MK Touma-Sliman: “While Trump Has Power and Money, on Their Side the Palestinians Have Justice”

Senior officials in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office have said that, even if US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan is implemented, there will be no redrawing of Israel’s borders so that Arab towns in the Triangle region are “included in the future Palestine autonomy,” Channel 12 television news reported on Sunday, February 2.

Trump unveiled his imperialist scheme last week in Washington. Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stood next toTrump in the White House during the rollout, immediately indicated his support for the plan, but the Joint List, Hadash and Communist Party of Israel leadership emphatically rejected the proposal.

The Triangle region includes 14 towns and villages and his home to more than 260,000 Arab citizens of Israel. Residents of these locales have protested against the idea that one day they may be redefined as living in a new, so-called (by Trump) “Palestinian state.”

Joint List MKs lead a protest against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan in Baqa al-Gharbiya on Friday, February 1, 2020

Joint List MKs lead a protest against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan in Baqa al-Gharbiya on Friday, February 1, 2020 (Photo: Al-Ittihad)

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office told Channel 12 that the idea — referred to in the Trump plan as “a possibility” — is unrealistic because it requires agreement by all sides, something which is currently absent even for much more straightforward aspects of the plan. The officials, who were not identified in the report, said the proposed “citizenship transfer” is not critical for the Trump plan, and was only included because US researchers had conducted a survey that found the idea “was popular in Israel” (among Jews of a certain ilk). The officials speculated that another reason for its inclusion was to win support from racist Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman who has long advocated for such a citizenship transfer. On Saturday, Liberman praised the Trump plan’s Triangle proposal, saying he was thrilled that the White House was prepared to adopt a policy he has long touted.

Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) responded to the Channel 12 report by tweeting “Netanyahu was worried that the transfer clause will encourage Arab voters to go to the polls so he gave in.” “He is again proving that nothing scares him more than the Arabs in the voting booth,” Odeh wrote.

Last weekend, thousands of Arabs demonstrated in the Triangle and the Galilee against the Trump plan in general and specifically against the transfer clause. On Saturday night, thousands of Jews and Arabs protested in central Tel Aviv, against Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” The demonstrators gathered in Dizengoff Square and marched from there to Ibn Gvirol Avenue. Following the procession a rally was held. Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) told the crowd that she now knew what it felt like “before the Nakba in 1948; that something bad is about to happen.” Yet Touma-Sliman said that she remains optimistic, because while Trump has “power and money, the Palestinians have justice on their side.”