[News] What will President Trump mean for Palestine?

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Wed Nov 9 11:48:16 EST 2016


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/what-will-president-trump-mean-palestine 



  What will President Trump mean for Palestine?

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - 9 
November 2016

On a day that most people expected not to see, we can say few things 
with certainty.

One of them is that Hillary Clinton would have been a disastrous 
president for those supporting the Palestinian struggle for their rights.

Her failed campaign pitched her as the natural successor to President 
Barack Obama, the Democrat who just unconditionally handed Israel the 
biggest military aid package 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/obama-hands-israel-largest-military-aid-deal-history> 
in history.

During the Democratic primary campaign, Clinton marketed herself as a 
belligerent and violently hawkish ally 
<http://forward.com/opinion/national/324013/how-i-would-rebuild-ties-to-israel-and-benjamin-neta/> 
of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the Palestinian 
people 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/defying-establishment-bernie-sanders-defends-humanity-palestinians>.

She vowed 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/jeb-bush-says-hed-order-crackdown-bds-president> 
to make blocking the nonviolent Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and 
sanctions (BDS) movement a priority of her would-be administration.

She went out of her way to campaign against the mildest efforts to hold 
Israel accountable, including appealing directly 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/hillary-clinton-attacks-her-church-over-israel-divestment-vote> 
to members of her United Methodist Church last spring to vote against 
divestment from companies that assist and profit from Israel’s occupation.

Clinton positioned herself as an anti-Palestinian extremist at a time 
when the Democratic Party base showed itself more 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/democratic-clash-over-palestine-signals-changing-party> 
open 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/battle-over-palestine-may-spill-democratic-convention> 
than ever 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/obama-hands-israel-largest-military-aid-deal-history> 
to embracing Palestinian rights.

Her extreme support for Israel is just one of the many ways she and her 
party operatives pandered to donors 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/leaked-emails-show-donors-drive-hillary-clintons-pro-israel-positions> 
and revealed themselves to be out of touch with large segments of the 
country they had taken for granted 
<https://twitter.com/Nate_Cohn/status/796243185739632640>.

But Hillary Clinton will not be president.


    President Trump

The only thing that can be said about President-elect Donald Trump with 
any confidence is that no one knows exactly what he will do.

Earlier in the campaign he insisted 
<http://www.jta.org/2016/02/18/news-opinion/politics/trump-suggests-palestinian-incitement-is-more-pronounced-but-will-not-take-sides> 
that he would be even-handed in dealings with Israelis and Palestinians, 
driving many of Israel’s most fanatical and neoconservative supporters 
into Clinton’s arms 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/hillary-clinton-more-dangerous-donald-trump/16316>.

But facing a backlash, he quickly pivoted, promising Netanyahu 
<http://time.com/4507432/donald-trump-israel-jerusalem-capital-netanyahu/> 
he would recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of the State of 
Israel,” and actively encouraging 
<http://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-israel-should-keep-building-west-bank-settlements/> 
Israel to continue building colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Trump still showed flashes of unwillingness to appease. After winning 
his party’s nomination in July, he brushed off a reporter’s question 
about whether he would follow the “tradition” of other Republican 
candidates and visit Israel.

“It’s a tradition, but I’m not traditional,” Trump shot back 
<http://forward.com/news/346168/donald-trump-brushes-off-questions-about-trip-to-israel-im-not-traditional/>.

Even if these changes reveal an erratic man with no fixed views, Trump’s 
most pro-Israel positions don’t differ much in substance from the 
policies of Obama, on whose watch settlement construction more than 
matched 
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-settlements-have-grown-during-the-obama-years/2016/09/16/a8eda95c-7c27-11e6-8064-c1ddc8a724bb_story.html> 
the pace during the term of President George W. Bush.


    Visceral fears

In his victory speech 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/us/politics/trump-speech-transcript.html> 
last night, Trump returned to a regular theme: “We will get along with 
all other nations willing to get along with us … We’ll have great 
relationships. We expect to have great, great relationships.”

That will be little comfort to people in the US and around the world 
whose visceral fears are stoked by the forces that helped propel Trump’s 
rise: his racist baiting and incitement against Muslims and Mexicans, 
his boasts about sexually assaulting women, his denial of global warming 
and his indulgence 
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-david-duke_us_56d31097e4b0871f60ebbd35> 
of anti-Semitic white supremacists 
<https://mic.com/articles/145808/david-duke-uses-anti-semitism-to-defend-donald-trump-s-racism-against-mexican-judge>, 
including the Ku Klux Klan, which gave him its endorsement 
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/11/01/the-kkks-official-newspaper-has-endorsed-donald-trump-for-president/>.

The Israeli counterparts of these vile American racists are celebrating 
Trump’s victory today.

Netanyahu congratulated Trump, calling 
<https://twitter.com/IsraeliPM/status/796307533287727105> him a “true 
friend of Israel.”

“I am confident President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen 
the alliance between our two countries and bring it to greater heights,” 
the Israeli prime minister added 
<https://twitter.com/IsraeliPM/status/796307981684117504>.

Naftali Bennett <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/naftali-bennett>, 
the Israeli education minister who has boasted 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/naftali-bennett-and-qana-massacre> 
about his killings of Arabs, hailed the coming Trump era.

“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the 
notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would 
hurt our security and just cause,” Bennett said 
<http://www.jpost.com/US-Elections/Donald-Trump/Likud-MKs-react-to-Trumps-victory-in-US-Presidential-Election-472088>.

But the so-called two-state solution was already dead and Clinton would 
not have changed that.


    Fighting back

The Palestinian cause has already shifted to a struggle for equality 
against an entrenched system of Israeli occupation, settler-colonialism 
and apartheid anchored and rooted in support from the US bipartisan 
establishment.

Palestinians were not waiting for the result of the US election to 
decide which way their struggle would go.

Trump has won, but some things have not changed. Over the last decade, 
support for Palestinian rights has been rising in the United States, 
particularly among the young 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/support-palestinians-triples-among-us-youth-survey-finds> 
– and in the increasingly diverse Democratic Party base that has been 
utterly failed by its establishment leadership.

More than ever, people understand that US support for Israel comes not 
only from the same places where support for white supremacy, mass 
incarceration, unchecked police violence and US militarism and 
imperialism are strongest.

It also stems from the liberal, pro-human rights circles that championed 
Clinton, who more often than not equate colonizer and colonized, 
oppressor and oppressed, occupation and resistance.

This base has no choice now but to rally from its despair, which at any 
rate the election of either candidate would have precipitated, to keep 
organizing and fighting for its rights and the rights of people around 
the world.

The truth is, we had no choice but to wage that fight anyway.


-- 
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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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