Palestinian children elated. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poised to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sam Bahour
Jun 7 · 6 min read
Image by Fadi Abdallah Thabet from Gaza

(Jerusalem, 2019) — In what is being called the “Turnaround of the Century,” for the first time since 1948, the Middle East woke up today to its future. Late last night, hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised even the most radical Palestinians and ordered the Israeli Defense Forces to end the 52 years of Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands. Israel has forcefully controlled every aspect of Palestinian life ever since it occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip on June 5, 1967. The historic operation of withdrawing Israeli forces to their pre-1967 borders has been coined “Operation Face History” and is expected to be completed in 72 hours, effectively bringing this longstanding conflict to a peaceful end.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, also known as Bibi, went on national Israeli television and called for a 3-day curfew in Israel and Palestine while Operation Face History is implemented. Reporters were the only ones there to witness truckloads of Palestinian political prisoners being set free and Israeli soldiers, military assets and settler families being hauled toward Israel proper.

In his 20-minute address to the nation, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu made three references to similar blunt actions taken by the South African regime in 1994 that ended Apartheid once and for all. When asked if this move had anything to do with his seemingly imminent imprisonment on corruption charges, Netanyahu swiftly remarked, “If I can forgive my country for all the wrongs we have done to Palestinians since our founding, I hope the judges can turn a blind eye to a few dozen cigars and bottles of champagne I received as gifts.”

Housing units in Israeli settlements, once a major obstacle to peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, are surprisingly being left behind for Palestinian use in anticipation of the surge of Palestinian refugees expected to return from their Diaspora. Netanyahu said “The settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip were once our hope and dream. A dream that was based on Eretz Israel [Greater Israel]. We, the state of Israel, planned for them, built them, moved and enticed our population to live in them, secured them, and served them as if they were a suburb of Tel Aviv. Today, we are facing the historical reality that this fantasy has utterly failed and during our attempt to force our will upon the region we have caused tremendous human suffering to the Palestinians. Keeping these housing units behind for Palestinian refugee use is the least we can do to start and repair decades of dispossession.”

Concerning the complicated issue of the Palestinian’s Right of Return (to their homes in historic Palestine that they were expelled from in 1948 by Israel), the Israeli Prime Minister stated for the first time that Israel officially acknowledges this right of return as a Palestinian political and human right. Netanyahu affirmed that Israel created the Palestinian refugee problem by not permitting the refugees to return home after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. He promised Israel would do its utmost to ensure that an equitable resolution takes place within an internationally led commission. Netanyahu stated that this international commission, led by the United Nations, would oversee the practical implementation of Palestinian refugees return home and would be bound by a definite timeline that will be fully respected. In the meantime, Netanyahu announced that, since the Palestinians are now in full control of their borders, they have the unilateral option of accepting any person they wish into their country.

Image by Indo-Asian News Service

As for another historical sticky point, Jerusalem, Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a joint communiqué stating that they have both accepted that the city would remain open and be the capital of both Israel and Palestine. Likewise, a second international commission will hold the responsibility to manage the interaction between East and West Jerusalem for as long as it takes until both sides agree to a governance model that brings lasting stability. Given the international importance of this city, this international commission will be comprised of representatives from all the recognized supranational political bodies of the world such as The League of Arab States, United Nations, European Union, Organization of African Unity, and the Organization of American States. In addition to these regional bodies, representatives from the three monolithic religions, including the Holy See, will be equal partners in this International Jerusalem Management Commission as will a team from Palestine and another from Israel, guaranteeing the access to all holy sites, including Muslim, Jewish and Christian.

As for immediate security concerns, both leaders acknowledged their acceptance of a 10,000-strong UN Peacekeeping Force that started arriving last night. The UN Peacekeeping Force’s first encounter was a heated dispute between a Palestinian and an Israeli street vendor, both claiming the origins of hummus.

The world’s reaction to these extraordinary developments has been one of joy and relief. Expectations are that tourism over the next 5 years in the region will rise by over 3,000%. Corporations from all corners of the globe are competing to get a piece of the peace dividend.

Corporate America alone has offered hundreds of millions in financial, material and in-kind support to the State of Palestine to facilitate its rehabilitation following its bitter years under U.S.-funded Israeli occupation. A group of 100 American Fortune 500 firms issued a joint statement today stating that, “our government was on the wrong side of history in the Middle East for the last 70 years, we owe it to our nation and to the Arab World to bring Palestine into the 21st century as rapidly as possible.”

In a separate statement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that effective immediately, he is retiring to his hometown of Safad. Abbas’ resignation opens the opportunity for Palestinians to hold national elections with Palestinians from around the world participating in the first free elections ever for the State of Palestine.

In related news, the U.S. State Department is releasing limited information on two of Trump’s three “Deal of the Century” architects who have fled to Russia overnight and have applied for political asylum. The two left a jointly signed note on the bed at their Four Seasons Hotel room Manama, Bahrain that read, “AIPAC guaranteed us Bibi was aligned. Why God, why?” Unconfirmed reports state that the two were last seen entering through the backdoor of the St. Petersburg’s McDonald’s with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

These architects’ third team member, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, was reported to have fled the US Embassy in Jerusalem heading toward Ramallah in his private car after hearing Netanyahu’s televised statement. He was found having locked himself in a room in the Beit El Settlement, which he financially supports, and refuses to be evacuated. He was last heard yelling to the police at the top of his voice, “God is on my side!”

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Palestine. He was moved to write this satirical piece to address the absurdity of the Trump administrations so-called, “Deal of the Century,” and to show that this conflict does have a solution. Sam blogs at @SamBahour

Sam Bahour

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Writer, businessperson, activist.