[News] What will President Trump mean for Palestine?
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 9 11:48:16 EST 2016
What will President Trump mean for Palestine?
Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - 9
On a day that most people expected not to see, we can say few things
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
During the Democratic primary campaign, Clinton marketed herself as a
belligerent and violently hawkish ally
of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the Palestinian
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
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
to embracing Palestinian rights.
Her extreme support for Israel is just one of the many ways she and her
party operatives pandered to donors
and revealed themselves to be out of touch with large segments of the
country they had taken for granted
But Hillary Clinton will not be president.
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
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
But facing a backlash, he quickly pivoted, promising Netanyahu
he would recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of the State of
Israel,” and actively encouraging
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
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
the pace during the term of President George W. Bush.
In his victory speech
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
of anti-Semitic white supremacists
including the Ku Klux Klan, which gave him its endorsement
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
Naftali Bennett <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/naftali-bennett>,
the Israeli education minister who has boasted
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
But the so-called two-state solution was already dead and Clinton would
not have changed that.
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
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
– 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 truth is, we had no choice but to wage that fight anyway.
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