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Trump State Dep’t describes Palestine as part of Israel

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Yesterday, Trump’s State Department characterized Palestine as part of Israel, seeming to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire West Bank.

Said Arikat, a reporter for the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, asked State spokesperson Robert Palladino about US service to Palestinians once the U.S. consulate is merged with the embassy in South Jerusalem, reportedly next month.

Palladino assured Arikat that the U.S. will still be involved with “all of Israel.”

ARIKAT: On the 4th of March the U.S consulate in… Jerusalem will close its doors after 175 years. The Palestinians, who have always gone to the consulate over these 175 years to get visas, to do their affairs to emigrate to America, look after things and so on, will no longer be able to do that. Do you have any comment on that? Breaking a strong and deeply rooted American tradition.

PALLADINO: We have an embassy in Jerusalem, as you know, and we have active involvement in all of Israel from our embassy.

The State Department under Trump has generally characterized the occupied Palestinian territories of Golan, West Bank and Gaza as outside Israeli sovereignty and said that even Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is subject to negotiations.

Former ambassador Daniel Shapiro told Jewish Insider that the consolidation of the embassy and consulate is part of the “slide toward a binational state” and a threat to the supposed two-state solution:

“Finalizing the merger before rolling out the peace plan is an indicator that Trump is not pursuing a two-state solution. That’s a mistake. It accelerates the slide toward a binational state.”

Palladino would seem to be affirming that stance: There is one state between the river and the sea.

The question of a Palestinian state has not been an issue in the Israeli elections, though Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to portray his chief rival, Benny Gantz, as a supporter of withdrawing from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and Gantz has denied that charge, saying merely that he wouldn’t build settlements “wildly” and thereby foil diplomatic initiatives. (He is reported to favor offering Palestinians “a West Bank-based state without the Jordan Valley or Jerusalem and, if they refuse, to withdraw unilaterally,” per Yossi Alpher).

Palladino also dodged the question of evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem to make way for illegal Jewish settlers. He’s aware of the story, but is obviously indifferent:

Arikat: On the 17th, the Israeli army removed a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem, in the Old City, and they immediately replaced them by settlers. Does that bother you? I mean, your ally the UK issued a statement condemning this action. And at what point does it become ethnic cleansing? When there’s 10 homes or 20 homes or 30 homes? In your view.

PALLADINO: I’m aware of that report but I don’t have any further details on it, so I would refer you to the Government of Israel on that.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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13 Responses

  1. JWalters on February 20, 2019, 5:56 pm

    More evidence of the extremely compliant behavior of the US government toward Israel in this rundown of US money to Israel (from an evangelical Christian who is trying to awaken his flock). The first 50 minutes.
    “Was Ilhan Omar Right About the Influence of AIPAC on US Politics?”

    Not only does Israel get an absurd amount of money by multiple yardsticks, but the details of how Israel gets the money are further packed with benefits to Israel from the US taxpayer.

    Other foreign aid recipients get their yearly amount in several installments. Israel gets its money in a lump sum at the start of the year.

    Further, the US borrows the money to give to Israel. It goes into debt to a bank. Israel is running a surplus, and not needing the money at the moment, deposits it in a bank and starts collecting interest. Israel deposits it in the same bank the US borrowed it from, so the bank is glad for the business.

    (The bank is the Federal Reserve Bank, which is a private bank owned by several other private banks, and with a loose relationship to the Federal government.)

  2. RoHa on February 21, 2019, 12:06 am

    “It accelerates the slide toward a binational state.”

    Keep sliding.

  3. brent on February 21, 2019, 2:08 am

    Civil and human rights are necessary for a one-state solution. How can they be achieved if Trump pushes for a binational state?

    • Boomer on February 21, 2019, 5:25 am

      Are you familiar with the history of the American South for a century after the American Civil War? Or the history of what happened to Native Americans?

    • RoHa on February 21, 2019, 7:50 pm

      I wouldn’t expect a Trumpian “binational” state to include civil and human rights for the Arab part of the population. It would be, at best, an apartheid state. But unless the Israeli Jews go in for large-scale slaughter or further ethnic cleansing (and I wouldn’t bet against either of those) the pressure of numbers would eventually lead to the end of the apartheid.

      • echinococcus on February 21, 2019, 9:41 pm

        “But unless the Israeli Jews go in for large-scale slaughter or further ethnic cleansing (and I wouldn’t bet against either of those) the pressure of numbers would eventually lead to the end of the apartheid”
        //
        Can you point to any evidence for such an ineluctable development? The pressure of numbers doesn’t seem to operate much in this sense. Everytime we note a development worth noting, as in South Africa, India, etc. it’s the pressure of bloody struggle, assisted often by that of external wars, crumbling economy, etc. As for the pressure that will get the Zionist massacre scale up to good old European standard, it wouldn’t amount to a twisted arm.

      • RoHa on February 22, 2019, 12:57 am

        Perhaps that was a bit Pollyannaish, but it was an expression of the cheerful, sunny, Panglossian, optimistic nature that I am famous for.
        Such dour cynicism as yours is so foreign to me that I found it hard to consider it.

  4. Boomer on February 21, 2019, 5:20 am

    And in France, another defeat for Palestinians, and for those who support them:

    “The French government will adopt an international organization’s definition of anti-Semitism and propose a law to reduce hate speech from being circulated online, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday. . . . Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” the French leader said in Paris at the dinner of Jewish umbrella organization CRIF.”

    https://www.voanews.com/a/france-to-adopt-international-definition-of-anti-semitism/4797267.html

    • Talkback on February 21, 2019, 9:09 am

      Boomer: “And in France, another defeat for Palestinians, and for those who support them:”

      Why is that a defeat? The term “antizionism” is a Zionist term. Nobody can go wrong with supporting international and human rights law, the right to equality, condemning Apartheid, etc.

      “Antizionism” has become a Zionist trap/honey pot.

      • eljay on February 21, 2019, 10:32 am

        Zionists despise and work tirelessly to discredit or destroy people who advocate justice, equality and respect for human rights and international laws with respect to I-P.

        Additionally, by routinely and anti-Semitically conflating Zionism and its colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist project with all Jews, Zionists seem perfectly willing to sacrifice all Jews at the altar of their hateful and immoral ideology.

        These facts should be a lot more disturbing to a lot more people than they currently seem to be.

      • Talkback on February 21, 2019, 11:43 am

        Try to “antisemite” this:

        “How to build an opposition: Lessons from South African Apartheid

        What can the Israeli left learn from South Africa? Instead of trying to defeat its right-wing rivals, the opposition should propose a platform of equality and humanism.”
        https://972mag.com/south-africas-apartheid-can-teach-israeli-opposition/140231/

        That’s the beauty about promoting equality and humanism. You don’t even have to talk about Zionism or Jews. Only Zionism does to justify its anti-egalitarian and inhumane exceptionalism.

  5. Jejasalo on February 21, 2019, 3:24 pm

    I’m not surprised that the State Department is now including Palestine in Israel. Much like the US embassy move to Jerusalem, the US is only formalizing what has been its de facto policy anyway. That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.

    Such actions only demand even greater protest from (especially) Jewish Americans and a European Union that can act more independently toward Israel especially where international bodies like the UN are concerned. [I think they have become slightly better]

    What bothers me more than anything is that news like this never – or rarely – makes it into the major newspapers here—to say nothing of TV news.

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