By Stanley L. Cohen
An 800-word excerpt from this article
Stanley L. Cohen is a New York lawyer and political activist who takes an anti-Zionist line in his defense of the Palestinian people and their rights. He sees Donald Trump’s support of Israel as morally indefensible.
THE THEFT OF PALESTINE
One need not be a soothsayer to note a steady unbroken pattern of Israel swallowing more and more of the occupied West Bank even as U.S. politicians, republican and democrats alike convene feel good peace conferences or wax on about the need for justice for Palestinians.
As then President, Jimmy Carter noted “There has to be a homeland provided for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years.” Ronald Reagan, spoke of “autonomy talks to pave the way for permitting the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights.”
George H.W. Bush criticized the presence of illegal settlements in the West Bank noting “Outposts, yeah, they ought to go.”
President Clinton opined about the need for the creation of a new Palestinian State based on the idea of self-determination for the Palestinian people.
George W. Bush called for a halt to Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian lands needed for a state.
Several years ago Barrack Obama decried…“more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time.”
Though these sentiments have been echoed by each occupant of the White House over the last 40 years, in reality they’ve reflected little more than a conspicuous political subterfuge to garner votes while providing Israel unlimited funds to support its endless aggression.
The cold hard reality is US politicians care far more about the domestic political mileage and influence of American Zionists than they do abstract notions of international law or justice for Palestinians.
One simply can’t have it both ways… calling out for justice while subsidizing Israeli hatred and violence with an open checkbook and empty rhetoric. It’s just not possible to be a neutral and detached arbiter at the same time courting votes.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Israel simply does not care. 68 years of its history, and counting, has shown that it has and will continue to do whatever it wishes to Palestinians unless and until the United States holds it accountable by ripping up the blank check or until the pain and suffering of its colonial enterprise becomes just too much for Israelis to bear.
Enter Donald Trump
Donald trump is a simple man with a simple mind. It’s his way or none. He loves the challenge of being the smartest, toughest and most creative thinker in the room even when he knows he’s far from it.
To Trump there’s nothing like the grand dare, even when he knows he’s not up to it. And when all else fails, he simply makes up the narrative to suit his view. In Trump’s world honesty is for the weak, reality for those who can’t lie and then simply move on.
For decades presidents have determined that they could pontificate to the world about justice for Palestinians but finance Israel in its drive to purge them from the river to the sea without costs that they were unwilling to bear.
However, these same presidents discerned a bright red line beyond which they could not cross without unleashing consequences far too explosive to contemplate… namely, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital of Palestine in Jerusalem.
Apparently Donald Trump does not care.
To the politically naive, such a move would be of little practical consequence… a mere symbolic gesture. To millions of Palestinians, indeed hundreds of millions of Arabs, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem without their specific invitation would constitute a point of no return… a veritable disaster in the waiting.
In one fell swoop, it would signal an end to two separate yet related fictions that, since Oslo, have helped to enable a relative calm in Palestine even in the presence of the loss of much of it to settlers: 1) that the United States was interested in even the semblance of neutrality and 2) that the PA has the ability to represent the traditions and aspirations of the Palestinian people with meaningful capability and authority.
And so, Mr. Trump, proceed at your own peril. If you feel, as Ambassador-to-be Friedman does, that Jerusalem is “Israel’s eternal capital”… proceed with your folly. Move the Embassy.
To millions of Palestinians, the only answer will be militant and fierce resistance, and it will come… as sure as the early morning call to prayer.
“TRUMP DOES NOT CARE.”
See “PALESTINIAN RAGE: ABBAS AIDE SAYS IF DONALD TRUMP MOVES EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM IT WILL CAUSE ALL-OUT WAR. THE MUSLIM WORLD WILL NOT ACCEPT IT.”