TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – An American political analyst described the US administration’s so-called “deal of the century” plan as “dreadful” and said the ongoing conference organized by the US in Bahrain to promote the plan ignores the Palestinians’ fundamental rights.

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“The June 25 – 26 Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain ignores fundamental Palestinian rights — what they’ve been denied since the infamous 1917 Balfour Declaration,” Chicago-based Stephen Lendman told Press Shia Agency in an interview.

Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for MoneyNewsNow.com and VeteransToday.com and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Press Shia Agency: Bahrain is hosting the so-called “Peace to Prosperity” conference to discuss what the US has described as the economic part of President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, a plan which aims to consign the Palestinian cause to oblivion. The Palestinian leadership has boycotted the meeting on June 25 and 26 in Manama, leading critics to question the credibility of the event. In your opinion, what goals are the US and Israel pursuing by holding the conference? Would they reach their goals?

Lendman: I’ve written much on Trump’s dreadful deal of the century, a scheme to benefit the US and Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people. It’s unrelated to regional peace, equity and justice, notions the US and Israel abhor. The June 25 – 26 Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain ignores fundamental Palestinian rights — what they’ve been denied since the infamous 1917 Balfour Declaration. Calling for the establishment of a nation for Jews (on stolen Palestinian land) was a high crime against humanity.

Endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression, along with social and cultural fragmentation, define conditions for beleaguered Palestinians – over 100 years of suffering, no end of it in prospect, the world community dismissive of their rights.

Discussing Trump’s economic part of the plan puts the cart before the horse. Palestinian officials are justifiably boycotting the conference. The scheme in its entirety ignores fundamental final status issues, including Palestinian self-determination, illegal Israeli occupation, settlements, borders, air and water rights, other resources, the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homeland, and East Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the exclusive Palestinian capital.

The economic part of the plan has nothing to do with aiding millions of long-suffering Palestinians. A global investment fund of whatever amount will benefit the US, other Western, and Israeli corporate interests exclusively, neoliberal harshness intended for ordinary Palestinians — along with continued subjugation under Israel’s repressive boot. The plan was dead before arrival. Trump’s anti-Palestinian agenda since taking office alone doomed it.

Press Shia Agency: Some analysts say that the Trump administration’s focus on an economic plan, led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, is a strategic mistake that could stymie the peace negotiations even before they begin. What is your assessment of the US approach to the conflict and the future of the plan? Is it practical at all?

Lendman: Key for Palestinians is restoring their fundamental political rights. With their own land and self-determination to run it, they’d be free to develop their resources and build a functioning economy with far greater potential than Trump’s deal of the century, offering nothing to ordinary Palestinians than the unacceptable status quo.

Trump’s reluctance to release the plan is because it’s so one-sided, put together by Zionist ideologues Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt — dismissive of Palestinian rights.

Press Shia Agency: On Friday, Israeli forces once again opened fire on Palestinians taking part in the peaceful “Great March of Return” protests, along the separation fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories, injuring at least 79 peaceful protesters. According to media reports, more than 270 people, including 52 children, have been killed since the demonstrations began in March 2018. Most of the dead and the thousands wounded were unarmed civilians against whom Israel was using excessive force. Why has the international community, particularly the Western mainstream media, made a muted response to the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against Palestinians so far?

Lendman: Since Great March of Return/Lift the Siege protests began on March 30, 2018, hundreds of nonviolent Gazans were killed, over 26,000 others injured, many seriously with no world community intervention to stop the carnage.

It’s part of Israel’s slow-motion genocide against the Strip’s two million people. Western establishment media, especially in the US, one-sidedly support Israel, permitting the Jewish state to get away with mass murder and much more, accountability never forthcoming. As long as the US supports Israel, nothing positive is forthcoming. Over 70 years of dispossession from their land, along with over 50 years of brutal occupation, could continue endlessly.

I and others call what’s going on US and Israeli slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people — one of history’s greatest high crimes.