Home/Daniel Larison/Trump’s ‘Vision’: Occupation Now, Occupation Forever

Trump’s ‘Vision’: Occupation Now, Occupation Forever

Sheena Anne Arackal explains very well how the Trump administration’s plan formalizes a system of apartheid at the expense of the Palestinians:

Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan physically and politically separates Palestinians by placing them within a non-contiguous homeland (Areas A and B and Gaza), and declaring them citizens of that homeland. Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan grants the Palestinian homeland autonomy over civil matters like education and healthcare, while critical areas such as trade, immigration, and security will remain under Israeli control. Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan is political sleight of hand: a thinly veiled attempt to claim that Israel, a state that rules over roughly the same number of Jews and Palestinians, is actually a Jewish-majority state. Also like apartheid South Africa, the Trump administration claims the homelands are a temporary solution. Once the indigenous population proves itself ready for self-governance they will one day be granted something that resembles a state.

Trump’s annexation and apartheid plan destroys any remaining illusions that a “two-state solution” is still possible, and it proposes a Palestinian “state” that possesses none of the qualities of an independent state. It mockingly carves out a separate territory that would exist to contain and control the Palestinian population while denying them their political and economic rights, and this territory would remain subjugated under Israeli rule by design. This reinforces everything outrageous and unjust under the current occupation, and it seeks to make sure that the occupation never ends. To add insult to injury, the supporters of the plan disingenuously present this as a boon to the very people that it oppresses.

Nathan Thrall observes that the Trump plan is the awful but predictable conclusion to a U.S. policy that has consistently favored Israel to the detriment of Palestinians:

The Trump plan, much like the decades-long peace process that it crowns, gives Israel cover to perpetuate what is known as the status quo: Israel as the sole sovereign controlling the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, depriving millions of stateless people of basic civil rights, restricting their movement, criminalizing speech that may harm “public order,” jailing them in indefinite “administrative detention” without trial or charge, and dispossessing them of their land — all while congressional leaders, the European Union and much of the rest of the world applaud and encourage this charade, solemnly expressing their commitment to the resumption of “meaningful negotiations.”

Israel’s defenders like to say that Israel is being singled out, and they are right. Israel is the only state perpetuating a permanent military occupation, with discriminatory laws for separate groups living in the same territory, that self-identified liberals around the world go out of their way to justify, defend and even fund.

The only good thing that might come from the administration’s obscene plan is that it will make it impossible for a growing number of Americans to accept continued U.S. enabling of Israel’s illegal annexations, war crimes, and human rights abuses.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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