Trump and Netanyahu's plans and actions are an attack on
the international community as well as Palestinians
By Saeb Erekat
June 25, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - With only a few days
left until 1 July, the date included in the Israeli
government coalition agreement to further
advance the annexation of occupied Palestinian
territory, it has become clear to Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and US President
Donald Trump's team that their next colonial mission
will be more challenging to execute.
Worldwide campaigns, a firm position by
the Arab world, the prospects of
an ICC investigation and
unprecedented Congress efforts, as well as the
significant grassroots efforts in the US, are all
elements that were not taken into consideration when the
Trump team drafted Israel's annexation plan.
Even for some of the current US administration's
closest allies, such as the pro-Israeli evangelical
Israel's annexation is not a priority.
Evangelical voices against annexation in the US are
Likewise, many leading US Jewish voices have
strongly opposed annexation, which if it took place
could jeopardise their sacred bi-partisan support for
the Israel lobby in Washington. A few days ago, over a
hundred Democratic members of Congress
signed a letter against annexation, while Democratic
presidential candidate Joe Biden has expressed his own
opposition to it.
All regional actors, as well as all Arab countries
with strong connections in Washington, have warned
against Israelís plans. They have been clear
that annexation undermines their national interests.
The secretary general of the Arab League has played
an important role in the diplomatic efforts. The
European Union has made it clear that annexation
will negatively affect its relations with Israel. So,
why would the US and Israel keep moving ahead with it?
'Now or never'
Trump and his team have dismissed international law
and UN resolutions as tools for peacemaking and have
instead endorsed some of Israel's most hardcore views.
For the advocates of annexation, this is their historic
moment and their short-term goals are clear.
November's US election is pushing this camp to
say: "It's now or never." The messianic cohort
US Ambassador David Friedman deeply feels that
this moment will mark their legacy.
In their calculations, it is also possible that
Israelís leading trading partner, the European Union, is
not going to be able to impose sanctions. They count on
governments such as Germany's, which while firmly
declaring that annexation is a violation of
international law, also called upon the ICC not to
conduct an investigation into Israeli crimes.
As Israel continues to reiterate its intentions to
annex, no country has yet taken concrete measures such
as recalling its ambassador to Israel or summoning
Israeli ambassadors to their countries. On top of that,
only last Friday, no EU country voted in favour of a
resolution in the UN Human Rights Council calling for
basic principles of accountability for Israeli
violations in Palestine.
Our position remains that stopping annexation is
doable. Ending Israel's illegal colonial-settlement
occupation is also achievable. We have taken several
steps with this in mind, including ending all interim
bilateral agreements after years of systematic Israeli
A few days ago, thousands of Palestinians were
joined by dozens of diplomats in Jericho to say no
to annexation and yes to freedom for
Palestine: a powerful image that showed the unanimous
rejection of annexation outside the
UN resolution 3414 of 1975 requested "all States to
desist from supplying Israel with any military or
economic aid as long as it continues to occupy Arab
territories and deny the inalienable national rights of
the Palestinian people." In 2004, the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory
opinion on the annexation wall also included a set
of responsibilities for the international community.
If this was implemented, Israel would not be talking
today about annexation. The calls for annexation are a
reminder for the need for accountability, including
Our vision of peace was detailed to the UN Security
Council and is based on international law and relevant
This requires bold steps to reaffirm the
international support for this formula, including the
recognition of the State of Palestine and to stop
treating Israel as a state above the law. An
international peace conference has been one of our
Neither Trump nor Netanyahu expected major
condemnations or challenges to their annexation plans.
But this is an understanding that their actions are not
only an attack against the rights of the Palestinian
people but about the international community as a whole.
As the world has spoken loudly against annexation, we
shall continue working in coordination with
international parties, from governments and parliaments
to civil society, to stop with concrete measures
Israelís attempts at perpetuating apartheid in
Dr. Saeb Erekat is the Secretary
General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization
(PLO) and Palestineís Chief Negotiator -
Post your comment below