An impeached President Trump and the freshly indicted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appeared at the White House today to present the White House’s plan for lasting peace in the Middle East and a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — but the entire affair was soon revealed to be nothing but a cynical farce designed to take heat off the impeachment trial.
No Palestinian representatives were present for the announcement, making it obvious how one-sided the plan would be right off the bat. What followed was a laundry list of Israeli demands that would permanently leave the Palestinian people at the mercy of their Israeli occupiers and formally entrench the Gaza Strip’s status as the world’s largest open-air prison. In addition, the crucially important fertile land on the banks of the River Jordan and all the territory seized by Israeli colonial settlements would remain in Israeli hands. Refugees would not be allowed to return to their homes, and all of Jerusalem would be held by the Israelis.
Netanyahu lays out conditions for Palestinian statehood:
-Palestinians must recognise Israel as Jewish state
-Israel full security control over West Bank
-Hamas must disarm
-No Right of Return for Palestinian refugees
-Jerusalem united under Israeli control
-No settlers uprooted
— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) January 28, 2020
It was a classicly Trumpian mockery of what a diplomatic gesture should look like; a one-sided and horrendously disingenuous dog-and-pony show that gives away the farm to racist right-wing extremists while treating Muslims with naked condescension and contempt.
The repulsive mockery of the efforts to forge a lasting, peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis was unsurprisingly immediately rejected by everyone except those who had written it.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) –Palestinian president says 'a thousand no's' to Trump peace plan.
— Vivian Salama (@vmsalama) January 28, 2020
Per @NBCNews Jordan rejects any plan that leaves the Palestinians out and expands Israel’s borders without negotiating.
A serious blow to the plan, coming from Israel's next door Arab neighbor.
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) January 28, 2020
We should all see this for what this is — a ridiculous kabuki performance that’s supposed to bring some legitimacy back to Trump and Netanyahu and distract the world from their legal troubles, as both of them are facing serious criminal investigations by their own countries.
Even if this “Deal of the Century” had been designed with the slightest shred of sincerity, as long as Trump is the president every nation in the world — nobody more so than Iran — knows that the United States cannot be trusted to abide by the terms of the deal and that our participation rests entirely on Trump’s fickle whims. Any peace deal between Israel and Palestine must be forged on equal terms with participation from both sides and mutual respect for the interests of both sides, and until that happens the United States is just helping to enable yet another of our allies to commit ethnic cleansing.
Public outcry at the deal was furious and immediate:
— Shahed Amanullah (@shahed) January 28, 2020
This is not a peace plan.
It is theft. It is erasure. https://t.co/N2rduGVnze
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 28, 2020
Trump's "peace plan" is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn't diplomacy, it's a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 28, 2020
Netanyahu: If only Palestinians can accept that they are worthless beings, undeserving of basic rights, Israel is prepared to make peace with them.
— (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) January 28, 2020
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.