Opinion: Crisis in the Middle East-Palestinian Freedom in Jeopardy

Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the state has used legislation, military orders, administrative decisions, and other state-sponsored instruments to displace Palestinians. These instruments dispossess Palestinians of their properties, often using security as a pretext, while restricting Palestinian construction.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister who is under investigation over allegations of abuse of office, met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Feb. 15, to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and security in the Middle East.

Trump’s administration suggested that a solution to the conflict may not come in the form of two independent states, making it difficult to envision the U.S. taking any action against the settlement enterprise.

Following this, in what seemed to be a major break with former U.S. policy that positioned itself firmly against the building of Israeli settlements, Trump’s first and slightly critical statement about the settlements was that he did not consider settlements as a “good thing for peace.”

The rise of the right in Israel and beyond, particularly in the United States, is helping Israel’s colonists seize more Palestinian land and displace more Palestinians from their homes.

Free Palestine rally in Cairo, Egypt
Photo provided by Wikimedia Commons

Nowhere has this land grab been more apparent than in the Israeli parliament’s passage of a law two weeks ago that will retroactively legalize 16 West Bank outposts that were built by Israeli settlers on private Palestinian land, which was illegal under Israeli law.

Unfortunately, U.S. President Donald Trump has given Israel several encouraging signs to accelerate its project of colonial expansion. And, since Trump’s inauguration, Israel has approved the construction of more than 6,000 homes for Israeli citizens in the occupied Palestinian territories.

These aggressive and illegal actions continue to remove Palestinian families from their homes and demolish entire villages every day. My plea to people is to see beyond misconceptions and biased media, to learn more, to see a world in which the pursuit of freedom for Palestinians from humiliation and persecution by the policies of Israel is a righteous cause.

As Nelson Mandela famously said, “South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free.”
So let’s make this happen.

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