Friday, December 23, 2016

Last Call For The No-State Solution, Con't

I've talked about David Friedman, Trump's odious ambassador to Israel pick before (a man whose literally single qualification for the job is the fact he's Trump's bankruptcy lawyer) but it's entirely another thing to hear just how frightening a departure Friedman is from diplomatic norms from somebody who's an expert on the situation like Emily L. Hauser.

It could be (and has been) argued that in choosing Friedman, Trump has merely removed the mask behind which U.S. policy and opinion have long hidden. Over the years American rhetoric has come to at least nominally acknowledge Palestinian rights and human dignity, with many beautiful words about peace and children who deserve to no longer live in fear, but U.S. policies have consistently belied these lovely words, unswervingly privileging (and facilitating) the official Israeli framing of the conflict as one in which Israel and Israel alone may determine the future of the region. 
Settlements are built and expanded, human rights abuses mount, and the occupation of what is internationally recognized as Palestinian land continues unrelentingly toward Israeli annexation of the West Bank, even as Israel insists that the Palestinians introduce no "preconditions" to peace negotiations. And then there's the Gaza Strip — which Israel maintains it no longer occupies, and yet the Israeli military is still somehow free to launch military incursions (and all-out wars) at will, as well as strictly controlling the comings and goings of Gaza's 1.8 million residents, along with much of their food and supplies
With the understanding that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a war, and that in war all sides commit unforgivable acts (I have reported on suicide bombings in which I could very well have been among the dead), we conveniently ignore the fact that one side of this conflict maintains one of the world's most powerful militaries, and the other lives under the daily control of the first in a U.S.-enabled military occupation. Stated baldly, the subtext of American actions and policies has always been that Palestinians just don't matter very much. 
This is what the Friedman pick makes manifest. Not that successive U.S. governments have lacked the political will to facilitate the establishment of a secure peace for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples — that's as apparent as the map on your wall — but rather that in the American zeitgeist, Palestinians are second-class humans.

And given Trump and who he has surrounded himself with, this toxic realpolitik that the world consists of either Trump friends or second-class humans should surprise exactly nobody. Friedman's selection clearly indicates that Palestinians and much of the Muslim world falls into that latter category.

There's a reason Netanyahu ignored Obama completely this week and went to Trump to help kill a UN resolution on Israeli settlements.  He considers the Palestinians to be less than human himself. Of course he's going to be much happier dealing with Trump.

Oh, and simply replace "Palestinians" here with "liberals" and this view neatly governs Trump's domestic policy as well.

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