With the release of the latest edition of the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ), devoted entirely to US President Donald Trump’s purported peace plan for the Middle East, the publishers are organizing a Zoom webinar to take place today, Thursday, May 14, from 16:00-17:30 (4:00-5:30 pm) Jerusalem time, 13:00-14:30 GMT, 9:00-10:30 am EDT in the US.
The discussion, bearing the title the “Steal of the Century,” a twist on what the US president initially dubbed the “Deal of the Century,” will focus on the Trump’s plan and the ramifications of the Israel far-right government’s intention to annex territory in the occupied West Bank under the imperialist umbrella of the United States. Participants in the meeting will be able to ask questions or make comments through Zoom’s chat window.
Speakers will include: Dr. Saeb Erekat, PLO Secretary General & Chief Negotiator; leading Communist Party of Israel member MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash – Joint List); Prof. Daniel Kurtzer, Princeton University, former US Ambassador to Israel and Egypt; and MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz). The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion expert and consultant for international policy and strategy.
Erekat said on Monday, May 11, that Ireland and Greece have expressed their rejection of Israel’s prospective move to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Erekat tweeted that he has conducted in-depth talks with Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveny, as well as with Greece’s foreign minister, Nikolaos Dendias. Both European diplomats called for ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and the implementation of the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, in line with international law.
Erekat added that the two European diplomats with whom he met expressed their firm rejection of Israel’s illegal plan to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the illegal colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank, an act that would be tantamount to their annexation. Coveny, the Irish FM, told Erekat that “annexation will destroy any chance of a negotiated agreement between Palestinians and Israelis.” Erekat indicated that the Greek FM Dendias also expressed opposition to the construction of Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank and Israel’s practice of apartheid against the Palestinian people.
According to the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition agreement, on July 1 the Knesset will be able to vote on the annexation of large swaths of the West Bank on the basis of the US imperialist Mideast plan, dubbed by Donald Trump as “The Deal of the Century,” which in fact endorses Israel’s longstanding policy of permanent occupation, colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people.
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has declared many times that, upon the formation of the new coalition government, he aims to annex the illegal colonial settlements in addition to the Jordan Valley, a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, which is home of some 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank,.
The annexation of Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 is illegal under international law, and it would put much of the occupied West Bank under Israeli sovereignty, leaving only a few small pockets of densely populated Palestinian Bantustans.
In addition, a meeting for European Union countries is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, to discuss Israeli plans to annex occupied Palestinian land. According to Al-Ittihad, the Arabic-language Communist daily newspaper, three European Union diplomats have said that France is urging its EU partners to consider threatening Israel with a tough response if it goes ahead with a de facto annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank,.
Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg also want to discuss the possibility of punitive economic measures during a foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday, May 15, the diplomats told Reuters, though all member states would have to agree to any collective action. An EU spokesman on Monday declined to comment on internal discussions but said: “Annexation is contrary to international law and if annexation goes ahead, the EU will act accordingly.” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in February that Trump’s plan departed from “internationally agreed parameters.” Borrell said that steps to annex Palestinian territory, “if implemented, could not pass unchallenged.”
To register in advance for the “Steal of the Century” Webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.