Now that US President Donald Trump has fully adopted the Israeli rightwing political discourse on Palestine, the Palestinian Authority is in a very tough spot.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said in Washington on Wednesday. The embattled president has done what many had asked him not to do. But the truth is, US foreign policy has been bankrupt for years. It was never fair, nor did it ever intend to be so.
Trump merely pulled the plug, not only on the so-called peace process, two-state solution, “land-for-peace formula” but also all the other tired clichés that have been long dead and decomposing.
But Trump’s announcement has also laid to rest the illusion that the US was ever keen on achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors.
What is left to be said by those who have placed the Palestinian national project of liberation on hold for nearly three decades, waiting for the US to fulfill its self-designated role of an “honest peace broker”?
The Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas declared a “day of rage” in response to Trump’s announcement. Way to deflect attention from the real crisis at hand: the fact that the PA has miserably failed by leasing the fate of Palestine to Washington, and, by extension to Israel as well.
Some are arguing that the two-state solution is not a US property to keep or give away, and that Palestinians can continue to advocate what seems to them to be the sane and possible solution.
However, the unpleasant truth is that the “two-state solution” in its current form was itself an American formulation, part of a larger framework that was championed mostly by the US as it pushed Israelis and Palestinians to the “negotiation table” since the Madrid Talks in 1991.
Surely, there will be others who will attempt to continue playing that role, but what difference can Paris and London, for example, make if Tel Aviv and its powerful Washington benefactors have no interest in the subject whatsoever?
Trump’s announcement should not come as a complete surprise, though.
Between the hasty American withdrawal from Iraq, “pivot to Asia”, “leading from behind” doctrine throughout the so-called “Arab Spring”, and failure to press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on freezing the illegal settlements in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, US policies were growing bankrupt and futile.
This paved the road for a new type of thinking, one that moves away from pandering to Israel, while paying lip service to peace, to wholly embracing the Israeli political discourse and future outlook.
In fact, Trump’s recent announcement from Washington was a tamed version of his statement before the Israel lobby last year.
In March 2016, Republican presidential candidate Trump delivered his famous speech before the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Of the many false claims and dangerous promises Trump made, a…