Will Trump help Israel annex the West Bank?

The election of Donald Trump is golden opportunity for Israel and its lobby to push their agenda to annex Palestinian land. (via Facebook)

The powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC has apparently dropped its formal commitment to a two-state solution.

In this tweet, activist Daniel Sieradski points out the changes in the language on AIPAC’s website:

Previously, the lobby group’s page on the “peace process” asserted that AIPAC “strongly supports a two-state solution and works tirelessly to bring peace to the region.”

Now, there is no mention of a two-state solution. Instead AIPAC says simply that “a solution cannot be imposed on the parties.”

It is unclear when exactly the change was made, but the Internet Archive confirms it is relatively new. The most recent snapshot of the AIPAC site shows that language supporting the two-state solution was still there as of July.

As recently as October, the State Department declared that Israel’s ongoing construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank was “cementing a one-state reality of perpetual occupation.”

The Obama administration can claim a considerable share of the responsibility for that. Not only has it failed to use US aid to Israel as leverage, but as its final kick in the teeth to the Palestinians and prospects for a just peace, Obama unconditionally boosted US military support for Israel to record levels – at least $38 billion over the next decade.

Annexation?

AIPAC may simply be moving to seize the opportunity of the election of Donald Trump to reveal Israel’s real agenda: permanent annexation of the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nominally supports a two-state solution, while arguing that it is not possible for the forseeable future and imposing conditions to ensure it can never happen.

His cabinet colleagues are less coy. Justice minister Ayelet Shaked, for instance, recently called for reviving the so-called “Jordanian option.”

In her version of the plan advocated by late Israeli President Shimon Peres in the 1980s, Israel would annex Area C – the 60 percent of the West Bank fully controlled by Israel under the terms of the 1993 Oslo accords. Palestinians would then receive some form of limited autonomy under Jordanian tutelage in tiny urban enclaves where their population is concentrated.

AIPAC may have judged that the moment to roll out its real agenda is opportune, with the Republican Party taking control of the White House as well as both houses of Congress.

Indeed the new AIPAC stance closely reflects the Republican Party’s official platform released in July in the midst of the election campaign.

“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier,” the platform states. “The United States seeks to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, to be negotiated among those living in the region.”

“We oppose any measures intended to impose an agreement or to dictate borders or other terms,” the platform adds.

It vows to support legislation against the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS). And in what is presumably a reference to the UN, the platform calls for the US to cut off funding to any entity that seeks to “impose” terms on Israel.

Even though President-elect Trump’s personal positions on the Palestinian-Israeli issue have been contradictory, the Republican Party machine that is about to take the commanding heights of the government is unambiguously aligned with the most extreme factions in Israel.

AIPAC “apopleptic”

The morning after his upset victory, AIPAC quickly congratulated Trump in a press release that emphasizes the most pro-Israel talking points that the president-elect made in a speech to AIPAC as a candidate in March.

But AIPAC is reportedly “apopleptic” at one of Trump’s first key appointments, that of Steve Bannon as chief strategist.

Bannon is the former CEO of the far-right media outlet Breitbart News.

While Breitbart News’ coverage and commentary is strongly pro-Israel, Israel lobby groups accuse Bannon of fostering anti-Jewish prejudice.

Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has condemned the Bannon appointment, stating “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.”

If major American anti-Palestinian groups feel Bannon’s appointment puts them in an awkward position, it is one of their own making. The ADL and AIPAC may be uncomfortable with Trump’s open embrace of bigotry, but they have long been unabashed promoters of the bigotry and extremism of Netanyahu and his government who will likely have no trouble dealing with Trump and his White House.

Abraham Foxman, who held the post of ADL director for decades until his retirement last year, even embraced prominent Islamophobes with a history of anti-Semitism, such as evangelical pastor John Hagee, just as long as they were pro-Israel.

Trump’s election has received an enthusiastic response from Israeli leaders who hope the incoming president will move the US embassy to Jerusalem and help them bury the two-state solution once and for all.

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Comments

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Look at the way Donald Trump has pulled the hand of His Excellency Proudly Captain Dreadful Bibi Netnyahu in to himself .. Body Language speaks here .. hell, Donald is positively tickled pink .. is there anything else to say !

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Since zionism first formed,never was there a commitment for a 2-state 'solution'. It was a sham, flim flam while they swallowed Palesitne dunum by dunum till it was gone. That was the plan then and it's just the tools to achieve that end which alters...

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Just how glaringly obvious does it have to be , the zionists will never accept a 2 state solution unless they are shunned into doing so.BDS is the non violent solution to force them into stopping their relentless theft of Palestinian land .

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The Israelis have recognized a true friend in Donald Trump. At this point he could nominate a goose-stepping Nazi to head the State Department without ruffling feathers in Netanyahu's cabinet.

The uncomfortable truth is that many anti-Semites hold strongly pro-Israel views. Herzl himself, founder of the Zionist movement, wrote that he understood the promptings of such bigotry and regarded them as normal expressions of social life. For that reason, Jews needed a state of their own. The affinities between Revisionist Zionism (Netanyahu's spiritual substance) and European fascist movements have been catalogued extensively. There are even Jews who have pointed to a loathing within Zionism for the actual, historical Jewish people, who are regarded as weak, passive, assimilationist, cosmopolitan, and at least partly deserving of their persecution throughout the ages. In this way and increasingly it's being said that Zionism is antisemitism for Jews.

These things being noted, it appears certain that little further pretense will be lavished on the mythical two state solution. This wretched outcome is in no small measure the achievement of President Obama. His betrayals are many and I'm not sure this one stands at the top of the list. After all, he never betrayed his donors. But his memory will certainly endure in the chronicles of the dispossessed.

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It's a win-win for the Democrats who will do nothing to stop this and will gleefully support it while blaming the Republicans.
If you travel to Palestine, you can see that Israel already considers the West Bank annexed. There is something more honest about seeing Trump & Netanyahu joined in open white supremacy, and maybe the American public (which has no appetite for the whole ethnic cleansing) will find a louder voice in opposing it regardless of what flavor of party (gonorrhea or chlamydia) is doing the "no daylight" thing with Netanyahu.

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Trump's pro Israel son in law, who seems to be playing an important role in this in coming administration, the man who wrote Trump's devoted AIPAC speech, will push for, and will be successful, in doing the zionists the biggest favor ever. This is the pathway for Kushner or Trumps older son, to get into politics. This will be the the biggest crime on the Palestinian people, but the politicians who do the bidding of the zionists will pretend it was doing the biggest favor for the much deserving occupier. We have had Presidents, both Democratic and Republican, who have so far been able to prevent the occupiers taking crucial places in that area, but it will be Trump the most egoistic President, who will make that "magnanimous" act of all. Americans who voted for this man, do not have a clue about what a disaster this man will be for our country, and the world. If for one minute they think this man, whose experience is selling real estate and steaks, is qualified to be President,they have very poor judgement. The Palestinians will be one of the many victims of bad Trump policies and acts.

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If the two state solution is dead...go for the one state solution....equal rights for all jews and non jews
The struggle goes on
I would not be too happy Bibi...Trump is wild card..he may change his mind

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Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.