TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A Canadian political expert described the Trump administration’s economic plan on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as ‘absurd’ and said the US approach to the issue is “indicative of a deep underlying colonial mindset”.

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“The approach being taken is really quite absurd and most certainly indicative of a deep underlying colonial mindset on the part of all involved in its conception,” Barry Grossman, who is based on the Indonesian island of Bali, told Press Shia Agency in an interview.

Barry Grossman is a political analyst specializing in Public International Law, who has resided in Indonesia for more than 20 years, frequently commenting on current affairs and geopolitics. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1984 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1987, after which he worked as a commercial litigator with a large Toronto law firm before moving to Australia to take up an academic position with the University of Melbourne Law School and, after that a lectureship at Monash University Law school. In addition, he worked for a number of years as a senior litigation consultant to a large, national law firm in Australia and is widely published by refereed Academic journals and as a writer of reference works for the legal profession.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Press Shia Agency: Bahrain hosted 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 boycotted the meeting in Manama on June 25 and 26, 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?

Grossman: The conference (was) quite clearly aimed at generating both public and regional support for Trump’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ which is obviously not a deal at all, so much as a foreign intervention to impose a rebranded and expedited version of the long running Atlantic World program to complete the Zionist Project for Palestine which they started long before Israel gave birth to itself at the expense of Palestinians in 1948. 

Clearly, whatever else may transpire, any agreement reached cannot be called a deal since not only is there no Palestinian participation in this process, but the occupation has also long worked to ensure that no cohesive political organization which legitimately represents all Palestinians can emerge.

Frankly speaking, there is no way to characterize this effort by the Trump administration on behalf of the Occupation, except as an effort to bribe and, as necessary, extort Arab World nations into accepting the “final solution” being sold by the USA, namely, the coercive imposition of a complete capitulation on Palestinians, followed by granting a measure of personal autonomy to Palestinians still residing on that tiny part of their ancestral lands which, for the time being, the occupation is willing to leave to Palestinians as long as the occupation retains a high degree of control over all matters of Palestinian governance and security.

Needless to say, it is also quite apparent that, regarding the expected support from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations which typically take direction from the Saudi royal family on matters of economy and foreign policy, the Trump administration, like those of his predecessors, quite obviously has a clear understanding that US backing for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing, belligerent war on Yemen and its wider efforts to isolate Iran, is dependent on Saudi Arabia and its regional client states embracing this “Deal of the Century.”       

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?

Grossman: The approach being taken is really quite absurd and most certainly indicative of a deep underlying “colonial” mindset on the part of all involved in its conception. Even if one were to ignore what we already know and keep an open mind towards this initiative, the reality is that there is no point in the players attending the Bahrain conference even discussing the prospects for reaching an agreement with Arab nations to coerce Palestinians into accepting colonial-style rule by foreign agents so long as the occupation itself still has no elected government empowered by its constituency to accept all related deals.

The fact that they are even there, speaks volumes about their lack of bona fides when it comes to supporting the Palestinian cause.    

Press Shia Agency: Last 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?

Grossman: Why indeed? The only coherent conclusion anyone with a functioning nervous system and even just a basic understanding of the related issues can reach, is that the occupation, at the highest levels of its command structure, has consciously taken a decision to deal with Palestinians in a manner which fits squarely within the long-accepted definitions of both war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The fact that the Atlantic World, under US leadership, has chosen to double down on its support for the occupation and turn a blind eye to these criminal and inhumane tactics can only be understood as their acceptance of the US/Israel position that they are, as nations, far too exceptional to be bound by any international law or previously agreed treaty obligations.

That tragic reality, in turn, stands as hard evidence that the Atlantic World is deep in crises and a downward spiral to its own unavoidable demise. After all, a nation’s legal system – like its economy and currency – can only function when the people have confidence in it, and with most people in the Atlantic World having lost their confidence in government and the system, the only thing slowing the collapse which is already unfolding, is the Atlantic World’s continuing ability to usurp no small part of other nations’ wealth and thereby maintain what, by international standards, remains a very high, albeit rapidly declining standard of living for a majority of their people, while at once using coercive means to impose order on all others rather than rely on the increasingly non-existent civic mindedness and confidence of their citizenry.