Forget the normalization efforts of Gulf state oligarchies. As the South African struggle against apartheid showed it is the power of ordinary people that matters.
The deals with the UAE and Bahrain show Israel’s economic power and favor in Washington–and expose its persecution of Palestinians in the name of “the one and only Jewish state,” as Netanyahu describes his country.
On Tuesday, September 15, Donald Trump will host a ceremonial signing of deals to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain. Activists will gather to protest these deals which are not about peace but about furthering Israel’s systems of occupation and apartheid. The protest will be led by a coalition of over 50 Palestinian rights organizations and groups, many of which are led by Palestinian Americans and Arab Americans.
The Bahrain-Israel deal is significant because the kingdom is a virtual protectorate of the Saudis. There are serious concerns that a Saudi involvement with Israel will only lead to further tightening of measures against the Palestinian cause. And Iran will rise in prestige in Palestinian global affairs.
The latest recognition deal is clearly a win for Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump — but it could provoke popular resistance inside Bahrain, where a democratic movement was put down in 2011 with the assistance of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s neighbor and boss.
Jared Kushner’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ economic plan mirrors those that have been presented from the Oslo period onwards. So why is Palestinian leadership so resistant to, and outraged by, this particular plan? David Joseph Deutch says it is because “one avenue claimed to lead to liberation, while lining the pockets of a PNA connected elite. The other promises perpetual occupation, with peace dividends for international investors.”
The absurdity of the Trump economic plan is that it tries to fix the Palestinian economy while completely ignoring the primary reason the Palestinian economy is failing — the occupation.
Mustafa Barghouti talks with Mondoweiss about the Trump administration’s Bahrain economic summit and “deal of the century.” “Everything they’ve done, and everything they’ve declared, shows they are trying to kill the two-state solution and the rights of Palestinians to have a state of their own,” Barghouti says. “They advocate sustaining occupation and apartheid.”
Jared Kushner unveiled over the weekend the first part of his widely criticized “deal of the century”, drawing ire from Palestinian leaders and sparking protests in cities across Gaza and the West Bank.