Hadash together with Israeli peace movements will be holding a demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” in Dizengoff Square in central Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, February 1, at 7 pm.
The call to protest came following the White House’s unveiling on Tuesday, January 28, of Trump’s imperialist deal which, according to the American leader, will enshrine Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and enable Israeli sovereignty in parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
During the press conference held in conjunction with the ceremony orchestrated to announce the Trump administration’s plan, far-right Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in Washington that he will bring the annexation of the Jordan Valley and all West Bank settlements to a vote in the next meeting of the Israeli cabinet, scheduled for Sunday, February 2.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told those gathered at the press conference that Israel can move forward on annexation whenever it wishes. Asked if Israel must wait to annex settlements that would be part of the Jewish state under the plan, Friedman told reporters: “No, Israel does not have to wait at all.”
Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, called the US proposal “a targeted assassination of the two-state solution.” He told Channel 12 news: “The important thing is that the two peoples living here and their leaders come to an agreement; not the unscrupulous Trump and corrupt Netanyahu sitting in the White House and deciding for everyone.” Fellow Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen added that the US president has become a servant to Netanyahu’s whims, calling Trump “the chairman of Likud — White House branch.” Yet another Hadash parliamentarian, MK Ofer Cassif, slammed the “Deal of the Century” saying it is not a peace plan, “but a plan for war.” Cassif added that all Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal and, using a term from South African history, said they “create Palestinian Bantustans.”
Ten Bantustans, a word in Afrikaans which means “black homeland,” were created during the apartheid era to serve as a “national homes” for their respective black populations, who would loose their South African citizenship and voting rights upon gaining political “independence,” thereby allowing whites to remain in control of South Africa. The creation of the homelands or Bantustans was a central element of this demographically-driven strategy, as the long-term goal was to make each Bantustan “independent.” The term Bantustan became a politically loaded one, and while some black-ruled zones were in fact declared “independent” during apartheid, such independence was widely understood to be a hoax. In 1994, when apartheid was abolished, these zones were again incorporated into the South African state. Cassif warned that the Trump plan will make “the apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories an official part of Israeli law.”
Earlier in the day, MK Odeh decided to react to developments in Washington on Twitter in what he termed a parody of Trump’s language on the president’s favorite social media: “Bad deal. VERY BAD. No peace with Annexation. CORRUPT BIBI doesn’t want peace. CHEATING TRUMP doesn’t want peace. They only care about immunity!!! Sad.”
Odeh, the leader of the third-largest bloc in Israel’s parliament, characterized the timing of the deal’s release as a bid to divert attention from domestic issues in the US and Israel. “Trump’s annexation plan is blatant pro-Netanyahu intervention in the Israeli elections,” Odeh told Time magazine. “It is clear that the real deal of the century is between a president facing impeachment and a prime minister facing corruption trials.”
Peace Now issued on Tuesday evening a press release in response to the just unveiled American plan, in which the organization said Netanyahu and Trump are displaying to the entire world “a charade of trickery and removal from reality.” The Israeli NGO called both leaders “corrupt politicians who have taken peace as a hostage in their get-away plan, [but] no peace will result from this.”
According to Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “The reality on the ground is already one of complete Israeli control over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and everyone living in it. It is a reality of a single, inherently undemocratic, state. Therefore, the main change today is that Israel and the Trump administration are taking a further step in laying bare their intention to perpetuate this reality. This clarity significantly reduces the gap between the situation as it is, and the euphemistic terms used to describe it. What hasn’t changed today? Tomorrow, there will still be 14 million people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, five million of them Palestinian subjects who have no political rights. In addition, all of us here, in one way or another, will remain under the rule of the same government in Jerusalem, a government that works relentlessly to advance the supremacy of one people at the expense of the other, while continually trampling the rights of the latter. And the future? What the Palestinians are being offered right now is not rights or a state, but a permanent state of apartheid. No amount of marketing can erase this disgrace or blur the facts. However, the painful facts of today give rise to hope for the future, the only future that can genuinely offer peace. A future not based on supremacy for some and oppression for others, but on full equality, liberty, dignity and rights for all.”
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