On January 28th, United States President Donald Trump accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner unveiled the much anticipated so-called “Deal of the Century” also referred to as the “Mideast Peace Plan”. The deal greenlighted the annexation of Palestinian land, subjugation of Palestinians, and apartheid in Israel. Israeli politicians couldn’t wait to pounce on the opportunity to steal vast areas of occupied land along the Jordan valley. They did little to hide their enthusiasm as they announced that a vote on annexation would take place a few days later.
What became clear even before the ink had dried is that behind the scam of the century was the normalization of Israel’s apartheid in Palestine. The deal was praised by Israel as the opportunity of a lifetime and outright rejected by Palestinian politicians including President Mahmoud Abbas.
Just days after the deal was announced, plans were made to vote on annexing parts of the West Bank, which are sites of Israeli settlements, and seen by a number of countries as illegal Israeli occupation that defies international law and United Nations Charters, but then that vote was postponed. Almost two weeks later as word spread that another vote might be on the horizon ahead of the March 2nd election, Washington decided to halt Netanyahu’s progress just temporarily causing him to backtrack on his plan for immediate annexation of the West bank. Netanyahu mentioned on Saturday that mapping of the region was underway.
David Friedman, the Trump administration’s Ambassador to Israel is not only one of the masterminds behind the annexation plan but has historically supported illegal colonial settlements. On Sunday, he tweeted warning Israeli politicians against taking any unilateral steps which could endanger the Plan and American recognition. Of course, Israeli Prime Minister took the cue very seriously and knowing that the US’s blessing is of utmost importance stressed to both his fans and critics that they have waited for this opportunity since 1967 and won’t jeopardize things by being impatient.
Friedman tweeted the following on Sunday February 9th, “President Trump’s Vision for Peace is the product of more than three years of close consultations among the President, PM Netanyahu and their respective senior staff. As we have stated, the application of Israeli law to the territory which the Plan provides to be part of Israel is subject to the completion of a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee.” He added “Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the Plan & American recognition.”
As if it wasn’t already crystal-clear that the steal of the century was never ever a legitimate deal between Israeli’s and Palestinians nor a deal that Palestinians would ever be able to consider let alone agree to, Friedman’s tweet drives home the message loud and clear. Palestinians were neither consulted, nor will they be part of the mapping process.
Amidst widespread condemnation and what many countries consider a violation of international law, steps are being taken to pave the way for the annexation of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land captured during the 1967 war. Netanyahu’s focus right now is on winning a fourth consecutive term in office and taking drastic measures could help win him the election. It’s probably also a good distraction from the series of corruption charges he is facing.
Palestinian authorities have adamantly rejected Washington’s supposed peace plan and are against any unilateral steps being taken whether it’s now or after the election that violate the 1967 Palestinian map borders. Israel tries to appeal to the masses by citing security, biblical, and historic ties to the land on which their settlements are built and Palestinians refuse to accept the theft of more of their ancestral lands.
Many Israeli’s on Twitter didn’t appreciate Friedman’s tweets; some were saying that the United States shouldn’t interfere in Israel’s internal affairs. The irony of how Israel has hijacked US Middle Eastern policies seems to go over their heads. They certainly appreciate how Trump and Kushner’s biased pro-Israeli “Deal of the Century” greenlights the subjugation of Palestinians and the illegal annexation of Palestinian-claimed land but they don’t want Washington involved in implementation or to set any guidelines on how quickly they can expand their reign of terror over Palestinians and their land.
The only reason why Israel is able to continue to override international law and make unilateral declarations of statehood and persist with its terror campaigns at the hands of its Jewish militias, all while ethnically cleansing and massacring countless Palestinians is because of its relationship with Washington and many nations around the world turning a blind eye. Due to a lack of defined borders and the absence of accountability, Israel plans to annex East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights of Syria, and soon swathes of land in the West Bank.
The bottom line is peace cannot be achieved without justice and the recognition of Palestinian human and political rights, solely by Israeli authorities and political figures. Mutual recognition, Palestinian freedom of movement and Palestinian right of return, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem are all part of the decades long conflict. A democratic state can only exist in historical Palestine if Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc. live in harmony with equal rights.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.