Palestine: Our Response to Trump Regarding Israel’s Illegal Settlements

In-depth Report:

This week Donald Trump appeared to abandon US support for a 2 state solution during an incoherent and ambiguous press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yet the intentions of Netanyahu and his coalition partners are perfectly clear. Since the UN passed Resolution 2334, which called upon Israel to cease settlement building, Israel has responded by announcing the building of 6000 more settlement units and passing the so-called “Regularization Bill”, legalising settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land.

These actions, and Netanyahu’s comments at the press conference, make clear that Israel intends to proceed at pace with settler-colonialism and intends to deny all claims to Palestinian self determination. 

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett put it concisely in his tweeted response to Trump’s press conference: “the Palestinian flag has been taken off the flagpole and was replaced with the Israeli flag”.

So how do we respond to these developments?

Firstly, we reaffirm that it is for Palestinians to decide how they wish their right to self determination to be enacted.

Secondly we reaffirm that a respect for human rights and equality under the law demands a recognition that no democratic state can privilege the rights of one group of citizens over another based on ethnicity, culture or religion. If there is to be one state then the choice is clear- apartheid, or equal rights in a single democratic state.

Thirdly that it is only pressure from outside in the form of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that will shift decision-making inside Israel.

On Feb 11th, I spoke at a rally of over 40000 people rallying in opposition to Donald Trump and the plans for him to have a state visit to the UK. My message was clear. Those rallying against Trump’s misogyny, against his ban on Muslims travelling to the UK and his racist rhetoric towards Mexicans and other minorities share common cause with us in our campaign against the racism which underpins Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people.

As the day’s most popular chant had it: “from Palestine to Mexico, racist walls have to go”.

Netanyahu believes the advent of the Trump administration means he can expect the world to stand idly by whilst Palestinian rights are trampled and an apartheid state is entrenched. Our task, day-by-day, week-by-week, is to prove him wrong.

Israeli Apartheid Week

The above are messages that students across the UK – supported by PSC, War on Want and other organisations – will take to their campuses, in scores of events being organised as part of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). Please see the IAW website for an event near you. If you are in a student group and are planning events for IAW, please contact us for free materials.

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