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Trump opens door to “One State,” riles Israelis
President Donald Trump riled Israelis on the right, center and left when he spoke with reporters at a press conference Wednesday with rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Arabs and Palestinian activists were incensed over Trump distancing himself from the Two State Solution and the typical and usual racist and hate filled comments about Palestinians from Netanyahu, the Israelis honed in on Trump’s opening the door to the One State Solution
By Ray Hanania
While Arabs and Palestinians were climbing over their emotions to denounce President Donald Trump for stepping back from the Two State Solution and for warmly embracing extremist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israelis were honing in on Trump’s unprecedented suggestion that the alternative is the “One State” solution.
Israelis across the board have been attacking Trump and denouncing Netanyahu for failing to confront Trump during their join press conference held on Wednesday in the East Room of the White House.
President Trump didn’t say he opposed or supported either, but said he could support either if both the Palestinians and the Israelis supported one or the other. President Trump’s statements were consistent with his pre-election declaration that he would be neutral on the issue of Palestinian and Israeli peace.
He has repeatedly advocated for a solution both sides can endorse, saying he would not impose a solution on either Israelis or Palestinians, contrasting the official U.S. Policy of his predecessors supporting the Two State Solution as the only solution to the 70 year old violent conflict and Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
Palestinian and Arab activists, as always, seem mired in their own anger and unrestrained emotions, denouncing Trump, his press conference with Netanyahu, and missed the significance of the press conference. As Usual!
But Israelis are on top of it and they are busy lobbying Netanyahu to forcefully lobby Trump to correct his statement.
Here is what Trump said that has the Israeli Right, the Israeli Center, and the Israeli Left up in arms and in unified indignation:
“So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. (Laughter.) I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians — if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best,” Trump said.
Trump’s predecessors int he White House have repeatedly asserted their support for the Two State Solution, but they have coddled Israel’s rejectionism of any solution, including the Two State Solution which would result in the creation and recognition of a sovereign Palestine State in lands surrendered by Israel with some accommodation for Palestine’s government in East Jerusalem.
Palestinian and Arab extremists have attacked the Two State Solution using violence and rhetoric, bullying advocates of the Two State Solution and excluding many of them from national conferences addressing compromise with Israel to achieve peace.
These rejectionists have always embraced the concept of the One State Solution, which calls for the original Arab plan proposed in 1946 to establish one state that was ruled equally by Christians, Muslims and Jews. But Jews opposed the One State solution and instead used their greater political influence to push the United Nations and the West in 1947 to partition Palestine into two states consisting of six overlapping areas.
The UN Partition Plan was intentionally designed to fail but to allow armed Jewish militias operating illegally in Palestine during the British military Mandate to take control of not only the proposed “Jewish State” but most of the proposed “Arab State.”
Since, Palestinians have demanded that Israel with draw from the areas it occupied in the 1948 war, but have agreed to recognize Israel’s right to exist within the 1967 borders including lands taken from the proposed “Arab State.” But Israel has refused to embrace the Two State solution. When Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin agreed to Two States in 1993, shaking the hand of Palestinian President Yasir Arafat, one of Netanyahu’s extremist disciples murdered Rabin in November 1995, derailing the Rabin-Arafat peace plan.
Netanyahu and his allies including the Israeli terrorist and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon also denounced the Rabin-Arafat agreement and did everything possible to prevent its implementation, pushing the two sides to the disarray that represents the failed peace process today, 24 years later.
But Palestinian and Arab extremists also engaged in efforts to sabotage and prevent the implementation of the Two State solution that would have given Palestinians statehood with a presence in Occupied Jerusalem. Hamas terrorists used suicide bombings in the years after the Rabin-Arafat agreement, and continued violence for the next two decades, giving Israel justification in the eyes of much of the world to build the Wall — which is denounced as the Apartheid Wall because it is actually built not on the 1967 Green Line but inside the Palestinian territories and around all of the major underground water aquifers to deny water resources to Palestinian farmers and non-Jewish populations in the occupied territories.
Wednesday, Trump changed American foreign policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict in a dramatic way. He opened the door to a more neutral American position, opened the door to the One State Solution, and criticized Israel’s expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements as an impediment to peace
Trump expressed his concerns over the settlements several times during the press conference causing Netanyahu several awkward moments. Netanyahu is trying hard to strengthen his ties with the White House following the chilled relations he had with Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama. Although Obama confronted Netanyahu and they did not get along personally, Obama still gave Israel everything it demanded and vetoed more UN resolutions criticizing Israeli violence than any prior president. Obama also approved the largest subsidy for Israel in the history of the US-Israel relationship, more than $38 billion, much of which is used to underwrite Israel’s military operations against Palestinian civilians and supporting the illegal settlement movement. Obama’s policies actually did more for Israel than anyone.
But the usual anger in the Palestinian and Arab community continues to neutralize their own effectiveness. Protesting and denouncing is so much easier than actually developing plans and strategies to make real change. It also allows the failed Palestinian and Arab leadership and activists to distract their publics from the truth of their own continued failures.
Israelis, however, have been masters of public relations and communications and no nuance escapes their attention or response.
But the Israelis under-estimate Trump’s determination to act as an outsider from the corrupt Washington and news media driven policies of the past. And forcing him to change his mind won’t be as easy as they think.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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