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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/2/20

In Humiliating Rebuke, Arab League and Palestine Slap Down Kushner Plan, Palestine severs Relations with US and Israel

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Al Jazeera reports that Palestine president Mahmud Abbas announced Saturday that he has informed the Israeli government and the Trump administration of "a severing of all relations with the two of them, including security relationships." The move came in response to the Kushner Plan for the Palestinians announced by Trump on Tuesday. He made the statement in an address to an emergency meeting of Arab states at a foreign ministers' meeting of the Arab League in Cairo.

Abbas explained to the Arab foreign ministers that Palestine had already severed relations with the Trump administration over its recognition in 2017 of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but that Palestine had continued to have a relationship with the US Central Intelligence Agency for the purposes of jointly combating terrorism. It appears that this relationship has also now been ended.

He continued that Palestine had informed Israel that it would have to fulfill its responsibilities as the Occupying Power, adding, "We addressed a letter to Israel and America in which we conveyed to them the severing of relations with them, including the security relationship."

He said that he had declined to receive Trump's Plan or to reply to Trump's attempt to contact him, saying that Palestinians would never accept it and that he refused to go down in history as the man who sold Jerusalem.

He said the American Plan would solidify complete Israeli security dominance over everything west of the Jordan River and that it would allot a triangle of Israeli Arab citizens instead to Palestine "in order to get rid of them."

He said that there had been no contact between Palestine and the Trump administration "because we no longer trust them," and that the four occasions on which he had been brought together with Trump had been entirely fruitless, and that indeed, after the meetings Trump has slashed aid to the Palestinians and declared all of Jerusalem the Israeli capital.

He pledged continued nonviolent struggle for Palestinian rights.

He said that they had called for the emergency Arab League summit in Cairo to inform the Arab world of the American Plan and "to prevent its being ensconced as a new center of authority."

The foreign ministers of the 22 member states of the Arab League voted unanimously completely to reject the Kushner Plan. The Arab League statement explained the rejection, saying that the American Plan did not offer the slightest rights to the Palestinians or provide for any of the aspirations of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it contravenes, they said, the framework of the peace process and violates international law and the decisions of the United Nations on which that process had been built.

The Arab nations warned Israel against trying to implement the Plan's provisions, and called on the international community to confront any Israeli move to apply it on the ground.

The body affirmed its "complete support for the struggle of the Palestinian people and its national leadership ... in confronting this Deal and any Deal that detracts from the rights of the Palestinian people."

The Arab League called for a two-state solution in accordance with UN resolutions (which means the Arab League recognizes Israel inside 1967 borders).

It warned Israel that no further steps toward relations with any Arab country would be taken until Israel accepted the 2002 Arab League peace plan, which envisaged two states, one on the West Bank and Gaza, and the other Israel inside 1967 borders.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is under indictment for bribery and corruption, had been hoping that Saudi Arabia would recognize Israel and establish diplomatic relations, and that this development would help him win the upcoming elections.

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

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