The Disillusionment with Trump in Palestine!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 23 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

There is no doubt that President Donald Trump's visit to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem is of high moral value, but that’s all it is!

Trump has no clear-cut project to move on for the peace process in Palestine.

Previously, he had stated that he will not be imposing any new terms on either one of the parties in conflict, but at the end of the day, Trump’s a businessman.

More so, he is a closer. Everything is a business transaction to him, more or less. Which is why he did not hesitate in the least to describe the goal of his efforts in Palestine as a ‘deal’. One of many he intends to ‘land’.

Needless to say, there is no worse way to view the suffering of an occupied people, the calamity of occupation, than as a business transaction. Especially when addressing such a complex, historical conflict, which is nearly impossible to solve.

Assuming though, that approaching this as a “deal” may very well be the most effective and feasible approach to addressing most problems, the question remains: To whom?!

To whom exactly is this most feasible?!

From what we’ve gathered so far, nothing suggests a promising outcome of the underway endeavours!

In Israel, there presides an extreme far-right government, with Netanyahu being its most moderate member, cynically speaking, compared to the rest of the Cabinet of ultra-extremists and settlement-thugs.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu himself, like all previous Israeli premiers, is not willing to push forward any procedures to restrain his ministerial mob of extremists.

He, as Israeli affairs experts have put it, cares more about his office than he does about his own wife; and he loves his wife!

Expectedly, not many Israeli analysts believe there to be any chance for negotiations with the Palestinians to resume after Trump’s visit!

On the other hand, the Palestinian community, too, is not going to hold its breath for the outcomes of the US president’s visit.

There is a widespread conviction among Palestinians that the deterioration of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the staggering division within have rendered the Palestinian side incapable of negotiation, given the scale and risk impending.

The fear is that the outcomes of any negotiations carried out by the deteriorating PA may not be acceptable to the Palestinian people.

In the meantime, despite Trump’s apparent resolve to ‘close’ this deal, as a leader concerned mainly with US interests, the fact is that he ultimately lacks the expertise and patience needed to pull through such a complicated situation.

It is likely that Trump will lose his patience at the first sign of trouble, which is at best frequent, in the Palestinian-Israeli case.

That said, should Trump really run out of breath before negotiations conclude, the entirety of the peace process will go down the drain.

Honestly speaking, Trump really has not half of the determination or patience Obama or Clinton had.

Those are the US officials whom have made real efforts to advance the peace process.

However, once they collided with the Israeli obstacle and fell under the pressures of the Jewish lobby in Washington, they too gave under pressure.

Bill Clinton fought down to his last few days in the Whitehouse for the advancement of the peace process, in ways which surpass any effort of Obama’s, and still came up empty handed.

Trump has none of the traits and qualities of either one of those two US presidents.

Moreover, Trump is more naturally inclined toward the Israeli position, compared to the Obama administration.

Any offer he comes up with will surely, first and foremost, meet the interests of the Israeli side, rather than the Palestinian’s, which will not be accepted!

During his joint press conference yesterday with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, Trump focused on combatting terrorism, extremism and opportunities for Arab normalisation with Israel and the prospects of it for Palestinians.

Very little was said about the Two-State Solution, let alone the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to establish their own, autonomous, independent state!

There is no way Trump's political team will help devise a reasonable, fair deal or settlement.

Most of them are pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian.

Nonetheless, we, as Arabs, should not be quick to jump to these conclusions, or endeavour to deter Trump’s efforts.

If it’s all the same though, we should not be delusional as to what we expect of the man.

After all, Trump’s not into the miracles business for us to expect him to pull one of the blue!

Surely, Israel is not in it for the peace; they are perhaps the farthest they’ve been from peace.

Trump, on the other hand, is closer to Israel than he will ever be to the Palestinians!

After all is said and done, what do we really expect of Trump?!

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.