During the aftermath of the Bahrain 'workshop', many opinions have been tossed around the international community, most of which have been negative. To place current events in historical and political context, DC Insider spoke with Norman Finkelstein, a prominent American political scientist, activist, professor, and author. In Finkelstein's opinion, the 'deal of the century' has been made possible by the Palestinian Authority's [PA] ongoing greed.
"It's going to succeed; the probability is high, but it won't succeed in the way that is being advertised. The PA definitely wants the money but is trying to drive a hard bargain so it'll keep saying 'no' and 'no' until it figures a way to get the most money.
Then, they'll tell their people that they're broke and that they have no other choice but to accept the money. It won't be a formal surrender... They will continue security cooperation with Israel as the U.S. announces that it recognizes Israel's annexation of the settlement blocs. They don't want all of the West Bank because Israel doesn't want the Arabs that come with it."
Finkelstein went on to bash the PA, specifically the President of the State of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee.
"Abbas and the people that he surrounds himself with are a cross between a local mafia and a gang of pimps... That's all they are. Before, there were elements of inspiration but now, everyone's just in it for the money.
Saeb Erekat is and has always been braindead... He gets to pretend that he's a foreign minister or whatever he goes by now. They like the power. They enjoy the five-star hotels in D.C. They love to appear on television. These are not leaders; they're all just pimps and prostitutes."
"Israel will get the two things that it wants most: formal U.S. acknowledgement of Israeli annexation of the settlement blocs, but more importantly, an open alliance between Israeli and Saudi Arabia... This would be Israel's greatest victory since Camp David and will ultimately lead to the end of the Arab league."
"With an open Israeli-Saudi alliance, a large part of the American ruling elite will now support KSA... They will forgive the Khashoggi affair because they, too, want an open Israeli-Saudi alliance against Iran. The Saudis will get what they want - rehabilitation from Washington and all of the democrats that are attacking MbS."
Finkelstein posits that an open alliance with Israel would not only be in the best interest for KSA, but all of the Gulf countries.
"They all want an open alliance with Israel. They are not going to initiate a war with Iran or any of its allies in the region. They obviously don't give a damn about the Palestinians, they probably can't even spell the word in Arabic.
However, the rest of those states have a smaller incentive than Saudi Arabia. KSA wants both an open alliance with Washington, along with rehabilitation, and the way to do that is by allying with Israel to erase the Khashoggi affair... The other Gulf states don't have that burden."
As a prominent Jewish-American activist, Finkelstein has his own distinct views on Israel and the atrocities that it has caused.
"Israel is a very ugly place right now and there's no question about it. For a country that size, it does seem to cause an awful lot of troubles in the world and because it has a very political and pathological diaspora, it causes a lot of damage proportionate to its size."
"Israel is just an extremely mean place. As Nasrallah said in a recent speech, Israel is not a state with an army; it's an army that's created a state and there is some element of truth to that. What has always held Israeli society together is the army; the fact that everybody passes through the army which creates a sort of familial bond which creates a whole society that feels like a family.
That's why every Israeli abroad is somewhat of a spy, they never get over the fact that they had served in that army. They feel this tribal responsibility to always be faithfully reporting back to Israel."
But what of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? Does it not want to hold Israel responsible for all of the humanitarian crimes and its blatant disregard to international policy?
"Right now, there's a civil war going on with the ICC- it's unprecedented. The chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is terrified of being indicted by Israel... She's afraid of having her career destroyed thus she has a personal stake in the matter. There's an institutional fear because the U.S. says that if you indict Israel, then the entire ICC will be destroyed, not just the chief prosecutor."
"Surprisingly, there's been a lot of pushback within the ICC. There are members who feel that it's time to indict Israel - too many crimes have gone unpunished and they're fighting her, tooth and nail.
I have all the documents and after each document, Bensouda says 'case closed' and the people fighting back say 'not so fast, we're not closing the case.' She's been shamefully lying about all sorts of things. There's a real potential for a diplomatic explosion."