Throughout history, the actions of the “Giant of the North” have been influenced by very self-serving, political and economic interests, which have led to a permanent cruel and inhuman course of action against this region.
The most recent episode in the hostility of the United States towards Palestine has been the determination of the US Government to close the office for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in its capital.
Washington justified the decision by stating that the PLO has not taken measures to advance in starting direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel to achieve lasting peace.
On the contrary, the Palestinian leaders condemned a US peace plan and refused to engage with the US administration, the spokesperson said.
With regard to Palestine’s attempts to launch an investigation against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC), John Bolton, National Security Advisor to US President Donald Trump, said that if the ICC decides to investigate his country or Israel: “We will prohibit the entry of its judges and prosecutors to the United States. We will sanction its funds, and we will prosecute them in our judicial system”.
However, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat has said that the Palestinians will not succumb to threats from the United States, or in their efforts to judge the crimes they believe Israeli leaders have committed.
Erekat said lowering the Palestinian flag in Washington “means much more than another slap in the face from Trump’s administration against justice.
It symbolises the US attacks against the international system as a whole, including the Paris Convention, UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council, among others.”
On 6th September, Trump acknowledged the difficulties of achieving peace in the Middle East, more than a year after underestimating the challenges of that process.
“If peace can be achieved, we will achieve it,” said the president, who maintained that his team of special envoys to the region has made progress in said efforts.
But with his decision in late 2017 to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv, Trump caused unrest among the Palestinians and drew international disapproval.
After the Israeli annexation of the eastern part of the first city in 1980, the United Nations urged the international community to withdraw its embassies from the so-called Holy City. Although Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, the country’s sovereignty over the eastern part (East Jerusalem) is not recognised by the majority of world, and Palestine insists on establishing the seat of its future state there.
On 31st August, Washington announced that it will stop sending funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), after reporting the financing cut to programmes in Gaza and West Bank a week before. This last measure was attributed by the State Department to an order from Trump, and the federal entity disclosed that such funds will be redirected to “high priority projects elsewhere”.
The PLO then condemned the decision to cancel the aid. Several sources agreed that the measure is a punishment after the refusal of the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to sit at the meeting table with Israel to finalise the plan promoted by Washington.
The Central Committee of the Palestinian political organisation Al-Fatah, led by Abbas, confirmed its rejection of the US agreement as a dubious project aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.
“After a year and eight months in office, President Trump has still to announce anything remotely resembling a coherent policy to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said in a statement.
“It is the Palestinian people, virtual prisoners in an increasingly volatile dispute, who will suffer most directly the consequences of this insensitive and foolish attempt to respond to Israel’s security concerns,” added the legislator from Vermont.
In turn, the representative of the Blue Party Nita Lowey (New York) expressed her concern about the impact of Trump’s executive decision on stability and peace prospects.
J-Street, a liberal Jewish organisation that advocates for better relations between Israel and Palestine, dubbed the aid cuts “a moral scandal and a big strategic error”.
To justify its decision to stop sending funds to the UNRWA, Washington, through a statement from the State Department, criticised the agency’s work, saying that “the fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have characterised this entity for years are unsustainable and have been in crisis for a long time.” It also reproached the organization for recognising too many Palestinians as refugees, creating a “community of beneficiaries with permanent rights in infinite and exponential expansion”. (PL)
(Translated by Hannah Phelvin-Hartley – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay