The Trump administration has finally lifted the curtains on the final act of its Middle East diplomacy by revealing the long-awaited, ahem, “peace plan” in a surrealistic White House celebration.
I will admit from the outset that I cannot write about it with a straight face, considering the absurdity of the last three years of Trump policies towards Israel and Palestine.
To call it a “peace plan” is to do injustice to the infamous “peace process” and its many failed “peace plans”. It is so much worse, that a better term for it would be an “assault on peace”.
Everything about the plan is farcical.
Its pompous name, the “Deal of the Century”; its unfit author, Jared Kushner, a fanatic Zionist supporter of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land; its premise, “when humiliation does not work, more humiliation will”; its bizarre framing as a lovefest between the American and Israeli right; and its absurd substance, which punishes the victims and rewards the aggressors.
In the three decades of the American-led “peace process”, successive administrations at least pretended to engage, consult or listen to the Palestinian side, even when doing Israel’s bidding.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) came under attack this week after she told the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” that she was “humbled by the fact that it was my [Palestinian] ancestors that had to suffer” in order for Israel to be created as a safe haven for Jews in the wake of the Holocaust. Historian Benny Morris accused Tlaib of “misleading her listeners about the early history of the conflict in Palestine,” and CNN anchor John King claimed Tlaib’s remark “revises history.”
While Tlaib certainly simplified a complex history that historians have and will continue to debate, her critics are also fundamentally misreading Palestinian history in three key ways. First, by focusing on episodes of violence, they ignore the long history of Arab-Jewish coexistence in Palestine. Second, by downplaying how harmful British colonial rule was to Palestinian society, they imply that Palestinians were driven to revolt by blind hatred rather than a desire for freedom. Finally, by citing the pro-Nazi propaganda of Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husayni to claim that “Palestinian leaders at the time sided with Hitler,” they conflate the statements and actions of a single individual with those of an entire people.
Throughout the 19th century, Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in Palestine in relative harmony, largely in cities like Jerusalem, Jaffa, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. Jewish residents regularly interacted with their Muslim and Christian neighbors, speaking Arabic with one another and living what historian Menachem Klein describes as “lives in common.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST
For the people of Palestine, the trauma of 70 years ago never ended.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) denounced the latest Israeli decision targeting churches and their property in occupied Jerusalem, and said that such violations not only target holy sites, but are attacks against all Palestinians.
She said that freezing church assets in occupied Jerusalem, and the illegal decision to impose taxes on church property, are very serious violations targeting holy sites in occupied Palestine.
“These churches and their lands have existed in the holy land centuries before the Israel occupied Palestine, including Jerusalem – The Palestinian identity and heritage include the oldest and contiguous Christian presence in the holy land,” Dr. Ashrawi added, “Israel is now violating international laws, and basic religious rights, in addition to violating the status quo of the holy sites.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM IMEMC NEWS
Beit Jala, Palestine – The Israeli occupation of Palestine is the main factor behind the exodus of Palestinian Christians from the region, according to a new study.
The research carried out by the Dar al-Kalima University in the occupied-West Bank town of Beit Jala, concluded that only small percentage of Christians had left Palestine because of concerns over Muslim religious conservatism.
Researchers interviewed more than a thousand people, roughly half of whom were Christian and half Muslim on their outlook on life and if negative, the causes of their pessimism.
“The pressure of Israeli occupation, ongoing constraints, discriminatory policies, arbitrary arrests, confiscation of lands added to the general sense of hopelessness among Palestinian Christians,” the study said.
These conditions have put Palestinian Christians in “a despairing situation where they an no longer perceive a future for their offspring or for themselves,” it added.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave a scathing response Wednesday to United States President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel earlier that day.
Citing the city’s Muslim and Christian strongholds and historical ties, Abbas negated the Jewish state’s ancient claim on the capital, saying, “US President Trump’s decision tonight will not change the reality of the city of Jerusalem, nor will it give any legitimacy to Israel in this regard, because it is an Arab Christian and Muslim city, the capital of the eternal state of Palestine.”
US President Donald Trump called Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday and began the process moving his country’s embassy to the city.
The move sparked global condemnation from world leaders.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 War with Syria, Egypt and Jordan; the western half of the holy city had been captured in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem effectively put the entire city under de facto Israeli control. Israeli jurisdiction and ownership of Jerusalem, however, is not recognised by the international community, including the United States.
The status of Jerusalem remains one of the main sticking points in efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA