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26 July 2018

Gaza, Hamas and Trump’s Zionists

By: Daoud Kuttab
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Three American Zionists now working with US President Donald Trump administration to bring peace to the Middle East have come with a peace plan. It makes no requirements of Israel, the country illegally occupying Palestinian lands and enforcing a siege since 2007 on Gazans. The new plan, promoted on the pages of The Washington Post, promises that help is on its way. Millions of donors’ dollars are awaiting. All they need is for Hamas to recognise Israel and the Gaza Strip will turn into paradise.
The American Zionists working for Trump are hypocrites. Their crocodile tears are nauseating. The same three, who were celebrating Washington’s violation of international law regarding Jerusalem and failed to even state regret for the 61 unarmed Palestinians gunned down at the very same time they were clicking their glasses in celebration, are now concerned about the fate of nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza. And their concern tops the world charts for the most egregious “blame the victim” narrative ever. A victim of rape is never blamed for scratching her rapist, but in the hypocritical world of Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the entire blame falls completely on one party — the Palestinian victims resisting their occupiers.
To be sure Hamas is not innocent. They have, indeed, held Gazans hostage for years and have imposed their radicalism on the people of Gaza without giving them a chance to return to the same election boxes that brought Hamas in 2006 to power. That is wrong and must be fixed. Palestinians of all walks of life are trying to fix that but they refuse the idea of punishing the entire people of Gaza because of Hamas. A recent poll by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) showed that 89 per cent of Palestinians oppose the crazy idea of punishing the people of Gaza, whether by withholding aid or the Palestinian Authority’s cutting off the salaries of public servants.
Gaza is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation agreed on this fact, yet, Gaza has been physically isolated and under a terrible inhuman siege by one of the signatories of the Oslo Accords; Israel, while the American witness on these accords does not even entertain the simple idea of the need to allow Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank to enjoy the simple right of the movement of goods and services. Hamas is not opposed to that but Israel is, and yet, three American Zionists who are shedding their tears about the inhumane situation in Gaza cannot even bring themselves to call on Israel to end its siege and allow the free movement of people. Imagine if a Republican president angry with a Democratic governor of New York blocks movement of New Yorkers to New Jersey?

Of course, the three American Zionists in charge of bringing us the ultimate deal have been promising us that a peace proposal is around the corner. No one knows what the American plan is about, although some leaks have talked about crazy ideas from leasing Sinai territory to shifting the Palestinian capital from East Jerusalem to Abu Dis. In the above mentioned AWRAD poll, the Palestinians say that they do not know what is in this mysterious deal, 70 per cent of them are sure that the ultimate deal or what is often referred to as the “deal of the century” will end Palestinian hopes for independence and statehood.
Palestinian lives and future are certainly not the rights of Americans, Zionists or not.
As much as Israel had dehumanised the Palestinians and the Trump administration had blessed this effort, Palestinians are still insisting on clutching to their rights. All persons are born equal which is the basis of the universal declaration of human rights also applies to Palestinians, including to those who support the right of people under occupation to resist their occupiers.
Turning the table on the Palestinians does not change the reality and does not even make a dent in Palestinian attitudes. A real peace effort will gather international sponsors not reject them, will act in accordance to international law and listen to what the people you want to help say instead of imposing hypocritical, worn out Israeli ideas as if they are peace overtures.

* A Palestinian columnist based in Amman, Jordan. - dkuttab@ammannet.net

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