There are many ways in which the impending disaster of further Israeli annexation and dispossession can be countered and transformed into opportunities.
The occupation is almost invisible when you drive from Jaffa to the Dead Sea. The Palestinian population has been increasingly pushed into little enclaves so Jewish Israelis can build luxury homes and swimming pools on top of our hills and over our olive-tree orchards, Emad Moussa writes.
Danny Danon says he represents all Jews, not just Israel, at the United Nations. And the Bible gives the Jews rights to the West Bank. “We do have biblical rights to the land. This is our deed to the land. That’s biblical.”
From lock down inside of Hebron Badia Dwaik writes, “While we do not know when Netanyahu will resume his annexation bid, our crisis is not over.”
Dennis Ross says Netanyahu is deluded about Joe Biden’s potential support for annexation. “[Netanyahu’s] view of the gains unfortunately is not very real. You only establish an international baseline if in fact everyone is prepared to adjust to it. Now maybe if Trump has a second term, there is more of an impulse to adjust to it. But if Trump doesn’t have a second term, no one else internationally of any meaning is going to recognize this new baseline. And if Joe Biden comes in and says, ‘I was opposed to it, I still believe in the two-state outcome, I want negotiations, I saw what Trump did was antithetical to achieving that, so we’re not recognizing that as a baseline…”
Annexation was advanced in the U.S. “peace plan” by Ambassador David Friedman, says Palestinian member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi: “The most dangerous figure pushing for this annexation is the American ambassador… Friedman.. He is the most dangerous, and he is to the right of Netanyahu, he is much more Yemina and Settler Council than Likud even. He is playing a very, very dangerous role.”
Dedicated Zionists from Robert Satloff to Martin Indyk to Dennis Ross say annexation threatens the future of the Jewish state because it will alienate Europe and the Democratic Party; but AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby org, says not a word, foretelling a chaotic scramble for power inside the Israel lobby, with J Street and youth groups gaining ascendancy.
Trump wants Israel “to move forward with annexation to create a wedge issue visavis Joe Biden and the Democratic Party [to have] a hard political tool to use against Democrats in a very tight election. We all remember last summer the brouhaha that Trump created over the potential visit of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to Israel and accusing the Democratic Party of being leftwing radicals,” Israeli journalist Neri Zilber tells J Street webinar.
Why is Trump lying down for Israeli annexation of West Bank even as global chorus condemns it? He needs what could be $200 million from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson for election. He has delivered for the largest Republican donors again and again, from moving embassy, to tearing up Iran deal, to attacking the ICC.
Israel is about to jeopardize its support in the Democratic Party by annexing parts of West Bank, but Netanyahu is going ahead evidently with Trump’s blessing. And a fire set by the Israeli military in Jordan Valley last week shows the plan to confiscate more Palestinian land, says journalist Alex Fishman of Ynet on call with Israel Policy Forum.