By Bill Fletcher, Jr., NNPA Newswire Contributor
In order to best understand how the Trump administration views the settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict it is useful to think of one word: “surrender.” The Trump administration has been ratcheting up the pressure on the Palestinians since he first took office in 2017. This has included shutting down the offices of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Washington, DC; shutting down aid; withdrawing aid to the United Nations that would go to assist Palestinians; moving the US embassy to Jerusalem in flagrant disregard of international opinion; the continued support of Israel’s strangulation of the Gaza strip; and supporting Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights from Syria. And we should probably add to all of this Trump’s less than subtle support of Benjamin Netanyahu’s last election.
There has been absolutely no pressure on Israel. None.
In the meantime, we have been treated to speculation on a supposedly breath-taking peace proposal that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been cooking up. Few details are available, but it appears that it all starts with what can only be described as a bribe focused on the Palestinians and many Arab states aimed at convincing them that national self-determination and refugee rights are not as important as the almighty US dollar.
The most recent component of this story has been the leak that a special conference is to be hosted in Bahrain to unveil the bribe…excuse me…the economic package. The Palestinian National Authority, the political state structure in the occupied territories, was not invited to participate. Some Palestinian businesspeople have been invited, however. Reportedly they are choosing not to attend.
Trump’s theory seems to be this. A large segment of his base is made up of Christian Zionists who support Israel because they see it as their own stepping stone toward Heaven. Trump wishes to appease this base. Further, Trump has no great love of Jews and repeatedly falls into the use of anti-Semitic and semi-anti-Semitic language, but he is infatuated with the idea of ethno-national states, which is ultimately what he appears to want for the USA, i.e., an homogenous population or, if not, one with a clear “ethnic” majority that dominates all minorities. Thus, Israel falls right into place.
Yet there is another aspect to his nefarious vision. He acts as if by making ‘bold’ moves, even going so far as to violate international law and precedent, he can force the rest of the world to accept a new reality. It is called recognizing and/or changing the facts on the ground.
There will be no peace until the Palestinians receive justice. The Israeli government should have learned this lesson in looking at the attempts by their former ally, apartheid South Africa, to create puppet homelands with black faces and loads of bribes as a way for frustrating efforts at freedom pre-1994. It did not work.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the former president of TransAfrica Forum. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and www.billfletcherjr.com. He is the author of the recent mystery The Man Who Fell From the Sky.
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