Erekat Says Trump’s Victory Emboldens Israel’s Right, Warns of Consequences

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat. (Photo: via Al Jazeera, file)

Top Palestinian official, Dr. Saeb Erekat said that Donald Trump’s victory in US presidential elections has empowered the most racist elements in Israeli government and society.

Erekat, a former leading Palestinian negotiator and the current Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) wrote in an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Monday, November 14 that senior government officials in Israel ‘should think seriously’ about the consequences of their action, particularly their euphoria that the two-state solution is now dead.

He wrote,

“Only hours after the result was announced, several Israeli officials went as far as declaring that “The era of a Palestinian state is over.” Others called upon the U.S. to break with international law and international consensus in order to recognize the illegal Israeli annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem. This should come as no surprise, since it represents the Israeli official position, but should be a cause for serious attention by the international community. Rather than preparing for any peace proposal, the Israeli government spent the eight years of Obama’s presidency expanding settlements, demolishing Palestinian homes and denying basic human rights, through a whole host of oppressive policies.

“During attempts to relaunch negotiations, Netanyahu refused to so much as share a map showing Israel’s proposed borders or to discuss any other final status issues, including Jerusalem and refugees. Instead, he preferred to focus on a PR campaign aimed at blaming the victims and distracting the public, while buying time for more settlement construction. Time and time again, the Israeli government has refused to honor its obligations under prior Israeli-Palestinian agreements that have been already signed and ratified by their own parliament.

“Enjoying an unprecedented culture of impunity, Israeli officials ignored the calls of their closest ally to give peace a chance, and continued with their political program of turning all of historic Palestine into one single state with two systems, one for Jews and one for non-Jews.
Israel’s reaction to Donald Trump’s election only reaffirms that Tel Aviv is not interested in ending the occupation.

But no matter who the U.S. president is, Israel is running out of excuses. Although the U.S. has not acted to end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, the two-state solution remains an unbreakable U.S. position. This entails the non-recognition of Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine and the rejection of Israel’s annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem. This has been a consistent U.S. policy since 1967 which hasn’t changed under any presidency. […]

“And yet, Israel will likely intensify its current zero-sum strategy under Donald Trump’s presidency. Netanyahu was not elected to achieve a two-state solution, and not even Israel’s closest allies can now credibly claim that he has any intention of doing so. This is a myopic attitude. Though we disagree with anyone referring to our demographic reality as a threat to anyone, it is a fact that the size of the Palestinian population within historic Palestine is beginning to surpass that of the Jewish population. Mr. Netanyahu’s success in burying the two-state solution will inevitably be met with a different discussion: Equal rights for everyone living under Israel’s control. Is Tel Aviv prepared for that? Apartheid has no place anywhere in the world, including Palestine.”

(Haaretz, PC, Social Media)

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