Trump/Netanyahu plan is a disaster
Sir, – Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – Ireland (JVJP) stands side by side with the Palestinians who reject the Trump/Netanyahu so-called “peace” proposals.
As Jewish people living in Ireland, we condemn this plan unconditionally as a further violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people and join the many Jewish and Israeli voices who oppose it. These include Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Jews for Justice for Palestine (JFJFP), the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, and B’Tselem – the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights, which has called the “deal of the century” “not peace but apartheid”.
The proposals are a further step towards a repartition of Palestine and recognition of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israeli territory would expand to 85 per cent of the country, leaving the Palestinians, who are both the indigenous and majority population, with only 15 per cent of land. Palestinians are left with a sterile sliver of territory, not unlike the Bantustans of South Africa’s apartheid regime. These areas would be isolated from each other, have no border with the Arab states, no control and limited access to water and other vital resources, and face the loss of Jerusalem as a religious, cultural and political centre.
Donald Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu propose to deal with the refugee problem by refusing the right to return to Palestinians, yet few if any of the 700,000 illegal Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories will be removed, and control of the massive settlement blocks, highways and military bases remains with Israel in violation of international law.
This cynical plan, which has taken the spotlight off Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu, the latter being the first prime minister in Israeli history to be charged with crimes while in office, demands that Palestinians recognise the nation-state law, ie Israel as a “Jewish state”. As a commentator in the Guardian points out, “if Israeli citizens were constrained behind a wall, forced to use separate roads, had land confiscated for Palestinian housing, had draconian rules on movement and had the Hebrew language treated as inferior, they would take every possible form of action against their oppressors, and they would be right to do so”.
In response to this apartheid plan we call for: a ban on trade with Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestine; an end to the Irish arms trade with Israel and an end to EU funding of Israeli military manufacturers; free speech and protection of the right to engage in boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigning.
Finally, we assert our right, as Jewish people, to oppose the Israeli government’s ongoing human rights violations, its blatant disregard for international law and to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Israeli Zionism does not speak for us; no apartheid plan in our name! – Yours, etc,
Dr RONIT LENTIN,