For many years, Palestinians have suffered underneath Israeli colonial occupation backed and empowered by US political, monetary, and navy assist. This has allowed Israel to regularly broaden its settlement and colonisation of Palestine, to the purpose that now solely about 5 p.c of historic Palestine’s land is definitely managed by Palestinians.
This course of continued virtually undisturbed by worldwide scrutiny for years, underneath the duvet of Washington’s “peace course of” and its self-declared place as mediator between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
When Donald Trump turned US president in 2017, nonetheless, he disrupted this rigorously crafted technique of gradual colonialisation. He embraced essentially the most racist and extremist Israeli agenda and eradicated the established observe of paying lip service to Palestinian rights.
Israel’s right-wing authorities was given the inexperienced mild to do because it happy, whereas the American president stored validating its unlawful, legal acts. This successfully accelerated the method of creating “details on the bottom” – i.e. the usurpation of Palestinian land and subversion of any Palestinian political leverage to the purpose that Palestinian calls for turn into unattainable to fulfil and their rights irrelevant.
So what does Trump’s legacy imply for the Palestinians?
4 years of Trump
Though the US Congress handed a invoice recognising Jerusalem because the capital of Israel in 1995, successive US administrations postponed appearing on it as a result of absence of an settlement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel on the standing of the holy metropolis.
On December 6, 2017, Trump turned what was already on paper into actuality by issuing an government order to maneuver the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The transfer occurred on Could 14 the next yr, which coincided with the seventieth anniversary of the Nakba and which the Israelis marked by massacring dozens of Palestinians in Gaza.
A number of months later, Trump introduced that he was defunding the United Nations Reduction and Works Company for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). This was not solely a disaster for tens of millions of Palestinians who rely on the UN company for meals, training and well being care, nevertheless it was an try and erase the standing of the Palestinians as refugees and, by doing so, their proper of return. By attempting to destroy UNRWA, Trump was doing the bidding of the Israeli authorities which has carried out every little thing it could actually for many years to forestall ethnically cleansed Palestinians from returning and reclaiming their land.
The best of return was additionally additional undermined by the “deal of the century” Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner put ahead. Copying the language of earlier US “peace initiatives”, the proposal promised “peace” and “prosperity” for the Palestinians however denied most of their calls for, together with self-determination within the type of a sovereign Palestinian state. In the meantime, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced on November 18, 2019, that the US authorities considers the development of Israeli settlements within the West Financial institution to not be a violation of worldwide legislation.
In his remaining months as president, Trump didn’t fail to provide yet one more lavish reward to Israel: normalisation with Arab states. This was yet one more main blow for the Palestinian trigger.
Within the aftermath of the second Intifada, the Arab League – upon the initiative of the late Saudi King Abdullah – dedicated to normalise relations with Israel solely in trade for the institution of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, the return of refugees, and the withdrawal of Israel from the Golan Heights.
In August, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed normalisation offers with Israel, underneath the patronage of the Trump administration, with out demanding any concessions on the Palestinian difficulty in return; Morocco and Sudan adopted swimsuit shortly after. This was a transparent break with the Arab consensus of “land for peace”.
Thus, by the tip of the Trump’s presidency, Palestinians appear stripped of no matter they might be stripped of.
A post-Trump Palestine
Joe Biden’s victory within the US presidential elections in November appears to have introduced some optimism in sure Palestinian quarters that the US will change its coverage in the direction of the Palestinians. Allow us to not neglect that Trump’s insurance policies had been by no means actually in contradiction to Washington’s conventional stance on Palestine, displaying full and unconditional assist for the Israeli state.
To count on Biden to vary something or compensate for the harm his predecessor has carried out is silly. In reality, he and his crew have made it abundantly clearly that they won’t reverse Trump’s choices, together with the transferring of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His administration won’t assist the Palestinians’ battle for justice; it won’t search their liberation, the tip of the Israeli occupation, the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime, or the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
The lesson the Palestinians ought to study from the 4 lengthy years of Trump’s presidency is to not wager on any US administration ever embracing their pursuits and rights or changing into an goal arbiter. The US political elite is an enabler of Israeli occupation and colonisation of Palestine, it has at all times been and can stay such sooner or later. And, similar to Trump, it’ll proceed to provide Israel every little thing it desires, whether or not it’s legitimacy for its unlawful theft of land or a vast provide of superior weapons to make use of in opposition to the Palestinians.
Absolutely supported by the US, Israel continues its pursuit to determine “details on the bottom” – to determine absolute domination over all of historic Palestine and to make Palestinian statehood unattainable. However there’s one incontrovertible fact that Israel is totally failing to determine, regardless of all its navy may, monetary assets and limitless backing by a superpower: It can not erase the Palestinians.
Six million Palestinians – disadvantaged of their liberty and homeland – proceed to reside in historic Palestine. Thousands and thousands of different Palestinians reside in neighbouring Arab nations and the diaspora. Their id, their very existence, erodes day-to-day the deception Israel has used to whitewash its apartheid and current itself to the world as a “mannequin democracy”. Extra importantly, the Palestinian lives and spirit actively undermine the Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Palestinians are struggling surprising deprivation and torment by the Israelis, however they’re steadfast. Their very existence has turn into resistance. And time will not be on their tormentor’s facet. At this second in time, Israel could seem as a victorious coloniser, having lifted virtually all limitations to annexing the West Financial institution. However the Palestinian battle is making headway. Within the not-so-distant future, justice will prevail and Palestinians can have their freedom.
The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.