US and Israel Join Forces to
Bury Palestinian Statehood
Trump and Netanyahu are trying to push a more
blatant and legalised form of apartheid on the
By Daoud Kuttab
17, 2017 "Information
Thanks to the lovefest between
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US
President Donald Trump,
ignoring the Palestinian national
seems to be back on the front burner.
both leaders' first meeting since the new United
States administration took office, Trump
the need for the Israelis and Palestinians to
make peace but avoided mentioning the
fearing the repercussions of Washington's
withdrawal of both support for the two-state
solution and recognition of the legitimate
Palestinian leadership, the US sent CIA chief
Mike Pompeo to President Mahmoud Abbas in
Ramallah on Tuesday, February 14.
the CIA chief rather than a political figure to
visit President Abbas, the US is prioritising
security issues - including joint security
cooperation with Israelis - over the need to
recognise Palestinian political and national
casually walked away from a long-standing US and
international consensus on the two-state
solution, which has been the foundation of
'Been there, tried that'
president's naive comment on the two or
one-state solution - saying he "can live with
either one" - means Washington is likely to
prolong the status quo of occupation.
the 1967 occupation, the United Nations Security
Council has repeatedly expressed the illegality
of the occupation, as in the preamble of
Resolution 242 "emphasising inadmissibility of
the acquisition of territory by war". (PDF)
the solution to the parties while, at the same
time, politically bypassing the Palestinian
leadership, the Trump administration is
empowering the Israelis to dictate to the
Palestinians any deal they want.
reality of the Israeli occupation and the
absence of any political solution is a
reflection of how Israel's current tactics have
not been producing any results for decades now.
problem is that Trump and Netanyahu's warm
relationship and the former's withdrawal of
support for the two-state solution further
weakens the US' ability be an honest broker.
that Arab leaders will replace Palestinians and
agree to make peace with Israel on behalf of
Palestinians, is another mistaken proposal. As
the saying goes, "been there, tried that".
past, Arab leaders as well as Israeli and US
leaders have tried to find an alternative
leadership for Palestinians and have failed
instance, Egypt and Jordan resisted pressures
from Israel and the international community on
who should represent the Palestinians in the
1970s, and in 1974 the Arab summit
Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the
sole legitimate representative of the
Netanyahu and Trump's approach to
the issue is pushing the region
towards a more blatant and legalised
form of apartheid in which the
Palestinian majority in the occupied
territories is stripped off their
political rights while Jewish
settlers enjoy full political and
1967 occupation, Israel tried and failed to
bypass the PLO by turning a blind eye to Islamic
charities established by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin,
and as a result Hamas was born in Gaza.
attempt to undermine the Palestinian leadership
took place in the 1980s in rural West Bank with
the creation of an alternative to the PLO called
the "Village Leagues". This Israeli effort to
alter the Palestinian leadership by appointing
Palestinian collaborators also failed miserably.
time the US tried to bypass the Palestinians it
backfired spectacularly. Former US President
George HW Bush - working with Secretary of State
James Baker - pushed non-PLO
to represent their people within a joint
Jordanian-Palestinian delegation during the 1991
peace conference in Madrid. In response Israeli
and PLO officials reached a secret deal in Oslo
without the knowledge of Washington in 1993.
Netanyahu's conditions to accept a two-state
solution expressed in the
Bar Ilan speech
have now an added element which negates the idea
of an independent Palestinian state.
the commitment to a two-state solution virtually
means a permanent presence of Israeli troops
within the entire Palestinian territory.
four million Palestinians become avid Zionists
overnight, it is unlikely that they will accept
and recognise a Jewish state while agreeing to
live without the same political rights granted
and Trump's approach to the issue is pushing the
region towards a more blatant and legalised form
of apartheid in which the Palestinian majority
in the occupied territories is stripped of their
political rights while Jewish settlers enjoy
full political and national rights.
International Criminal Court describes this type
of "institutionalised discrimination" as
apartheid and sees it as a "crime against
the idea of a "grand deal" that includes Arab
countries would similarly fail. Former US peace
envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations,
referred to the idea
as an "outside-in" approach.
OPINION: Israel - An inspiration
proposal includes the idea of President Trump
convening the leaders of the four Arab
countries, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates, along with the Quartet,
made up of the European Union, the US, the UN,
Russia, to announce "a set of agreed principles
that would serve as the terms of reference to
direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiation to
achieve a two-state solution".
summit would certainly not produce the results
that Netanyahu or Trump wants. The 2002 Arab
is very clear
that Arabs will only meet and normalise
relations with Israel once Israel agrees to
withdraw to the 1967 borders.
Quartet - with the exception of US - would also
reject Trump's casual idea of giving up on the
and Netanyahu's meetings are expected to produce
a political breakthrough, they should bear one
basic principle in mind: The art of a deal
requires that the dealmaker is honest and
neutral, and parties in the conflict recognise
and involve with each other.
If what we
saw in the White House press conference is an
indication, this prerequisite doesn't exist in
the current US administration.
Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist,
is a former Ferris professor of journalism at