Seeing a willing partner in new US President Donald Trump, the Zionist regime of Israel is rapidly expanding illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.
Emboldened by the new right-wing Trump administration and committed to more land theft than to the so-called two-state solution, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a large settlement expansion – 2,500 housing units – in the West Bank. The act is in direct defiance of a United Nations resolution last month that deemed the settlements illegal.
Nevertheless, this is not yet another evidence that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new US administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state. It’s the other way around. It is President Trump who is taking extreme right-wing stances on Israel, advocating for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem Al-Quds, and choosing an ambassador with close ties to the settler movement.
It was also President Trump that once paid a large amount of money to the Israelis to support constructions in illegal settlements in honor of his friend and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. His administration is already in early talks with Israel about moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Al-Quds, bucking decades of international consensus.
If that’s not enough, hear to what White House Spokesman Sean Spicer has just said in this respect: “Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States, Trump wants to grow closer with Israel to make sure that it gets the full respect that it deserves in the Middle East.”
Now we know what Trump and Netanyahu spoke on the phone Sunday. They have promised closer coordination on a range of matters, including illegal settlements. We also know that Netanyahu got the green light from the White House before Tuesday’s announcement, and why a day earlier he told the media that there should be no surprises for the new president.
In the prevailing environment, it seems silly for Palestinian officials to condemn and complain that the new development will destroy the two-state solution – something that was never on the table in the first place. They are also way off the line to call on the international community to hold Israel accountable immediately.
Last month they did just that at the UN Security Council and nothing happened. Nothing at all! All they need now is read what Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post: “We are building – and we will continue to build.”
This should be a wake up call for Palestinian officials and their people. They are in prison, and if they wish to get out of prison, the first thing they must do is realizing that they are in prison. If they think they are free, they can never break the walls. If they think they have international support, they can’t support themselves. If they don’t put anything in place, they can’t expect miraculous results to appear at the UN.
True, they will hear beautiful words from New York and Brussels that condemn the Israeli settlement announcement, as well as how it “seriously undermines” the prospects for a peace deal. They will also read statements from the West that say “it is regrettable that Israel is proceeding with this policy, despite the continuous serious international concerns and objections.”
As previously, that will be all. Tel Aviv will continue to work closely with the Trump administration “with no daylight” between the two partners in crime. The Palestinians have been given a warning by this, and a wake-up call by the settlement surge announcement. It is up to them now to heed them.
Their lives have become an endless race against the US-backed Apartheid regime and dirty international politics. They are always in a hurry, scrambling to save a hope here, a few hopes there. Their wake-up call came when they found themselves toying with the idea of having the support of international community and the UN’s non-binding resolution.
Suddenly it hit them: Their optimism has got so out of hand that their dreamless, soulless, and visionless politicians are still willing to call on the world community to save them even when last month’s UN resolution got them nowhere. There has to be a better way, because living under occupation and Apartheid is not really living at all. They need to trust themselves, take off the shell of their past, and begin a new round of resistance and Intifada. There are oceans they have not yet explored. An Intifada that has been underway in besieged Gaza for over a decade now. Officials in the West Bank have now been left with no other option but unity with their friends and compatriots in Gaza. Nationwide resistance all across the Palestinian lands is the only possible option left for the Palestinians to hold their grounds or they should all wait for expulsion from their motherland. If Israel and Trump-led US are not given a crushing response, there won’t be any land left for the Palestinians to live in.