“What they’re dangling in front of the Palestinians today, to try to get them to accept, are these little economic opportunities or economic zones,” Mohyeldin continued, but they would not provide any of what Palestinians want, i.e. “freedom, self-determination, end of occupation, the right to live freely and not to live under a brutal Israeli military occupation that has now been for more than 50 years.”
Mohyeldin had even more pointed criticism of Kushner. He suggested that Kushner was acting as more of a lobbyist for Israel than making any genuine attempt to resolve the conflict. The plan “begins and ends with the approval of Israel,” Mohyeldin said. He also pointed out that Kushner has “a personal, ideological, and personal relationship with the current Israeli leadership.”
“I don't think that anyone is looking at this and saying that America is playing any kind of honest broker,” Mohyeldin concluded.
In other words, the Trump administration has tarnished the U.S. reputation again.