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Palestinians Resist Israel and its US Enabler

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[Transcript of interview on The Real News Network, Dec. 9, 2018]

As the Israeli crackdown on protests in the Occupied Territories turns deadly, human rights attorney Noura Erakat says that Trump's decision on Jerusalem is only the latest US attack on Palestinian self-determination.

Aaron Mate of The Real News Network Interviews Noura Erakat

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AARON MATE: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Mate'. The uproar continues over President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. At least one Palestinian has been killed and dozens have been wounded as Israeli forces crackdown on protests across occupied territories. Protests are also being held around the world and the UN Security Council has held an emergency session. Joining me is Noura Erakat, human rights attorney and professor at George Mason University. Welcome, Noura. As you see this response both in the territories and around the world, your thoughts today?

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NOURA ERAKAT: So, two thoughts to start off with: one is that I just want to start by expressing some sort of emotional weight that Palestinians are feeling. This is an incredibly sad moment. In addition to feeling rage and righteous rage, there's a lot of sadness and a heaviness around the fact that this announcement comes around Eid or Christmas for the Christians amongst us and really dampens the mood and the reality that we continue to live under a settler-colonial reality. What President Trump has done is to mark the inevitable consolidation of Israel settler- colonial project that is intent on the elimination of Palestinians as a people and their containment as mere Arabs, as Bedouins, as individuals, as refugees, but not as a people who are deserving of their self-determination.

Palestinians have been waging this struggle for self-determination ever since 1917 when British Empire decided that it would erase Palestinians as a people in order to make way for the establishment of a Jewish national home in their place. This was a colonial decision. It was a colonial erasure. What Netanyahu has said recently in response to Trump is that Trump's announcement about Jerusalem is the equivalent of the Balfour Declaration designating all of Palestine for Jewish settlement. We are seeing a continuity of this colonial process that continues to erase Palestinians, but we're also seeing a continuity in US foreign policy that has steadily, steadily moved forward this project by adopting a dual process of speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

The United States, especially since 1967 under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration has simultaneously told Israel and the world that there will be no resolution, unilateral resolution imposed on the solution either by way of international law or external interference, that it will be completely negotiated resolution. At the same time, the United States has enabled Israel to expand its settler colonial holdings over Palestinian lands without regard to putative borders or otherwise in the form of unequivocal diplomatic aid shielding it from any kind of international censor at the United Nations, in the form of unequivocal military aid that has made Israel the most, the 11th most significant military power in the world but also the only nuclear power in the Middle East, and in the form of financial aid that has ensured Israel will stay afloat and have a remarkably powerful economy on the global scale.

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These things together have immunized Israel from any kind of external pressure. Despite the international community insisting that there must be a solution and a just solution to the Palestinian condition, it has been able to act with impunity in order to continue its settler colonial project of erasure, to usher in an era of apartheid under the double-speak of the United States which has now ended as Trump has revealed, has removed the emperor's clothes to reveal US foreign policy for what it is which is as an enabler for Israel's project.

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