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Saturday, February 8, 2020

[mukto-mona] Media Urge Palestinians to Take Crumbs—Because Democracy Is Not on Offer


Media Urge Palestinians to Take Crumbs—Because Democracy Is Not on Offer

by Gregory Shupak

Trump adminstration's 'Vision for Peace' in Israel/Palestine

The Trump administration's "Vision for Peace"

The Trump administration's "Deal of the Century" is supposedly a plan to solve the question of Palestine. But as Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, points out, the deal doesn't offer Palestinians a state but

a 21st century bantustan in the Middle East. The Palestinian statelet envisioned by the American plan would be scattered archipelagos of non-contiguous territory completely surrounded by Israel, with no external borders, no control over its airspace, no right to a military to defend its security, no geographic basis for a viable economy, no freedom of movement and with no ability to complain to international judicial forums against Israel or the United States.

Al-Haq, a Palestinian NGO that has special consultative status with the UN, notes that the proposal "rewards Israel for its illegal colonization of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) by allowing Israel to annex more territory, in flagrant violation of international law," "reaffirms the United States' unlawful recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel...[and] unilaterally strips Palestinians of their claims to sovereignty."

As B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, puts it, under this scheme,

Palestinians will not be able to exercise their right to self-determination and will continue to be completely dependent on Israel's goodwill for their daily life, with no political rights and no way to influence their future. They will continue to be at the mercy of Israel's draconian permit regime and need its consent for any construction or development. In this sense, not only does the plan fail to improve their predicament in any way, but, in fact, it leaves them worse off as it perpetuates the situation and gives it recognition.

The colonial ideologists in the US media have criticized the "Deal of the Century," but suggested that, because the Palestinians are in a weak position, they should consider Trump's terms of surrender.

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (1/28/20) argued that

while I understand why Palestinian leaders are denouncing this plan, they should nevertheless try to make some lemonade out of these Trump lemons. It's not as if they have a lot of great options, and their resistance to the Israeli occupation has gotten them nowhere. Palestinian leaders have been feckless and divided for some time; they boycotted the design of this plan. Still, if I were them, I'd tell Trump, "Yes, but we will use this plan as a floor in negotiations with Israelis, not a ceiling." They would surely gain a lot of US, Arab and European good will for trying that approach. What do they have to lose?

For Friedman, the solution to decades of Israeli oppression and dispossession is for Palestinians to "make some lemonade" out of the experience; the idea that Israel should stop oppressing and dispossessing them isn't worthy of contemplation.


Posted by: Farida Majid <>

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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190