The Deal of the Century Is an Act of Violence Against Palestinians
The U.S. government is using a “peace” plan to validate the Israeli right wing’s plans to cement their control over Palestinians for decades to come.
By Reina Sultan
In a CNN interview, Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor and son-in-law to President Trump, describes the so-called “Deal of the Century” as an opportunity to Palestinians. He says to reject this deal—which legitimizes illegal Israeli settlements and annexes all of Jerusalem to Israel—would be to “screw up another opportunity like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence.” According to Kushner, if the Palestinian people do not bow down to Netanyahu and the Trump administration, they “will have a very hard time looking at the international community in the face [and]… saying they have rights.”
True to their last three years in office, the Trump administration is saying the quiet part out loud. They are shouting their vitriol for Palestinians from the rooftops. Imagine going on CNN and saying with your whole chest that you think that if Palestinians don’t accept your deal, they don’t deserve rights. Now, the United States has long valued Israeli lives over those of Palestinians, but past administrations have upheld the global norm by not recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They at least pretended to be impartial. This administration does nothing of the sort.
I have written extensively on the horrors of the Israeli regime and the apartheid state in which Palestinians are forced to live. I’m not going to hash that out again in this piece. Here, I just want to say this:
The Deal of the Century is violence. There is no peace in this plan.
It is violence to deny the humanity of a people so much that you won’t even grant them the right to return to the homes they lost in wars, conflicts, and bulldozings. Who is the United States to broker such a deal anyway? Who are we to decide if Palestinians can return to their own land?
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It is violence to give Palestinians “a state” but keep that land under Israeli security control. Must Palestinians remain stateless in their own state? If yes, the United States continues to co-sign violence against the Palestinian people—as it has for the entirety of Israel’s existence. This time, the American government is using a peace plan to validate the Israeli right wing’s plans to cement their control over Palestinians for decades to come.
It is violence to expect Palestinians to be happy with this plan, to give up their righteous fight for freedom from oppression and from ethnic cleansing. To expect—like Jared Kushner does—Palestinians to quell their rage for a plan this lackluster is laughable. The Palestinian people and those of us who fight alongside them will not be giving up. Not now and not ever. Fifty billion dollars from the U.S. is not enough for Palestinians to condemn themselves and their children to a continuation of the bullshit they’ve had to endure for decades.
It is violence to call Palestinian self-determination a “fairytale” as Jared Kushner has. Why is it realistic for Israel to continue to seize Palestinian land? Why is it not a fairytale for the Israeli government—filled with war criminals—to control Jerusalem, a site of cultural and religious importance for people from all over the world?
It is past the time for American progressives to throw their weight behind the Palestinian cause. We must be loud about our opposition to this deal. We must reject the idea that the U.S. can impartially broker a deal between Israelis and Palestinians. We must not allow the plight of the Palestinian people to be ignored any longer, for fear that expressing solidarity with this particular oppressed group is too taboo.
But if y’all won’t say it, I will.
Fuck Trump. Fuck Netanyahu. Fuck this deal into the next century. Palestine will be free before then, InshAllah.
Reina Sultan (she/her) is a Lebanese-American Muslim woman working on gender and conflict issues at her nine to five. A California native, she enjoys the beach, the sun, and complaining about the weather in D.C., where she now lives. Reina is passionate about smashing the patriarchy and eating the rich. Her work can also be found in Huffington Post, Rewire.News, and Rantt. Following @SultanReina on Twitter will provide you with endless hot takes and photos of Reina’s extremely cute cats.
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