It was a sad and truly deplorable scene: the corrupt leader of the US superpower spewing out absurd and hyperbolic lies, while the corrupt leader of the mini-superpower of the Middle East gave him a one-man standing ovation. Trump has announced his “great peace plan,” obviously trying to deflect attention from his domestic political troubles.
Netanyahu, tongue hanging, was practically jumping with excitement and nearly licked his master in gratitude. And no wonder, since just a few hours earlier, the Israeli Attorney General had charged him before an Israeli court with corruption and other crimes punishable by prison time.
This is supposed to be an “Israeli-Palestinian peace plan,” but without involving the Palestinians. It’s obviously a Trump-Netanyahu plan, aimed at achieving clear internal political objectives for both politicians. A “peace plan” based on the perpetuation and consolidation of the continuing Israeli occupation, which condemns millions of Palestinians to misery and oppression.
This so-called peace plan would allow the Netanyahu government to give regular administrative status to the illegal annexation of most of the occupied territories. In 1967, the United Nations adopted Resolution 242, with which, in accordance with the fundamental principles of international law, it set clear limits to the daydreams of annexation that the Israeli fundamentalist right had been nurturing ever since the first days of the occupation.
Accordingly, the international agreements and the pressure from the international community have been a hindrance, at least to some extent—a limited one—to Israel’s expansionist policy.
In practice, the legalization of the settlements and occupied areas close to the Jordanian border means the end of a two-state, two-peoples project, and at the same time will probably bring about the end of the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan.
The delirious demagoguery of US President Trump and that of his ally and lackey, the Israeli premier, was also obvious in their doublespeak about Jerusalem, the “eternal capital.” This only made it even more obvious that peace cannot mean the despoiling of rights and the elimination of the Palestinian presence from the city and the region.
US imperialism already has a long series of bloody interventions on its conscience, during the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st. Millions of people have paid with their lives as a result of their attempts to “export democracy.”
At this point, inside the US, the Democrats in opposition are putting out harsh statements against Trump’s plan, while the Evangelicals are praising this glorious path towards the redemption of the Holy Land. The moderates among them, more enlightened, would even allow us Jews to have a part in it, while the less moderate are promising hellfire to clear a path for their Redeemer. Meanwhile, in Israel, the extreme right will not be willing to accept the “problematic part” of this “deal of the century,” because it would mean renouncing their claims to a part of the Promised Land, to the point of allowing the “enormous danger” of a Palestinian state! And the pseudo-opposition to the great Bibi is simply doing all it can to find the best formulas to beat him at the polls on March 2.
It might be the case, paradoxically, that this tragic development could prove beneficial for the Palestinians, as it might push them back to the negotiating table for a national reunification. The PLO and Hamas are beginning to send signals to each other that could lead to negotiations, the only key to a true peace.
At the same time, it’s clear that the situation is highly explosive, and that even among the Israelis—and among those obsessed with “security,” no less—there are some who understand that there might be bloodshed if the government led by Netanyahu—who is obviously willing to do anything to keep himself out of jail—begins to legalize annexation.
What about the pacifists, then? In the coming days, only very strong international pressure might be able to stop the fervid path of the Israeli right, with a leader laboring under the fear of being arrested and losing his government. The specter of a “national unity” government is already haunting Israel.
But where are the pacifists now? Who among the Western leaders will be willing to put up obstacles in the path of Trump’s program, an Israeli version of the same-old South African apartheid system, bringing the prospect of war in the Middle East?
If someone dares to talk about “peace” while ignoring the Palestinians, he must be seen for what he is: a provocateur who intends to start yet another tragic chapter in the bloody history of this part of the world.