Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex parts of the Jordan Valley comes as no surprise. The move was met with fierce opposition from the Arab world and Saudi Arabia called it a dangerous escalation. But this isn’t the first time such an outrageous pledge has been made. In fact most of Netanyahu’s outrageous pledges have been met with full support from the United States.
It is clear that Netanyahu is taking advantage of an overly-friendly White House to cause as much damage to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state in the future as possible.
Already, under US President Donald Trump, Israel has experienced the largest colony construction boost than under any previous US administration. Palestinians say Jewish colonies make a future state impossible.
In May 2018, the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem, sparking outrage in the Arab world and condemnation from the international community, including its western allies. Palestinians had complained that Israel has had designs on the city since its occupation and it has been laying the ground work for its full annexation ever since.
It is time for serious discussions on a two-state solution that delivers on the long-promised Palestinian state. Moves preventing such a state from emerging will only be met with resistance
The US embassy move is seen as the first step to annexation of Jerusalem. Also, Trump made the controversial decision to recognise Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights in April this year. The Golan Heights was also occupied during the 1967 war in a move never recognised by the international community.
All these moves are not happening in a vacuum and are clearly intentional on the part of Israel in paving the way for the annexation of a larger Arab land, effectively crushing the hope for a Palestinian state in the future.
This is why Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” for Israelis and Palestinians has been kept under tight wraps. Palestinians expect it to be extremely biased in Israel’s favour. In fact, every time the plan is promised to be released, it is pushed back. Ideally, it involves Palestinians giving up the claim to much of the Occupied Territories in exchange for financial compensation and economic incentives. The plan has been dead on arrival, however, with Palestinians rejecting anything less than a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines.
However, with Jared Kushner at the lead of such a push, it is unlikely that any plan presented will be seriously considered by the Palestinians. It is time for serious discussions on a two-state solution that delivers on the long-promised Palestinian state.
Moves preventing such a state from emerging will only be met with resistance.