Israel’s annexation plan for West Bank
Sir, – The Trump administration’s so-called peace plan is a pacification plan.
Effectively, it invites the Palestinians to agree definitively to their own humiliation, to place themselves in the straitjacket that Israel and the United States have prepared for them, and to confine whatever tiny movement they are then capable of to the space marked out for them.
They will of course then be free to negotiate on the colour of the straitjacket and to call their condition a state of freedom.
Where is the hope for Palestinians? Suzanne Lynch notes that some relatively radical grassroots Democrats are breaking through in the US (“Rise of black candidates shows change is coming to Democratic Party”, News, June 26th). Jamaal Bowman, discreetly critical of Israel, is almost certain to take Eliot Engel’s seat in New York. Mr Engel, an uncritical endorser of the West Bank settlement process, and almost indistinguishable from John Bolton as a cheerleader for war, was of course endorsed by Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.
Little can be expected of a Democratic administration, even if Donald Trump fails to retain the presidency. What minor reservations are expressed about Israeli policies and practices will allow Israel to continue a slower and politer suffocation of the possibility of Palestinian autonomy.
Similar minor reservations may be expressed by the European Union, and by European members of the UN Security Council, but this should not impede the continued blurring of the line between settlement products and those from Israel proper, and it should not impede the continuation or renewal of trade, research and military agreements into the future.
Meanwhile, even setting aside (as is routine) the unfortunate more or less imprisoned population of Gaza, the interests of half a million Israeli settlers on the West Bank (with the massive military, “legal” and administrative machine that supports them and oppresses Palestinians) will outweigh those of millions of Palestinians. Palestinian lives will not matter.
While we cannot expect the fields of international politics and ethics to overlap, we should ask major political and religious groupings in countries that have friendly relations with Israel to face up to the ethical dimension of the annexation process and the complete dismissal of ordinary Palestinian lives, culture and rights that it entails. – Yours, etc,
BARRA Ó SEAGHDHA,