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US President Donald Trump
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If you do it, it is not a dream
Op-ed: US Ambassador Friedman says crushing Palestinians’ ‘fantasies’ will bring stability to the region, but it is not their dreams alone that are fading, as realities of occupation win Trump administration’s seal of approval. Dream of a democratic State of Israel that ‘will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens,’ meanwhile, is dying too.
In an announcement of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in an interview on May 11, and in a speech at the inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, President Donald Trump, Ambassador David Friedman and White House adviser Jared Kushner respectively said that the shift in US policy toward Jerusalem will advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

 

If the absurdity of this claim isn’t obvious, one need look no further than the footage from Gaza that served as the backdrop to the Kushner speech to grasp that if a new day is dawning, it is a very black day indeed.

 

The grotesque juxtaposition of the festivities in Jerusalem with the carnage in Gaza made it abundantly clear that for dozens of Palestinians, the “journey to peace” portrayed by Kushner had already ended in the morgue.

 

President Trump and the Gaza clashes. Many Palestinians 'journey to peace' has already ended—in a morgue (Photo: AP, AFP)
President Trump and the Gaza clashes. Many Palestinians 'journey to peace' has already ended—in a morgue (Photo: AP, AFP)

 

Heaping praise on his father-in-law for being a man of his word, Kushner said that the embassy move recognizes what is good, what is right, and what is true.

 

Well, it isn’t good because it makes the attainment of a peace accord even more difficult, it isn’t right because it ignores the internationally accepted position that the city must be the capital of two states—with west Jerusalem the capital of Israel and east Jerusalem the capital of Palestine, but it certainly is true. And therein lies the rub.

 

Jared Kushner at the US Embassy inauguration. A ‘journey to peace’? (Photo: Amit Shabi)
Jared Kushner at the US Embassy inauguration. A ‘journey to peace’? (Photo: Amit Shabi)

 

With its recognition of the “realities” created by the Netanyahu government, the United States has effectively endorsed Israel’s policy of creating facts on the ground to obstruct the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

 

The realities include 50 years of occupation, hundreds of thousands of settlers on Palestinian lands and legislative initiatives to retroactively legalize their land grabs, and expulsions and creeping annexation in the West Bank’s Area C.

 

President Trump may have said that his recognition of Jerusalem does not prejudice the question of the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty, but reports indicate that Israel is already working on a new reality that will extend its hold on the city by tying funding of Palestinian schools to their adoption of the Israeli curriculum.

 

And why not? In times when reality trumps international law, human rights, and justice, the Israeli juggernaut has been given the green light to roll ahead, twisting Herzl’s vision into a new concept of bullying according to which “If you do it, it is not a dream.”

 

Ambassador David Friedman. An absurd claim (Photo: Amit Shabi)
Ambassador David Friedman. An absurd claim (Photo: Amit Shabi)

 

Ambassador Friedman claimed that crushing the Palestinians’ “fantasies” will bring stability to the region, but it is not their dreams alone that are fading, as the realities of the occupation win the Trump administration’s seal of approval.

 

The dream of a democratic State of Israel that “will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens” is dying, too. As its hold on the occupied territories expands and deepens, Israel will face a choice between losing its Jewish majority or becoming an apartheid state.

 

It is already well on the road to the latter, and Israel’s “ally” in the White House just gave it a big push forward.

 

Susie Becher is a member of the Meretz National Executive and managing editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal.

 


First published: 05.18.18, 15:30
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