Articles > > A GREEN LIGHT FROM WASHINGTON

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2019-04-15
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

Writing in this column a few days ago, we were right to claim that Benyamin Netanyahu would never have dared to reveal his intention to annex parts of the West Bank following the 21st Knesset elections without a green light from Washington amounting to complicity, if not outright encouragement.
 
Time after time, President Trump's administration has proven its utmost sympathies for the Israeli far right. What else can one say else when the president openly reveals that he receives brief history lessons from [U.S. Ambassador to Israel] David Friedman, the colonial-settlers' representative and their spiritual leader, prompting him to make swift decisions to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, along with the other major shifts in U.S. Middle East policy?
 
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finally decided to break his long silence after Netanyahu made his provocative statements, but only by uttering blasphemies. In an interview with CNN, he declared, in all presumption and insolence, that Netanyahu's decision regarding the West Bank would not adversely affect the plan known as 'deal of the century', which Washington claims is 'balanced' and safeguards all parties' rights. 
 
If Pompeo is correct, then this merely confirms what we already know: The U.S. deal is primarily tailored to match Israel's right and far-right wing's interests, and they will only be satisfied once the 'two-state solution' is destroyed and every effort is made to prevent the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state, and to annex wide swathes, if not all, of the West Bank. In this sense, the claims made by the U.S.'s top diplomat (a title he does not warrant in any case) bear no relation to the facts: The deal has little to offer the Palestinians other than a paltry few dollars and a handful of job opportunities for unemployed youth. Its core will be an unaltered and unenhanced version of projects wrought by the Netanyahu-Lieberman-Bennett troika and others of their ilk.
 
Pompeo has become the spitting image of his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to such an extent that we are certain that the latter, and not the former, is the true architect of the Trump administration's Middle East policy. Friedman's only mission seems to be that of confronting liberal Zionism as represented by [secular left-wing party] Meretz's leaders and even Haaretz writers, painting them as traitors to the biblical dream of Greater Israel due to their willingness to abandon Judea and Samaria. Likewise, Pompeo's remarks came in response to U.S. Jewry's liberal Zionist protestations that Netanyahu's dedication to the 'Jewish nature' of the Israeli state would make separation from the Palestinians impossible and threaten Israel's democratic nature.
 
Nothing will foil Trump's upcoming plan from being unveiled overnight – which is the message from Pompeo and the U.S. administration's leading officials. Not Jerusalem's annexation and its Judaization and Israel-izaton, nor the frequent encroachments and violations of the Aqsa Mosque's sanctity, nor the Golan's annexation and U.S. recognition of Israel's sovereignty over it, nor targeting the [Palestinian] refugees, redefining their status, and besieging the international organization dedicated to their support and employment [UNRWA], nor waging war against the PLO and eliminating aid to the Palestinian people, nor inciting against them and draining their sources of support and funding... none of these will undermine the 'deal of the century', and all of them will serve it. This will remain the case as long as this deal is nothing more than an elaborate U.S. reformulation of the Zionist project in its most extreme right-wing iteration that has emerged over the last few years in wake of Israeli society's continuous drift towards the religious-nationalist far right. 
 
The net conclusion from a close reading of the harmony between the American right and the Israeli right would be this: There is nothing in the deal worth waiting for to be revealed. 
 
"So much is already evident from U.S. officials' statements about its content and the administration's complicity in them, and in the Arab positions that advocate waiting until the initiative is disclosed before taking a stance – to say nothing of the worst takes yet as manifest in those Arab positions that advocate 'reassuring' Israel, which is afraid for its future and its existence, as if that would incline it towards peace and fulfill the Palestinians' rights, dreams, and aspirations.