Three weeks ago we reported that Hanan Ashrawi‘s visa application had been delayed, and she could not join an event in the U.S. Now the word is official, the longtime Palestinian legislator/negotiator has been denied. From Ashrawi’s twitter feed:
It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given. Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance…
Potential reasons she gives in that thread:
I’ve always struggled for human rights and against corruption… I’ve been a vocal critic of this administration & its underlings… I despise hypocrisy, misogyny, absolutist fundamentalism, populism, racism of all kinds, exclusivity, arrogance & condescension, power politics & militarism, cruelty in any form, & any sense of entitlement & exceptionalism; Most of all, I have no tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations as a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession & denial
Matt Lee reports that the State Department provided no details on why it rejected Ashrawi only saying that it does not do so on the basis of political beliefs.
Ashrawi’s denial is a landmark event signalling the death of the two-state solution, says Ed Abington, former US consul in Jerusalem under Clinton and adviser to the Palestinian Authority and a former American point-man on the Oslo accords. Abington writes on Facebook [I’ve inserted paragraph breaks]:
I have known and worked with [Ashrawi] for twenty-five years. She is a fierce opponent of occupation but a strong believer in civil resistance and negotiations to end occupation.
I think it is absolutely clear that the decision to deny her a visa was made in the White House, by the Trump team, Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman. I think it is becoming clear what the Trump group’s game plan is. Punish the Palestinians as much as they can, thinking that might force them to accept a totally disastrous deal. Knowing the Palestinians won’t agree to that, even if the Saudis and other Arabs pressure them, then set the stage for a “justified” Israeli annexation of much of the West Bank.
The two state solution is dead. Palestinians have to move on and press for equal rights in a unitary state. That will take a generation, if not longer, but I see no alternative. And if you have the time or inclination, read the comments to Dr. Ashrawi’s tweet from what I assume are Americans. Many are vile and racist. One can only assume they are from the fundamentalist supporters of Trump. Absolutely disgusting.
Abington’s view is consistent with the view of a French diplomat that the Kushner plan demands that Palestinians “surrender” to Israeli control of the West Bank, but that they would sooner commit suicide.
H/t Ofer Neiman.