Friday, September 22, 2023

A post-Trump Palestine | Donald Trump News

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For decades, Palestinians have suffered under Israeli colonial occupation sustained and reinforced by political, financial and military support from the United States. This allowed Israel to gradually expand its settlement and colonization of Palestine, to the point that now only about 5% of the historic land of Palestine is in fact controlled by the Palestinians.

This process continued almost undisturbed by international scrutiny for years, under the guise of Washington’s “peace process” and its self-proclaimed position as mediator between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

However, when Donald Trump became President of the United States in 2017, he disrupted this carefully crafted process of progressive colonization. He has embraced Israel’s most racist and extremist agenda and has eliminated the established practice of making lip-service statements about Palestinian rights.

Israel’s right-wing government was given the green light to do whatever it wanted, as the US president continued to validate his illegal criminal acts. This has effectively accelerated the process of establishing the “facts on the ground” – that is, the usurpation of Palestinian land and the subversion of any Palestinian political influence to the point that Palestinian demands become unfulfilled and unfulfilled. their rights irrelevant.

So what does Trump’s legacy mean to the Palestinians?

Four years of Trump

Although the US Congress passed a bill recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995, successive US administrations have postponed its action due to the lack of agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel on the status of Israel. holy city.

On December 6, 2017, Trump turned what was already on paper into reality by issuing an executive order to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The movement occurred on May 14 of the following year, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba and which the Israelis marked by slaughtering dozens of Palestinians in Gaza.

A few months later, Trump announced that he was canceling funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). It was not only a catastrophe for millions of Palestinians who depend on the United Nations agency for food, education and health care, but it was an attempt to erase the status of Palestinians by as refugees and thereby their right of return. In trying to destroy UNRWA, Trump was claiming the Israeli government, which has done everything possible for decades to prevent ethnically cleansed Palestinians from returning and reclaiming their land.

The right of return has also been further undermined by the “deal of the century” that Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have proposed. Copying the language of previous US “peace initiatives,” the proposal promised “peace” and “prosperity” for the Palestinians but denied most of their demands, including self-determination in the form of a sovereign Palestinian state. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on November 18, 2019 that the US government views Israeli settlement building in the West Bank as a violation of international law.

In his final months as president, Trump did not fail to give Israel another lavish gift: normalization with the Arab states. It was yet another blow to the Palestinian cause.

In the aftermath of the Second Intifada, the Arab League – at the initiative of the late Saudi King Abdullah – pledged to normalize relations with Israel only in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, the return refugees and withdrawal. Israel from the Golan Heights.

In August, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed normalization agreements with Israel, under the patronage of the Trump administration, without asking in return for concessions on the Palestinian question; Morocco and Sudan followed suit soon after. It was a clear break with the Arab consensus of “land for peace”.

So, at the end of Trump’s presidency, the Palestinians seem stripped of everything they could be stripped of.

A post-Trump Palestine

Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential elections in November seems to have brought some optimism in some Palestinian neighborhoods that the United States will change its policy towards the Palestinians. Let’s not forget that Trump’s policies have never really been at odds with Washington’s traditional position on Palestine, showing full and unconditional support for the state of Israel.

It makes no sense to expect Biden to change anything or compensate for the damage done by his predecessor. In fact, he and his team have made it clear that they will not reverse Trump’s decisions, including moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His administration will not support the Palestinian struggle for justice; it will not seek their release, the end of the Israeli occupation, the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime or the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland.

The lesson the Palestinians should take from Trump’s four long years of presidency is not to bet on a US administration that will never embrace its interests and rights or become an objective arbiter. The American political elite is, always has been and will be a catalyst for the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine. And, just like Trump, he will continue to give Israel whatever it wants, whether it is the legitimacy of its illegal land theft or an unlimited supply of advanced weapons to be used against Palestinians. .

Fully backed by the United States, Israel continues its quest to establish “facts on the ground” – to establish absolute rule over all of historic Palestine and to make the establishment of a Palestinian state impossible. But there is one fact that Israel completely fails to establish, for all its military might, financial resources and unlimited support for a superpower: it cannot wipe out the Palestinians.

Six million Palestinians – deprived of their freedom and their homeland – continue to live in historic Palestine. Millions more Palestinians live in neighboring Arab countries and in the Diaspora. Their identity, their very existence, is eroding day by day the deception that Israel has used to whitewash its apartheid and present itself to the world as a “model democracy”. Most importantly, the lives and spirits of Palestinians actively undermine Israeli occupation and apartheid.

The Palestinians suffer shocking deprivation and torment from the Israelis, but they are steadfast. Their very existence has become resistance. And time is not on the side of their executioner. At this time, Israel may appear to be a victorious colonizer, having lifted almost all barriers to annexing the West Bank. But the Palestinian struggle is progressing. In the not so distant future, justice will prevail and the Palestinians will have their freedom.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.


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