The US-Israeli scheming to colonize Palestine through the “Deal of the Century” has been divested of earlier political diplomacy. Since President Donald Trump took office, there has been a consistent attempt to deride and isolate US politics, and the results have been beneficial for Israel.
Starting with the unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the US embarked upon a series of political moves aimed at eliminating all possibilities of Palestinian influence at an international level. Of course, the Palestinian Authority (PA) facilitated the process through its allegiance to the international community rather than prioritizing Palestinian demands. Nevertheless, the PA is now ostracized to a point where its presence is less than symbolic of leadership.
The “Deal of the Century” emphasizes the absence of Palestinian decision-making. It is also a reflection of the trajectory that US politics is taking in terms of its collusion with Israel and manipulation of the Palestinian people’s political demands. Trump’s envoys and advisers might have concocted the text, but the result – in particular the hypothesis of a fragmented Palestinian state – is the consequence of previous US and international diplomacy.
What happens if a new contender becomes US President? Will the “Deal of the Century” be scrapped in favor of a return to the two-state paradigm, as endorsed by international consensus at the UN?
It matters little at this point.
The US-Israeli plan and the two-state compromise are both parameters of the eradication and disappearance of Palestine.
The US-Israeli plan and the two-state compromise are both parameters of the eradication and disappearance of Palestine. The forerunners in the US primaries operate on varying levels of political consideration for Israel. In addition, the “Deal” is now incorporated into the electoral dynamics as questions about US foreign policy towards Israel concede the overt shift towards the settler-colonial state.
To put it succinctly, it is no longer just a question of Israeli interference and influential Zionists propping up candidates financially, but a change in US policy that is likely to affect future diplomacy—whether it is officially implemented or not.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Trump’s plan would be executed regardless of who wins the US presidential elections. This statement highlights the US agreement with, and contribution to, Israeli impunity. Top US Democratic electoral contenders Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders and former candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren have criticized Trump’s proposal. Yet, with the exception of Sanders who is speaking out more about Palestinian rights albeit not distancing himself from his pro-Israel stance, there is no indication that a new presidency would implement pro-Palestine policies.
Before suspending his campaign, Democratic contender Pete Buttigieg, who adamantly supported Israel’s security narrative on several occasions, reneged on previous rhetoric to limit financial aid to Israel if it went ahead with the annexation plans. The Grayzone recently revealed that Buttigieg’s electoral campaign was funded by Jewish, pro-settler movement billionaire Seth Klarman. Klarman is also co-founder of the Times of Israel. Buttigieg’s criticism of Trump’s plan and annexation, therefore, could not have been taken seriously in light of his financial backer and what he stands for.
Biden, Sanders, and Warren – during her run, have endorsed the two-state compromise. Mike Bloomberg, on the other hand, penned an op-ed during his campaign in which he partly gave Trump credit for referencing a semblance of a two-state paradigm. Like Buttigieg, Bloomberg also prioritized Israel’s security narrative; culpability and accountability were projected on the Palestinians, thus failing to acknowledge even the most basic component of Israeli colonialism, which is Palestinian displacement.
Despite voicing opposition, there is little indication that a future US President would reverse Trump’s unilateral decisions which paved the way for the US-Israeli proposal.
Despite voicing opposition to the “Deal of the Century,” there is also little indication that a future US President would reverse Trump’s unilateral decisions which paved the way for the US-Israeli proposal. Biden has explicitly stated, for example, that he would not move the embassy back to Tel Aviv. This marks an affirmation of continuing Trump’s policy as regards Israel.
The spectrum of allegiances to Israel among democratic contenders is mostly decided by Israel’s purported right to defend itself. Trump’s deal provides Israel with additional measures to strengthen its security rhetoric at the expense of the Palestinian people. On the other end of this spectrum, Sanders is hailed as offering hope to Palestinians. However, Sanders’ rhetoric remains contradictory and departs from the premise of supporting Israel.
In response to Trump’s plan, Sanders stated, that the US “cannot simply be one that we’re just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.” On February 23, he tweeted: “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason, I will not attend their conference.”
A marked difference from the views of other contenders yet built upon false equivalence between the colonizer and the colonized. Can Palestinians aspire for change if the underlying premise is retaining the pro-Israel stance?
The US, according to Sanders, should not back Israel’s racist government. However, racism will remain a component of Israeli colonialism, regardless of who becomes Israel’s next prime minister in the March 2020 elections. If Sanders revisits the 1948 Nakba – the mass exodus where over 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes, Israel was founded upon the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. Settlement expansion and the ongoing displacement of Palestinians from their land, as well as the illegal blockade on Gaza, are all forms of racist policies pointing towards a slow elimination of Palestinians.
Supporting Palestinian political demands means a rejection of Israel’s long-standing policies and an endorsement of decolonization.
Supporting Palestinian political demands means a rejection of Israel’s long-standing policies and an endorsement of decolonization—principles that Sanders fails to support.
“What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East is bringing the Israelis, bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice,” Sanders declared during a televised meeting in Nevada.
Sanders is indeed targeted by Zionists for the slightest consideration of Palestinians. However, Zionist and Israeli opposition to Sanders does not really make him an alternative that will contribute to Palestinians’ political rights.
Certainly, there are clear rhetorical differences between Sanders and the other US presidential contenders, but the common factors, such as pro-Israel declarations and endorsements of Israel’s security narrative, show that US politics will not be undergoing any fundamental changes in the short-term.
While portrayed as a source of contention, Trump’s deal and the annexations which Israel said it will implement regardless of the US election outcome, has ascertained yet another period of Washington’s collaboration against the Palestinian people.