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The Trump Administration Wants Nothing Less Than Palestine’s Destruction

Steve Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. (Sebastian Scheiner / AP)

Last month, as administration officials including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner celebrated the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli forces gunned down 62 Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza and injured 1,700 more. According to Reuters, the wounded were “spilling out” of the rooms in the Gaza Strip’s 13 medical facilities.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley subsequently hailed the Israeli government for exercising “restraint,” asking the U.N. Security Council, “Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border?” She would not listen to Palestine’s reply, exiting the room before its envoy could speak.

For Haaretz contributor Odeh Bisharat, Haley’s actions—like Ivanka and Jared’s before her—are part of a larger administration plot to complete the annihilation of the Palestinian people. Call it “the ultimate crime” or “the ultimate destruction.”

“The first blow was in 1948, when [they] were broken into four parts: those inside Israel, in the West Bank, in Gaza, and in refugee camps around the world,” Bisharat writes. “Now the mission is not just to smash them, but to grind the Palestinian people up finely, grain by grain, each individual separated from his brethren—the West Bank separately, Gaza separately, and then within the West Bank, Ramallah separately and Jenin separately, while abroad the Palestinians in Jordan will be separated from the Palestinians in Lebanon.”

While he acknowledges that there are leftists in Israel invested in a peaceful resolution of the decades-long conflict, Bisharat nonetheless lays the blame squarely on Zionist parties, 90 percent of which he estimates either actively support the brutality of Likud or are complicit through their silence.

“Indeed, once again the Israeli leadership is choosing the dark side, turning its back on the peoples of the region,” he continues. “In 1956 David Ben-Gurion hooked up with the dying empires of France and Britain against the Egyptians, whose leader dared to announce the nationalization of the Suez Canal. Later Israel upheld the Shah of Iran’s reign of terror against the Iranian people, a regime that led, because of its brutality, to an even more brutal regime.”

Israel’s current alliances bear the unmistakable rhyme of history, Bisharat argues. While Prince Mohammed bin Salman feints at a more modern, liberal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he has executed a brutal crackdown on political dissent, purging rival powers, imprisoning women’s rights activists and denying his country’s role in promulgating Wahhabist violence. Both bin Salman and Egyptian dictator Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi are working hand in hand with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and they all have the backing of the Trump administration.

“It seems that the only stumbling blocks on the way to implementing this plan are the Palestinians, this time headed by the Palestinian leadership, and the progressive Arab and Jewish public in Israel, which includes many Zionists whose Zionism is different from that of [far-right Likudniks] Yair Lapid and Avi Gabbay,” Bisharat concludes. “And I promise you that in a few years’ time, the respected Prof. Shlomo Avineri will write that this time the Palestinians also missed an opportunity. The opportunity to be crushed.”

Read Bisharat’s column in its entirety at Haaretz.

Jacob Sugarman
Jacob Sugarman is the acting managing editor at Truthdig. He is a graduate of the Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism whose writing has appeared in Salon, AlterNet and Tablet, among other…
Jacob Sugarman

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