Trump’s deal of the century won’t bring peace…that was the plan

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. (photo: The White House – Public Domain)
A peace plan with no outcome that will lead to peace.

By Jonathan Cook |  CounterPunch  | Jan 30, 2020

This was a deal designed in Tel Aviv more than in Washington – and its point was to ensure there would be no Palestinian partner.

Much of Donald Trump’s long-trailed “deal of the century” came as no surprise. Over the past 18 months, Israeli officials had leaked many of its details.

The so-called “Vision for Peace” unveiled on Tuesday simply confirmed that the US government has publicly adopted the long-running consensus in Israel: that it is entitled to keep permanently the swaths of territory it seized illegally over the past half-century that deny the Palestinians any hope of a state.

The White House has discarded the traditional US pose as an “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian leaders were not invited to the ceremony, and would not have come had they been. This was a deal designed in Tel Aviv more than in Washington – and its point was to ensure there would be no Palestinian partner.

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The Trump peace sham

Palestinian demonstrators step with their feet on a poster showing the face of US President Donald Trump during a protest against his expected announcement of a peace plan, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on January 28, 2020. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Palestinian demonstrators step with their feet on a poster showing the face of US President Donald Trump during a protest against his expected announcement of a peace plan, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on January 28, 2020. (photo: Said Khatib by / AFP)
J Street has pulled together a compilation of analysis and statements from a variety of sources in response to Trump’s peace plan proposal.

By J Street | Jan 29, 2020

The Palestinians will be left with a proto-state that is physically divided, economically challenged, and possibly not viable as a modern country.
—  Robin Wright, foreign affairs analyst

If there was ever any doubt that the Trump-Netanyahu “peace plan” was anything other than a smokescreen for annexation, it was disabused just moments after the plan’s glitzy White House announcement.

Immediately following President Trump’s announcement of a plan he claimed would chart a course to a “two-state solution,” Prime Minister Netanyahu took to the very same podium to announce his government would immediately move to impose sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and all West Bank settlements — a flagrant violation of international law.

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Trump releases Mideast Peace Plan that strongly favors Israel

Note: Boundaries are approximate and based on available data provided by the White House, some of which was obscured. (photo:Source: White House by The New York Times)
The plan would discard the longtime goal of granting the Palestinians a full-fledged state.

By Michael Crowley / David M. Halbfinger | The New York Times | Jan 28, 2020

‘We say a thousand times over: no, no, no,’
— President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority

President Trump on Tuesday unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan with a flourish, releasing a proposal that would give Israel most of what it has sought over decades of conflict while offering the Palestinians the possibility of a state with limited sovereignty.

Mr. Trump’s plan would guarantee that Israel would control a unified Jerusalem as its capital and not require it to uproot any of the settlements in the West Bank that have provoked Palestinian outrage and alienated much of the world. Mr. Trump promised to provide $50 billion in international investment to build the new Palestinian entity and open an embassy in its new state.

“My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security,” the president said at a White House ceremony that demonstrated the one-sided state of affairs: He was flanked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel but no counterpart from the Palestinian leadership, which is not on speaking terms with the Trump administration.

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Orla Guerin’s report shows what’s wrong with Holocaust remembrance

International correspondent Orla Geruin appearing on BBC News at Ten on Wednesday (Credit: BBC iPlayer)
International correspondent Orla Geruin appearing on BBC News. (photo: BBC iPlayer)
A short TV news report attracted fierce criticism, with some suggesting Guerin’s comments sought to draw parallels between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.

By Robert A. H. Cohen | Writing from the Edge  | Jan 26, 2020

The undeniable truth is that Palestinians are part of the post Holocaust story too.

As I become older I realize that the Holocaust is not over. The gas chambers and incinerators are gone but the consequences of the horror will continue to play out in the decades and even centuries to come. Our understanding of who we are as Jews, our place in the world, our politics, how others view us, even our theology, continues to be shaped, indeed defined, by the Holocaust.

Why would it be otherwise?

Just as with earlier major turning points of Jewish history – the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70 or the expulsion from Spain in 1492 – the Holocaust changed everything. A third of our people were destroyed along with their culture and heritage. But none of us were left untouched whether we were alive then or born since. Or are yet to be born.

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Aftermath: The Iran war after the Soleimani assassination


No War with Iran protest Jan 4, 2020 in Durham NC. (photo: Anthony Crider – CC BY 2.0)
Trump’s Iran policy, as with Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, is taking to its logical and deadly conclusion the entire imperialist-zionist conception of the Middle East.

By Jim Kavanagh | CounterPunch |  Jan 24, 2020

The one big war makes perfect sense when one understands that the United States has thoroughly internalized Israel’s interests as its own.

“Praise be to God, who made our enemies fools.”
— Ayatollah Khamenei

I’ve been writing and speaking for months about the looming danger of war with Iran, often to considerable skepticism.

In June, in an essay entitled “Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back,” after the U.S. initiated its “maximum pressure” blockade of Iranian oil exports, I pointed out that “Iran considers that it is already at war,” and that the downing of the U.S. drone was a sign that “Iran is calling the U.S. bluff on escalation dominance.”

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Will a Trump peace plan hasten the end of Israel as a Jewish state?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on Mar 23, 2018. (photo: Ofer Vaknin / Haaretz)
Many analysts and scholars now believe that a two-state idea is dead.

By Trudy Rubin | The Philadelpia Inquirer  |  Jan 22, 2020

Whether or not Kushner releases his peace plan, it’s clear it won’t promote a two-state solution, or focus on any political solution.

The world continues to churn outside the impeachment trial in Washington, including some potentially game-changing events in Israel.

In advance of the March 2 elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival, Benny Gantz, have each vowed to annex one-third of the occupied West Bank.

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Is apartheid the inevitable outcome of Zionism?

HEBRON, ISRAEL - 10 OCT,  2014: Deserted street with watchtower in the jewish quarter near the center of Hebron Stock Photo - 36942208
Deserted street with watchtower in the Jewish quarter near the center of Hebron. (photo: Shutterstock)
A lot of troubling questions raised by the choices now facing Israel.

By Henry Siegman |  Responsible Statecraft  | Jan 22, 2020

The one-state solution that is preferred by many Israelis is essentially a continuation of the present de facto apartheid.

The threat of a new war with Iran that might have replicated what has been the worst disaster in the history of America’s international misadventures — George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq based on fabricated lies — sucked the air out of all other international diplomatic activity, not least of what used to be called the Middle East peace process.

Yet the failure of the peace process has not been the consequence of recent mindless and destructive actions by Donald Trump and of the clownish shenanigans of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was charged with helping Israeli hardliners in nailing down permanently the Palestinian occupation. For all the damage they caused (mainly to Palestinians), prospects for a two-state solution actually ended during President Barack Obama’s administration, despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s energetic efforts to renew the stalled negotiations. They were not resumed because Obama, like his predecessors, failed to take the tough measures that were necessary to overcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s determination to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state, notwithstanding his pledge in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009 to implement the agreements of the Oslo accords.

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This is how a U.S. president could hold Israel accountable — without Congress

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019. (CC BY-SA 2.0/Gage Skidmore)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019. (photo: CC BY-SA 2.0/Gage Skidmore)
A progressive president would have many tools at their disposal to ensure American weapons and taxpayers’ money do not violate Palestinian rights.

By Alex Kane | +972 Magazine |  Jan 22, 2019

The U.S. Constitution gives the executive branch a great deal of power over foreign policy, and it’s time a Democratic president uses that authority to end Israeli human rights violations.

A year into the Democratic Party’s presidential primary, the top candidates have coalesced around a general consensus on how to reverse the Trump administration’s rightward lurch on Israel. This consensus includes: restoring U.S. funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees; working toward a two-state solution; and opposing Israeli settlements.

But if that is all the candidates pursue, it would simply be a return to Obama-era policies. There’s a lot more a Democratic president like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren should do — and they can do it without Congress.

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Report: Israel is arresting undocumented children

Students from several local high schools protested at the prison in Ramla where 13-year-old Gena Antigo was being held, October 31st, 2019. (photo: Daniel Levy)
Israel arrests Palestinian kids in the middle of the night with impunity so now they are doing the same to undocumented children.

By Taly Krupkin | Jewish Currents |  Jan 17, 2020

‘Israel does not see itself as an immigrant country that is open to immigrants of all nations, but the national homeland of the Jewish people, and as such, it opens its gates to Jews,’
— governmental report on foreign workers in Israel

On October 30th, 2019, Gena Antigo, a 13-year-old, Israeli-born Filipina girl, woke to news that the immigration police were in her apartment in Tel Aviv. “My mom told me, ‘Wake up, Gena, the police are here,’” she recalls. “I thought it was just a nightmare. When I realized it was reality, I started to cry.”

Gena and her mother, an undocumented foreign worker from the Philippines, were given less than ten minutes to collect what they wanted to bring with them, while the police urged them to hurry up. “I took my clothes and a blanket,” Gena says, “in case I got cold.”

The police escorted Gena, her mother, and a neighbor they had also arrested to a van. “The senior officer told me it’s hard for him to see me cry,” Gena says. “He asked if he could do something to make me stop, because he has kids, and it hurt him to see me cry.”

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Time to break the silence on Palestine

‘We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,’ the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared at Riverside Church in Manhattan in 1967. (photo: John C. Goodwin)
Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. We must do the same when it comes to this grave injustice of our time.

By Michelle Alexander | The New York Times | Jan 19, 2020

Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism.

On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up to the lectern at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. The United States had been in active combat in Vietnam for two years and tens of thousands of people had been killed, including some 10,000 American troops. The political establishment — from left to right — backed the war, and more than 400,000 American service members were in Vietnam, their lives on the line.

Many of King’s strongest allies urged him to remain silent about the war or at least to soft-pedal any criticism. They knew that if he told the whole truth about the unjust and disastrous war he would be falsely labeled a Communist, suffer retaliation and severe backlash, alienate supporters and threaten the fragile progress of the civil rights movement.

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