In between the bouts of ridiculing Donald Trump’s communication skills, whether in the spoken word or Twitter outbursts, it would perhaps be better to contemplate the decline in the prospects for Palestine and Palestinians for what it really is. We are witnessing the culmination of decades of international efforts to wipe the issue off the political and geographical map.
Only a day after an official in Washington indicated that commitment to the two-state paradigm is no longer a US objective, the joint press conference between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined further how far removed the Palestinians are from any political designations concocted by these two dangerous allies.
The Times of Israel has reproduced the entire transcript of yesterdays’ conference, portraying the dissemination of generalised statements emanating from Netanyahu’s calculated discourse and Trump’s absence of eloquence, let alone coherence. Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has manacled the media into a perpetual rollercoaster reporting seemingly contradictory statements, particularly with regard to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and fluctuating on Israel’s colonial expansion. Had there been less haste to report, exaggerate and analyse such statements, clarity may well have prevailed much sooner.
An example of the kind of fragmented sentence that summarises colonial intent and international oblivion was uttered by Trump: “I’m looking at two-state and one state and I like the one that both parties like.” His greatest strength in an era of escalating aggression is imparting a simplistic observation. Could there ever be any chance of the Palestinians’ “like” being accepted or even given equivalence to Israel’s? It is ridiculous in the present context to suggest that there might. Furthermore, there is no need to manipulate the international community into oblivion; that task has been completed by his predecessors. Indeed, the lack of any difference between Trump and Netanyahu in terms of rhetoric should serve as proof that Israel will no longer face any obstacle to its total colonisation of Palestine, which has been its aim all along.
Netanyahu’s calculated appeals and insistence upon issues about which the Palestinian Authority has already compromised — to the detriment of Palestine and Palestinians alike — contribute towards the illusion of difficult prospects ahead. The intent, however, is to ensure the elimination of the aforementioned obstacles in the way of Israel’s colonial expansion (if, indeed, they have ever existed). Trump on the other hand, echoed a few fabricated narratives provided by Netanyahu and embarked upon generalisations and tangential comments which, unfortunately, have also appealed to the latest media trend of ridiculing the US president.
The joint press conference should be seen as a planned and perfected, treacherous equation. It has blatantly flaunted the demise of a compromise which should have never been conjured up in the first place. Yet, the international community will undoubtedly continue to evoke the two-state “solution” as the only option available. Trump has, in his blundering manner, simply exposed this fallacy for what it is and, like other presidents before him, teamed up with Israel to help it consolidate its aims.
Contrary to what is being disseminated, eliminating the two-state imposition will not cause any consternation within diplomatic circles. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated his “commitment to a two-state solution,” which is just about the most irrelevant utterance he could have come up with, given the absence of pretence from the US and the international community.
Whether diplomats pursue a two-state or a one-state hypothesis is secondary to the ultimate colonial ambition of creating “Greater Israel”. If anything is to be gleaned from this episode, it is international complicity in endorsing and propagating Israel’s colonial narratives. Only from this realisation can the complex issue of disappearing Palestine be understood, acknowledged and, at the very least, halted.