Gifts of Trump to Israel in  2018 . Part 2

US policies have encouraged Netanyahu, who will serve a fifth term as prime minister, to boast of maintaining forever Israeli sovereignty over a “united Jerusalem”, as Israel’s “eternal capital”, and to vow to never relinquish Israel’s control over any Palestinian territories west of the Jordan River. He has also pledged to annex all the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In the meantime, the Palestinian leadership and Arab rulers have done little more than issuing inconsequential statements.

Zealots on steroids : These and other changes to the traditional US foreign policy in the Middle East have come at the initiative of Trump’s three top Middle East advisors: his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his two former New York lawyers, Jason Greenblatt and David Freedman, who have been actively promoting pro-Israeli policies for decades.

These three proud radical Zionists have clearly demonstrated their enthusiasm for Israel’s illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories and their rejection of the label “occupied” for the West Bank and Jerusalem. But the Trump trio continue to surprise, and not in a good way. Kushner and company are so extreme that they make Netanyahu look moderate in comparison.

They are part of a group of American Zionist hardliners who opposed the “Oslo Peace Process” in the 1990s and have even made comparisons between Israeli peacemakers and Nazi collaborators. They have dismissed Palestinian national and historical rights out of hand and defended Israel’s actions as ordained by God. Like their evangelical partners, they believe their boss Trump might have been anointed by God to look after Israel and reckon their interpretation of divine will supersedes the will of the international community.

Last year, Friedman, who has been serving as US ambassador to Israel, tweeted: “More than 2000 years ago, Jewish patriots (Maccabees) captured Jerusalem, purified the Holy Temple and rededicated it as a house of Jewish worship. The U.N. can’t vote away the facts: Jerusalem is the ancient and modern capital of Israel.”

That the Trump trio displays such religious fundamentalism on steroids, while disingenuously insisting that they have the Palestinians’ best interest at heart, should worry everyone in the Middle East and beyond.

Adapted from:

Distributed by PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity