There is no doubt that Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and millions of their compatriots living in squalid refugee camps in neighbouring countries will be appalled that the Trump administration has announced a process to extinguish their legitimate rights by gifting the occupying colonial regime with its “deal of the century”.
This so-called “peace plan” displays open contempt for UN Security Council Resolutions, as did the US President when he handed to Israel complete control of Jerusalem and sovereignty over Syria’s Golan Heights last year. Donald Trump has now stripped Palestinians of all of their rights as enshrined in international laws and conventions. The legitimate Right of Return of Palestinian refugees; the right to freedom; the right to justice; and the right to equality and dignity are all sacrosanct, and yet they have just been trampled on by Trump in collusion with the Zionist zealot Benjamin Netanyahu.
Unsurprisingly, the politics of patronage for racist Israel dominated Trump’s “historic moment”. Riding roughshod over Palestinian lives and rights has defined the Trump administration’s reprehensible disregard for civilised human values. Such conduct is consistent with that of his Israeli partners who have for seven decades and more resorted to gross human rights violations, including ethnic cleansing, mass murder, collective punishment, occupation, detention without trial and Apartheid.
Notwithstanding his mockery of humane values, Trump’s determination to endear himself to Zionist racism has driven him to tear down what remains of his own tattered reputation. The bravado which accompanied his latest betrayal of Palestine has not only brought shame to America, but also exposed the hypocrisy of US allies in Europe and the Middle East. Their inability to challenge his repugnant abuse of power, is confirmation of their supportive role in allowing Israel’s persecution and oppression of the people of occupied Palestine to continue.
The irony of the timing of this “peace plan” has not been lost. Minutes before the Trump circus started in Washington, reports confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been formally indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases. Concurrently, of course, Trump himself faces the axe as his impeachment trial gathers momentum. Whether the case against him is flimsy or not, the fact is that his reputation is damaged severely and his position is compromised.
Two thugs were thus seen in a warm embrace in a shameful demonstration of how to destroy the international order which was put together painstakingly following the Second World War. The unilateral bulldozing of global institutions and the rule of law was on stark display at the press conference, cheered on by sycophants, including ambassadors from leading Arab sell-out states Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
As South Africans who erased the totally discredited “Bantustans” from the map post-1994, we can smell the entrenchment of such travesties miles away. Trump’s deal is no less than a crazy move to legitimise the Occupied Palestinian Territories as Apartheid-era Bantustans through which the Gaza Strip, a much-constricted West Bank without Jerusalem and minus the Jordan Valley together become the “promised land” of a rump “State of Palestine”.
That the “deal” is a scam designed to undermine Palestine’s just freedom struggle is clear. Evidence of it is not only buried in obscure details, but also in the smug grin on the face of baby-killer Netanyahu.
While the Trump initiative is being hailed by racist white supremacists — the flip side of Zionists and, disappointingly, yet again funded by unelected Arab despots — Palestinian leaders have rightly condemned it outright. One can be sure too that the Arab street will denounce it.
Almost immediately after Trump’s announcement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected it. Contrary to Trump’s expectations, Abbas also declared that he’ll be traveling to Gaza to meet with Hamas and Islamic Jihad to close Palestinian ranks in opposition to the deal.
This move by Abbas, even if it’s a symbolic gesture by Fatah, is an indication that neither disarming the resistance groups nor demilitarising Gaza is an option for him. Renewed solidarity among Palestinian factions points to the first substantial sign that what Netanyahu has described as a “good plan for Israel” is being rejected in toto by the people of Palestine.
The illegal annexation of Palestinian land, particularly in the Occupied West Bank where Israel has in violation of UN Resolutions built racial enclaves known as “Jewish settlements”, has emerged as the single most important gift by Trump in this “deal of the century”. In expansionist Israel, therefore, Zionist dreams of an exclusive Jewish entity are pitted against the reality of a stateless, dispossessed and disenfranchised indigenous Palestinian population. We are supposed to believe that it is a “peace plan”.
Trump’s incredible folly in pursuing a doomed deal which many analysts have described as stillborn, deserves to be rebuked by all who are unafraid to speak the truth to those in power. Colonialism and apartheid must be confronted, not celebrated as we saw at the White House. The US President’s disgraceful deal is simply another round of crumbs being thrown from the Apartheid table.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.