JJP are calling on the international community to stand together against Trump’s damaging interventions.
We are also lobbying in support of the United Nations Rapporteur’s report stating that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land has become illegal.
The JJP Lobby group is well into its winter lobbying round. We are meeting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the embassies of most of the EU member states, and embassies of other important states. Our main focus is seeking to persuade them to do all in their power to oppose President Trump’s appallingly biased interventions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His December announcement “recognizing” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is well known. He said “Jerusalem” not East Jerusalem, and also said that America would not seek to prescribe the city’s boundaries or the contours of a peace agreement. With those casual statements, he gave America’s blessing to Israel, under its present government, to keep as much of Jerusalem and the West Bank as it wants, because he knows full well that Netanyahu and his allies have no intention of agreeing a fair resolution of the conflict along the internationally legitimate lines. In also saying “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he was praising force over law.
Less well known, but even more damaging, is his “greatest ever deal”, to solve this most intractable conflict, which is now starting to surface in some press reports. While the reported details differ in some respects, the plan (see here, and here, and here) would essentially give the Palestinians only Areas A and B of the West Bank, possibly the small Abu Dis suburb of East Jerusalem as their “capital”, and Gaza (possibly enlarged with land given by Israel and Egypt).
The Palestinians would, of course, lose Area C, which comprises some 60% of the West Bank and contains almost all the good, arable West Bank land. Nothing has surfaced as to the planned status of the approximately 300,000 Palestinians who live in some 530 villages in Area C. The Israeli settlements are in Area C and would, or course, remain.
The plan is completely in right-wing Israel’s favour. It completely ignores international legitimacy, would be as unacceptable to the Palestinians as the loss of East Jerusalem, and would push the conflict into new and more dangerous waters.
No Palestinian leader could possibly negotiate on the basis of this plan. If Donald Trump really does proclaim it, then the next appalling questions are: what will Netanyahu do, and what will Trump support, when Abbas refuses to negotiate on the basis of the plan? Our guess is that Netanyahu’s government will implement it unilaterally, with Trump’s support. If that happens, the EU and major countries must do more than protest in words only.
We are also lobbying in support of the recent report of UN Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Professor Michael Lynk. He said that the Israeli occupation has become illegal in view of its duration and Israel’s self-evident intention to retain much of the occupied land. In that, he was reiterating the opinion of the previous rapporteur, Professor Richard Falk. Those two opinions are no more than a belated, official acknowledgement of the obvious. We are advocating that they provide a strong reason, in addition to that provided by last December’s Security Council Resolution 2334, for EU member states and other important states to ban the import of settlement goods into the EU and to take other steps to curtail relationships with Israel that legitimise the occupation.