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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/4/17

A Blessing in Disguise? The Trump Presidency May be Better for Palestine

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From Palestine Chronicle

Obama or Trump, US government will remain an Israeli ally and benefactor.
Obama or Trump, US government will remain an Israeli ally and benefactor.
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Israel is dizzy. January 20th has been like another Christmas Day and Donald Trump is jolly old Santa Claus bearing gifts. The writing is already on the wall as President-elect Trump has appointed an extremist, David Friedman, as the next US Ambassador to Israel who intends to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who supports the expansion of illegal colonies that have already sliced up the envisaged Palestinian state into South Africa-like Bantustans.

Thus, it must be odd, if not altogether provocative, to suggest that a Trump presidency could be the coup de grace that Palestinians and, in fact, the entire Middle East needs to liberate themselves from the weight of an overbearing, arrogant and futile American foreign policy that has extended for decades.

Unmistakably, a Donald Trump presidency is clearly terrible for Palestinians in the short term. The man does not even attempt to show a degree of impartiality or an iota of balance as he approaches the Middle East's most protracted and delicate conflict.

According to the seemingly infinite stream of his tweets, Trump is counting the days to when he can show Israeli leaders how pro-Israel his administration will be. Shortly after the United States abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 that condemned Israel's illegal settlements on December 23, the President-elect tweeted, "As to the U.N., things will be different after January 20th."

Trump took to Twitter once more, shortly before John Kerry delivered a major policy speech on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, where the Secretary of State chastised Israel for jeopardizing the two-state solution and called the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu the most right-wing in Israel's history.

In his retort, Trump called on Israel to "stay strong" until his inauguration on January 20th. Israeli leaders are eyeing the date, too, with the likes of Naftali Bennett, head of the extremist Jewish Home Party, expecting a "reset" of Israeli-US relations once Trump is president.

Furthermore, "we have a chance to reset the structure across the Middle East," Bennett, who is also Israel's Minister of Education told journalists last November. "We have to seize that opportunity and act on it," he said.

One of the impending opportunities presented by the Trump presidency is that "the era of the Palestinian state is over."

Of course, Kerry is right; the current Israeli government is the most right-wing and most extreme, a trend that will not change any time soon, since it is an accurate reflection of the political and societal mood in the country.

Read how Bennett responded to Kerry's speech.

"Kerry quoted me three times, anonymously, in his speech in order to demonstrate that we oppose a Palestinian state," he said, "so let me state it explicitly: Yes. If it depends on me, we will not establish another terror state in the heart of our country."

As for Kerry's reiteration that Jerusalem should be a capital for both Israel and Palestine, Bennett responded: "Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years. That is in the Bible, open it and read."

The stranglehold of religious zealotry on Israeli politics is irreversible, at least not in the foreseeable future. While, in the past, secular Jewish politicians used religious notions to appeal to religious Jews in exchange for their votes and to populate illegal settlements, it is the religious groups that now set the tone of mainstream Israeli politics.

So how could this benefit Palestinians in any way? Simply put: clarity.

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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

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