Children roll tires as they run along the Israeli barrier in the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
The Israeli barrier separation barrier in East Jerusalem, a symbol of division and repression on the West Bank. Reuters

The Trump administration is trying to divide us by claiming the Palestinian leadership is preventing economic growth



A year ago, the Trump administration decided to recognise the illegal Israeli annexation of occupied Jerusalem and move the US embassy to Jerusalem, in violation of its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 478.

These illegal steps have shattered Palestinian efforts to engage with the US for nearly a year, when several meetings took place. Throughout this period, Donald Trump's team refused to even utter the terms "Palestinian rights" or "Palestinian state" – precisely in keeping with hardcore Zionists, who do not believe Israelis and Palestinians are entitled to the same rights. To believe in equality, however, is significant in the realisation of peace.

For more than a year, the Trump administration has been talking about a plan. Meanwhile, the international community, notably in Europe, has refrained from taking any significant action to hold Israel accountable or to protect the Palestinian people.

_______________

Jason Greenblatt: Palestinians deserve better than calcified position that have failed to bring peace or jobs

_______________

What has become clear, therefore, is that if the Trump administration has any plan, then it is being implemented on the ground: from the recognition of Israel's sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem, the US refusal to endorse the two-state solution according to 1967 borders, the ongoing attempts to dismantle UNRWA and kill the rights of Palestinian refugees, and the avoidance of any reference to the occupation, or condemnation of Israel's colonial settlements.

It’s utterly despicable that those illegal settlements, considered war crimes under the Rome Statute, are now ironically referred to as “examples of co-existence”. Our rights are thus further ignored, including our right to self-determination.

Additionally, the US has imposed a policy of collective punishment against Palestinians by defunding hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem that cater to the needs of cancer patients, among others.

For the Trump administration, the solution to ending Israel's occupation is to buy the Palestinian right to national independence. Such a "solution" is no more than a transaction. In reality, once we realise our freedom and take control of our imports, exports and natural resources, among other essential attributes of a normal state, the economy would flourish and prosper in a free Palestine.

As such, economic desperation is seen by the Trump administration as an opportunity to force Palestinians to normalise Israel’s occupation, to legitimise its settlements and its whole system of oppression. The administration has been trying to divide Palestinians by claiming that the Palestinian leadership is preventing economic growth. However, there is a consensus among our people that the primary responsibility for our grave financial situation is the Israeli occupation.

According to conservative estimates released a few years ago by our Ministry of Economy, up to 80 per cent of our GDP gets wasted in “costs of the occupation”. This reflects costs we shoulder due to lack of access to natural resources, roads and international borders.

Figures from the World Bank have been consistent in confirming the huge losses our economy bears - at least $3.4 billion annually – for not being able to access the 61 per cent of the occupied West Bank known as Area C that is under full Israeli control.

Tourism – what some people refer to as the “oil” of the Palestinian state – has been monopolised by Israel, with Palestinians receiving only minimum gains from it.

At Christmas, Bethlehem remains a bantustan surrounded by 18 illegal settlements, separated from Jerusalem by an annexation wall and with the Palestinian government only able to operate in 13 per cent of the district. So the question is: what economic opportunities is the US administration talking about?

We do have abundant resources and great potential. We are a highly educated people, who have been able to showcase capacity, taking leading roles in developing economies and institutions worldwide. It is precisely due to the Israeli occupation that we have been denied the possibility of being able to do the same in our homeland.

The Israeli occupation, in full communion with the Trump administration, sees our future as a closed market for Israeli companies. We see a free Palestine as part of a global economy for the benefit of the people of Palestine.

When asked to explain the illegal move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, ambassador David Friedman said: “The United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction. But, I hope you will agree with me that it feels awfully good that, for the first time in 2,000 years since the destruction of the Second Temple, the most powerful and moral nation on earth has made this important recognition of the primacy of Jerusalem to the state of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Such a statement summarises the ideological narrative of the administration, which can only resonate in the hearts of religious fundamentalists trying to turn our cause for national liberation from a colonial power into a holy war.

This year, the Palestinian people marked 70 years since the Nakba and 51 years since the 1967 occupation. Our resilience has kept our cause and determination alive.

The Trump administration has tried to defeat a nation struggling for freedom by extortion and blackmail but it will never succeed. As Washington rewards Israel for its occupation, justifies the killing of civilians and blames Palestinian victims for their plight, the Israeli government has taken further steps, including the approval of its Jewish nation-state law that endorses Israel as an apartheid state.

Is this the “plan”? If not, then at least it’s the direction the Trump administration has been leaning towards.

Dr Saeb Erekat is the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian chief negotiator

Barbie

Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: N2 Technology

Founded: 2018

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Startups

Size: 14

Funding: $1.7m from HNIs

The specs: 2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet

Price, base: Dh429,090

Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission Seven-speed automatic

Power 510hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque 700Nm @ 1,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 9.2L / 100km

Super Mario Bros Wonder

Developer: Nintendo EPD
Publisher: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Switch
Rating: 4/5

Manchester United v Liverpool

Premier League, kick off 7.30pm (UAE)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

The National Archives, Abu Dhabi

Founded over 50 years ago, the National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the UAE, and is the oldest and richest archive relating to the Arabian Gulf.

Much of the material can be viewed on line at the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive - https://www.agda.ae/en

Korean Film Festival 2019 line-up

Innocent Witness, June 26 at 7pm

On Your Wedding Day, June 27 at 7pm

The Great Battle, June 27 at 9pm

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion, June 28 at 4pm

Romang, June 28 at 6pm

Mal Mo E: The Secret Mission, June 28 at 8pm

Underdog, June 29 at 2pm

Nearby Sky, June 29 at 4pm

A Resistance, June 29 at 6pm 

 

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 1 (Fernandes pen 2') Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Ndombele 4', Son 7' & 37' Kane (30' & pen 79, Aurier 51')

Man of the match Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Three ways to limit your social media use

Clinical psychologist, Dr Saliha Afridi at The Lighthouse Arabia suggests three easy things you can do every day to cut back on the time you spend online.

1. Put the social media app in a folder on the second or third screen of your phone so it has to remain a conscious decision to open, rather than something your fingers gravitate towards without consideration.

2. Schedule a time to use social media instead of consistently throughout the day. I recommend setting aside certain times of the day or week when you upload pictures or share information. 

3. Take a mental snapshot rather than a photo on your phone. Instead of sharing it with your social world, try to absorb the moment, connect with your feeling, experience the moment with all five of your senses. You will have a memory of that moment more vividly and for far longer than if you take a picture of it.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Lamsa

Founder: Badr Ward

Launched: 2014

Employees: 60

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: EdTech

Funding to date: $15 million

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos