FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Israel/America or Netanyahu/Trump?

Photograph Source: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem – CC BY 2.0

The late Uri Avnery (1923-2018), the doughty Israeli seeker of peace with the Palestinian people, posted almost weekly on CounterPunch.

Avnery was savvy enough to know that the Zionist failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians meant that Israel could never be a “normal” state, no matter how much it pretended, hypocritically, to be a “democracy” adhering to “Western values”.

Avnery would have been aghast, but not surprised, at the turn of events taking place shortly before or after his death– Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (both Palestine and Israel claim Jerusalem as their capital, and it will take a peace deal, and not unilateral action on Israel’s part, in order resolve this dispute); closing down the Palestine Liberation Organisation office in Washington; reducing direct aid and aid to the UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees; recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights; and supporting Netanyahu in his recent pledge to begin annexing Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank.

The aid reductions involved cutting $200 million in direct aid to Gaza and the West Bank and the freezing of another $300 million dollars provided annually to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

After Ramadan, taking place currently, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will announce what Trump, with characteristic carnival-barker hyperbole, calls the “deal of the century”.

Leaks hint that Kushner will announce plans for significant investment in Gaza and the West Bank, provided by the Saudis and other Arab states– despots and in some cases murderers eager to cosy-up to Trump.

Kushner himself has touted “a very good business plan with a strong economic component for how Palestinians can move forward economically”, sheerly ignorant of the likelihood that an economic plan, no doubt with strings (or rather chains) attached, will fail if it is not accompanied by a lasting political solution. The latter will not exist as long as Israel persists in grabbing Palestinian land for its settlements, and subjecting its own Arab citizens to a form of apartheid. The US has so far fallen in line with all of this.

Kushner’s “deal” will almost certainly be belly-up on arrival. His father-in-law will of course blame the Palestinians for spurning such “gifts” and the accompanying chance for “peace”.

Trump’s administration recently prevented the BDS cofounder Omar Barghouti from entering the US to embark on a speaking tour, even though Barghouti has a valid US visa until 2021.

Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement, is committed to non-violence, but his denial of entry was welcomed by many US Zionists eager to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism.

Regarding Barghouti, the New York congressman Lee Zeldin, a Republican, tweeted: “This foreigner is filled w/anti-Israel & anti-Semitic hatred. We should reject Omar Barghouti’s hate, reject the BDS movement, & reject his many examples of blatant anti-Semitism”.

In February Barghouti was listed in a report—titled “terrorists in suits”– published by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs. The report describes BDS “as a complementary effort” to “armed attacks against the State of Israel”. Barghouti has however never been charged with a crime by Israel.

At least 27 states in the US have introduced laws to combat BDS activism. Earlier this year, the US Senate passed an anti-BDS billthat would allow state and city governments to terminate contracts with US entities that support the BDS movement.

In 2018, Bahia Amawi, a Palestinian-American speech pathologist, filed a lawsuit against the Pflugerville Independent School District in Austin, Texas, and the Texas state attorney general, after she had been forced out of the job she had for 9 years for refusing to sign a pro-Israel pledge in her contract.

Amawi saidin a radio interview that she didn’t “want to support [Israel’s] ongoing occupation and aggression and subhumane treatment of the Palestinians, that’s making me kind of like a silent participant complicit with the whole occupation”.

Amawi’s lawyer said in the same radio interview: “Bahia would be disqualified from working for any school district in the state that’s following this law, simply because she chooses not to buy, for instance, Sabra hummus. So her grocery store decision to not buy Sabra hummus and to buy instead another kind of hummus automatically, under this law, disqualifies her from all public employees—all public employment of all kinds”.

Trump and Kushner clearly believe their “deal of the century” will help “normalize” dealings between the Palestinians and their ethnocidal colonial occupier, even though nothing is “normal” when it comes to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people.

Trump believes, or did believe, that his photo-ops with Kim of North Korea would likewise “normalize” relations between their respective countries.

Even right-wing commentators now say Trump is deluded about Kim.

So Trump’s delusions over the “deal of the century”, in the Middle East, will not be a first, and the odds are that they won’t be the last, whether concerning North Korea, or Palestine, or Robert Kraft (the owner of the New England Patriots football team), or….

More articles by:

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
The FBI: Another Worry in the National Security State
Rob Urie
Establishment Politics are for the Rich
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: That’s Neoliberalism for You
Paul Street
Midnight Ramble: A Fascist Rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Joan Roelofs
The Science of Lethality
Joyce Nelson
Buttigieg and McKinsey
Joseph Natoli
Equally Determined: To Impeach/To Support
Charles Pierson
The National Defense Authorization Act Perpetuates the Destruction of Yemen
REZA FIYOUZAT
An Outrageous Proposal: Peace Boats to Iran
Lee Hall
Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer
Andrew Levine
A Plague on Both Their Houses, Plus a Dozen Poxes on Trump’s
David Rosen
Mortality Rising: Trump and the Death of the “American Dream”
Dave Lindorff
The Perils of Embedded Journalism: ‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent News Media
Brian Cloughley
Human Rights and Humbug in Washington
Stephen Leas
Hungry for a Livable Planet: Why I Went On Hunger Strike and Occupied Pelosi’s Office
Saad Hafiz
Pakistan Must Face Its Past
Lawrence Davidson
Deteriorating Climates: Home and Abroad
Cal Winslow
The End of the Era: Nineteen Nineteen
Louis Proyect
If Time Magazine Celebrates Greta Thunberg, Why Should We?
Thomas Drake
Kafka Down Under: the Threat to Whistleblowers and Press Freedom in Australia
Thomas Knapp
JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon Versus the Pentagon and Trump
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s War on the Poor
Michael Welton
Seeing the World Without Shadows: the Enlightenment Dream
Ron Jacobs
The Wind That Shook the Barley: the Politics of the IRA
Rivera Sun
Beyond Changing Light Bulbs: 21 Ways You Can Stop the Climate Crisis
Binoy Kampmark
The Bloomberg Factor: Authoritarianism, Money and US Presidential Politics
Nick Pemberton
Ideology Shall Have No Resurrection
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
What Trump and the GOP Learned From Obama
Ramzy Baroud
‘Elected by Donors’: the University of Cape Town Fails Palestine, Embraces Israel
Cesar Chelala
Unsuccessful U.S. Policy on Cuba Should End
Harry Blain
The Conservatism of Impeachment
Norman Solomon
Will the Democratic Presidential Nomination Be Bought?
Howard Lisnoff
The One Thing That US Leaders Seem to Do Well is Lie
Jeff Cohen
Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Sanders’ Consistency
Mel Gurtov
The Afghanistan Pentagon Papers
Gaither Stewart
Landslide … to Totalitarianism
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How Blaming Nader in 2000 Paved the Way for Today’s Neo-Fascism
Steve Early
In Re-Run Election: LA Times Journalist Wins Presidency of NewsGuild 
David Swanson
If You’re Not Busy Plotting Nonviolent Revolution for Peace and Climate, You’re Busy Dying
Nicky Reid
Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit
John Kendall Hawkins
The Terror Report You Weren’t Meant to See
Susan Block
Krampus Trumpus Rumpus
Martin Billheimer
Knight Crawlers
David Yearsley
Kanye in the West
Elliot Sperber
Dollar Store 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail