A post-Trump Palestine

For a long time, Palestinians have suffered below Israeli colonial occupation backed and empowered by US political, monetary, and army assist. This has allowed Israel to regularly increase its settlement and colonisation of Palestine, to the purpose that now solely about 5 p.c of historic Palestine’s land is definitely managed by Palestinians.
This course of continued almost undisturbed by worldwide scrutiny for years, below the duvet of Washington’s “peace process” and its self-declared place as mediator between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
When Donald Trump turned US president in 2017, nevertheless, he disrupted this fastidiously crafted means of gradual colonialisation. He embraced probably the most racist and extremist Israeli agenda and eradicated the established apply of paying lip service to Palestinian rights.
Israel’s right-wing authorities was given the inexperienced mild to do because it happy, whereas the American president saved validating its unlawful, felony acts. This successfully accelerated the method of building “facts on the ground” – i.e. the usurpation of Palestinian land and subversion of any Palestinian political leverage to the purpose that Palestinian calls for develop into not possible to fulfil and their rights irrelevant.
So what does Trump’s legacy imply for the Palestinians?
Four years of Trump
Although the US Congress handed a invoice recognising Jerusalem because the capital of Israel in 1995, successive US administrations postponed appearing on it because of the absence of an settlement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel on the standing of the holy metropolis.
On December 6, 2017, Trump turned what was already on paper into actuality by issuing an government order to move the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move occurred on May 14 the next 12 months, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba and which the Israelis marked by massacring dozens of Palestinians in Gaza.
Just a few months later, Trump introduced that he was defunding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). This was not solely a disaster for tens of millions of Palestinians who rely upon the UN company for meals, schooling and well being care, nevertheless it was an try to erase the standing of the Palestinians as refugees and, by doing so, their proper of return. By making an attempt to destroy UNRWA, Trump was doing the bidding of the Israeli authorities which has completed all the things it could actually for many years to forestall ethnically cleansed Palestinians from returning and reclaiming their land.
The proper of return was additionally additional undermined by the “deal of the century” Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner put ahead. Copying the language of earlier US “peace initiatives”, the proposal promised “peace” and “prosperity” for the Palestinians however denied most of their calls for, together with self-determination within the type of a sovereign Palestinian state. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced on November 18, 2019, that the US authorities considers the development of Israeli settlements within the West Bank to not be a violation of worldwide legislation.
In his last months as president, Trump didn’t fail to present yet one more lavish reward to Israel: normalisation with Arab states. This was yet one more main blow for the Palestinian trigger.
In the aftermath of the second Intifada, the Arab League – upon the initiative of the late Saudi King Abdullah – dedicated to normalise relations with Israel solely in change for the institution of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, the return of refugees, and the withdrawal of Israel from the Golan Heights.
In August, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed normalisation offers with Israel, below the patronage of the Trump administration, with out demanding any concessions on the Palestinian difficulty in return; Morocco and Sudan adopted go well with shortly after. This was a transparent break with the Arab consensus of “land for peace”.
Thus, by the tip of the Trump’s presidency, Palestinians appear stripped of no matter they might be stripped of.
A post-Trump Palestine
Joe Biden’s victory within the US presidential elections in November appears to have introduced some optimism in sure Palestinian quarters that the US will change its coverage in direction of the Palestinians. Let us not overlook that Trump’s insurance policies have been by no means actually in contradiction to Washington’s conventional stance on Palestine, displaying full and unconditional assist for the Israeli state.
To anticipate Biden to alter something or compensate for the injury his predecessor has completed is silly. In reality, he and his workforce have made it abundantly clearly that they won’t reverse Trump’s selections, together with the shifting of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His administration is not going to assist the Palestinians’ wrestle for justice; it is not going to search their liberation, the tip of the Israeli occupation, the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime, or the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
The lesson the Palestinians ought to be taught from the 4 lengthy years of Trump’s presidency is to not guess on any US administration ever embracing their pursuits and rights or turning into an goal arbiter. The US political elite is an enabler of Israeli occupation and colonisation of Palestine, it has all the time been and can stay such sooner or later. And, similar to Trump, it would proceed to present Israel all the things it needs, whether or not it’s legitimacy for its unlawful theft of land or a vast provide of superior weapons to make use of in opposition to the Palestinians.
Fully supported by the US, Israel continues its pursuit to ascertain “facts on the ground” – to ascertain absolute domination over all of historic Palestine and to make Palestinian statehood not possible. But there may be one undeniable fact that Israel is totally failing to ascertain, regardless of all its army may, monetary assets and limitless backing by a superpower: It can’t erase the Palestinians.
Six million Palestinians – disadvantaged of their liberty and homeland – proceed to stay in historic Palestine. Millions of different Palestinians stay in neighbouring Arab international locations and the diaspora. Their identification, their very existence, erodes day-to-day the deception Israel has used to whitewash its apartheid and current itself to the world as a “model democracy”. More importantly, the Palestinian lives and spirit actively undermine the Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Palestinians are struggling stunning deprivation and torment by the Israelis, however they’re steadfast. Their very existence has develop into resistance. And time is just not on their tormentor’s aspect. At this second in time, Israel could seem as a victorious coloniser, having lifted almost all boundaries to annexing the West Bank. But the Palestinian wrestle is making headway. In the not-so-distant future, justice will prevail and Palestinians may have their freedom.
The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.