News from the Arab Press

Dangerous Winds Blowing From Washington

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

December 5, 2017

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Al-Ayaam, Ramallah, November 28

The winds blowing from Washington regarding the Palestinian issue are particularly concerning. The ideas proposed by senior American officials are reminiscent of old Israeli frameworks, which aimed to redefine the term “sovereignty” instead of establishing for the Palestinians a state of their own. This is unsurprising, as the members of the White House’s Middle East team are American Jews loyal to Israel. The agenda they are following involves the formation of a semi-autonomous state for the Palestinians—one that legalizes Israeli settlements and allows the occupation to continue—while preventing the Palestinians from achieving their national goals. The strategy is threefold: first, to promote a solution that will fall short of creating a fully independent Palestinian country; second, to provide Israel with as much leeway as possible to continue expanding settlements, which create additional “facts on the ground;” and finally, to incorporate the Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative into a wider reconciliation process between Israel and the Arab World. Thus, the American plan offers no promise for the Palestinians. In essence, it would allow them to symbolically declare independence while failing to actually change anything. This idea is so outdated, having been proposed during the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks in the 1970’s. Given the severity of the situation, it is time for the Palestinian leadership to come up with a clear strategy to counter such an eventuality.  The PLO cannot depend on the good graces of its Arab neighbors or the good intentions of the American team. It must take unilateral action, on the ground, before it’s too late. – Ahmed Jamil Azzem

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