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The First Year Trip of Trump’s Term
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
December 22, 2017
 

With Trump, in his first year, the US policy is completely uncovered, and the official Palestinian politics is also uncovered.

The journey has begun with Trump even before his reaching to the White House, as since he ran for the presidency of the United States, he has begun to show his intention to transfer his country's embassy, from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem, considering it as the capital of Israel, and when he arrived at the White House, and disagreed with the American “institution”, which advised him to change his mind, and to delay his decision, for the reaction in the region that could harm the United States, his administration tried to offer a "compromise" to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv, and the US ambassador to move to Jerusalem to reside in the consulate general, that the United States has established there before the June 1967 war. In the footsteps of his predecessors, under various pressures, forced to sign an administrative decision to suspend the decision of Congress to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a decision that remains valid for six months, then the President of the United States renews it again.

This means that Congress has previously proceeded the US presidents, in the decision to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem, although the decision is not active, and the President of the state can freeze it.

The second stop with Trump's journey was when his administration decided to cut from US aids to the Palestinian Authority the equivalent amount of payments by PA’s institutions and the PLO to the prisoners themselves and their families and to martyrs families, claiming that they are “terrorists”, and that the PA by paying their salaries and monthly compensation, encourages terrorism. The issue, as it is clear, goes beyond the limits of money and financial aid, to reach a fundamental issue, related to the struggle history of the Palestinian people, its present and future. It is based on an American principle that considers every Palestinian who struggles against the occupation and for its national cause and the rights of its people in freedom and national dignity as a terrorist. The financial pressure here is a part of a very dangerous political context, whose objective is to pressure the people, the PA and the PLO into changing their position from the occupation, on the basis of total submission, and accepting the Israeli project for the solution.

The third station was the clear blackmail issue, with the condition of linking the renewal the mandate of the PLO office in Washington, with: stopping all Palestinian political moves towards the international institutions, including the International Criminal Court, abandoning this paper and the international legitimacy paper in the struggle against occupation and settlement, and accepting the Israeli-American conditions, to continue the negotiations, under the pretext of resorting to international institutions and organizations, including the International Criminal Court, would disturb the American role in "sponsoring" the negotiations and constitute a "breach" of the relationship with Israel, because such moves constitute a prelude to negotiations and a factor of influence On their results.

Perhaps the most dangerous station with Trump and its administration is the preparation for the negotiating process. Therefore, Jason Greenblatt, Trump's envoy to the region, proposed nine conditions to the Palestinian official leadership, as binding, to enter negotiations. Among these conditions is the acceptance of settlement, as it does not form a threat to Palestinian interests, on the assumption that the settlements at the end will be annexed to Israel.

Greenblatt also put a condition, that the Palestinians should enter the negotiations without any preconditions, whether about settlement, the resolutions of international legitimacy as a basis for negotiations, the June 4/67, as a basis for drawing the borders, or setting a time limit for negotiations.

In other words, as a conclusion, the acceptance of negotiations that were completely formed according to Israeli conditions and their results are already known, namely, the imposition of the Israeli solution on the Palestinian side. Then, after Fatah and Hamas signed the reconciliation agreement on October 12th 2017, the United States added three additional conditions, which are the same conditions that the international Quartet imposed on the Hamas first government, and they are: the recognition of Israel, the cessation and condemnation of terrorism, and the recognition of the signed agreements with Tel Aviv, and then it added a fourth condition, which is disarming the resistance forces in Gaza Strip.

Last but not least, the White House again has raised the issue of Jerusalem through contradictory declaration. Some of them confirm that Trump is considering the appropriate time to transfer his embassy to occupied Jerusalem, while others assure that this issue is not on the agenda of the President of the United States. Some are talking about a forthcoming speech by Trump to declare his country's recognition of "unified" Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and others deny it, in a disclosed game of blackmailing, and carries more than one meaning.

The first of these meanings is that the issue of Jerusalem is still on the agenda of the American administration, and that intention to recognize it as the capital of Israel, and the transfer of its embassy to it has not fallen, despite the postponement of the resolution.

The second is the clear blackmailing process to both the Arab and Palestinian situations, to explore their reactions and their seriousness in taking a stand on the issue, and to drag these two situations into further concessions, in the context of a losing bargain, Palestinian and Arab a concession and a "elasticity”, in return for postponing the Trump decisions on Jerusalem and on moving the US embassy.

There is no doubt that Trump's administration is aware of the extent to which these two situations, the Palestinian and Arab official ones, are capable of making concessions and acting "elastically".

At the Palestinian level, for example, we note:

• The Palestinian leadership has not stopped its betting on the US role in the new sponsorship of the negotiating process, despite all the American conditions and bases drawn in the face of the Palestinian negotiator, and despite that the American side, along with the Netanyahu government, emphasize the fall of the "two-state solution" and instead offer other solutions that do not go beyond the self-management of population, however, the Palestinian official leadership still considers the two-state solution as the only salvation for its Oslo-based political project.

• The Palestinian official leadership is facing the American pressure with inactive reactions, and often goes to bow to these pressures. For example, it has suspended its political activity at the international level, in the United Nations and in the International Criminal Court, in response to Washington's conditions regarding the PLO office, so that the office only function, would be to coordinate with the United States in preparation for a negotiating process that is formulated by the American and Israeli sides, with full marginalization of the Palestinian negotiator.

In his famous book «Life is but Negotiations» Saeb Erekat, bravely admits that there is nothing to be called a fair American sponsor of the negotiations. He stresses that the American side is always biased to the Israeli side, and that the Palestinian negotiator is negotiating two parties, the Israeli and the American, that are working together, drawing together the negotiating process and always putting the Palestinian side in the fait accompli.

Such a saying, in the time of previous administrations, which tried to follow a mistake that they wanted to appear balanced, like saying, for example, the illegitimacy of settlement, or that settlement "constitutes an obstacle to peace," or asking Israel “not to resort to excessive force”, and other media positions, which were not accompanied with practical steps to pressure on Israel to abide by.

Trump play is now completely exposed, and the position of the Palestinian side is also completely exposed.

So, will the Palestinian official leadership realize that the only cover that would protect it from American and Israeli pressures and conditions and restore its political status, is the national program that was reaffirmed at the Cairo meeting on 22/11/2017, among other national stations?

 
Notes:
Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Translated by: Rasha Abo Allan
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq
 

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