America’s so-called “Deal of the Century” stipulates abrogating the two-state solution, expunging the issue of Palestine by deeming al-Quds as no longer an occupied territory and recognising it as the capital of “Israel,” approving the Jewish nation-state bill in the Knesset and abolishing the right to return by cutting aid to Palestinian refugees and abolishing the refugee status of Palestinian descendants. It also stipulates entrenching the Palestinian presence in Jordan by expanding the scope of representation for citizens of “Palestinian origin” in state institutions, especially the People’s Council, downsizing the competencies of the king and hand them over to a cabinet representing the parliamentarian political forces once the electoral system is amended to reflect the demographic situation and end up merging the West Bank with Jordan within a confederal system.
It seems the pressure exerted on the king during his US visit has failed to achieve its aims as the king dreaded the erosion of his role, which has been nurturing continuance in power. Mahmoud Abbas for his part shares the same apprehensions of the king and is desperately attempting to avert marginalisation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its merger with Jordan. Abbas is also eager to prevent Hamas and his opponents from concluding any deals in isolation from his authority. Meanwhile, “Israel” and America are endeavouring to marginalise the PA and Jordan and tackle the files of the truce and the blockade with Hamas and reach a deal that would pave the way for the three-state solution and present Abbas and the king with a fait accompli. It is within this context that the attempt to twist Hamas’s arm into accepting the deal and Egypt’s superintendence has come into play by dint of exerting military and economic pressure on the people of Gaza, thus subjugating Hamas to the clauses of the agreement and imposing the three-state solution, namely a “Jewish state”, a local authority for Gaza under Egypt’s auspices and a confederation between the PA and Jordan, without taking into account neither the king’s apprehensions vis-à-vis the downsizing of Jordan’s role and the sapping of her regime nor the misgivings of Abbas towards marginalising the PA and getting rid of him, especially as the so-called “Deal of the Century” has classified the PA as a “partner” rather than a concerned party since the Jordanian and Palestinian roles are no longer significant now that America and “Israel” have secured a consensus on the deal from the heavyweights of the Arab and Islamic world such as Egypt and Saudi. This narrative is evidently reflected in the successive events in Gaza and the visit of Abbas to Jordan and then Qatar where he and king Abdullah announced their aversion to the “Deal of the Century”. This led “Israel” to up the ante against Hamas especially when the latter expressed its reservations about the Egyptian paper and insisted on a prisoner exchange through a separate deal.
The “Deal of the Century” has become a source of anxiety for Jordan, the PA and Hamas since it does not guarantee their self-interests and places their future on a knife edge. Hence, they are struggling for their own survival rather than for the sake of the cause. They have not executed what had been required of them in this regard since they deem the expunction of the issue in the manner orchestrated by the “Deal of the Century” would herald the end of their existence, especially now that their regional functional role has been virtually hijacked by Saudi, the Emirates and their hired surrogates amid the exit of Iraq and Syria from the equation, the civil war the region has been thrust into, the deviation of the Arab struggle’s compass towards Iran and Turkey’s engrossment in the Kurdish issue threatening her entity.
The lesson that could be learnt from what has been occurring since the “Arab Spring” is that the rulers’ investment in a functional role, affiliation and dependence on the West is bad business, and that impeding the plans of the major powers and rebelling against them is possible, especially in respect of the Ummah’s vital issues; the major powers may be able to destroy the faculties of the Ummah through the conspiracies of her chieftains but they cannot break her resolve.