The Unstable Situation in the United States may Delay the Implementation of Israel’s Annexation Plan

Despite the darkening political landscape surrounding the Palestinian situation, both nationally and internationally, and the various social and political obstacles, there are still many opportunities for success and development.

Written by: Nasser Damaj

Despite the objections from Jordan, Russia, and the European Union on Israel’s annexation plan, the tumultuous protests in the United States have led to the distraction and disruption of the implementation of the plan, which includes annexing more than 30% of the West Bank. The possibility of a delay arose after the Israeli Prime Minister held a conference call with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, who played a key role in drafting Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan for peace, Avi Berkowitz, the White House envoy on Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel. During Netanyahu’s speech with a group of settlers on 1 June 2020, he said that the US administration is highly unlikely to approve an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank. Since then, some Likud ministers said that the plan would most likely be delayed. For instance, Ze’ev Elkin, a member of the Knesset for Likud, said that there was no guarantee that the work of the joint US-Israel mapping committee would be completed by July 1, and that annexation would likely have to wait “a few more days or weeks,” as the Trump administration seeks to reduce Israel’s expectations until there is progress in the negotiations between Israelies and the Palestinians. In the same context, Netanyahu stressed that Trump demanded that he give the Palestinians something in exchange for annexation, and that he was, thus, obliged to negotiate a peace agreement that will result in the establishment of a Palestinian state, in accordance with Trump’s plan.

The Impact of Jordan’s and Europe’s Positions against Israel’s Annexation Plan 

Both Jordan and the EU have announced that they will not support the US-backed annexation of the West Bank by Israel. However, both Jordan and the EU have taken different approaches toward the Israeli move. King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan completely rejected and condemned Israel’s annexation plan, as it is one of the few Arab countries that openly responded to this plan and attracted remarkable American reactions. The US State Department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagos, stated: “These discussions should be a part of the peace process, part of President Trump’s Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People.” So, it should be part of discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Similarly, the countries of the European Union opposed the annexation plan from the moment it was announced, while the Israeli government warned of dire European consequences for its move. The office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), issued a paper which indicates that: “Any move by Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank or any Palestinian withdrawal from bilateral agreements would dramatically shift local dynamics and most likely trigger conflict and instability in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.” The United Nations paper calls for action to avert a Palestinian economic collapse, where it stated: “The Palestinian Authority needs increased financial and development assistance to address its public health needs, provide essential services and respond to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.” The paper urges the donor community to mobilize in response to this unprecedented emergency. The UN further warns that: “If current trends continue, the achievements of the Palestinian Government over the last quarter-century will fade, the peace and security situation will worsen, and a hardened and more extremist politics on both sides will inevitably result.” United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, stated: “All sides must do their part in the coming weeks and months in order to preserve the prospect of a negotiated two-state resolution to the conflict, in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements.”

Despite the darkening political landscape surrounding the Palestinian situation, both nationally and internationally, and the various social and political obstacles, there are still many opportunities for success and development. Therefore, we must build a Palestinian confrontation strategy that gathers the working class, guided by a common vision and clearly defined goals.

The opponents’ strategies, such as ‘divide and conquer’, were and still are based on the fragmentation and division of both land and people at the Palestinian and regional levels. These strategies present unique entry points for the successive control of active elites and for the dispersal of their priorities, as the people’s land is stolen and homes continue to be destroyed.

When reviewing the outcome of the strategies of unilateral rule, which is characterised by the isolation of the political elites that places privileges above freedoms, we will find that there is no real political or national impact of these strategies, even though they are manifested as an illusionary victory for its beneficiaries. Hence, the Palestinian political party, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, is called on to launch a collective appeal for the activities implemented by the Fatah Movement in the homeland and abroad. The Palestinian factions and political and social elites shall also come into an agreement to unify the Palestinian social components and protect Palestine from potential risks.

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor. 

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