“This whole hype over this ‘deal of the century,’ which is not a deal for anybody, is basically giving the final rubber stamp, a US rubber stamp, for Israel to go ahead and control all of Palestine and take all of the West Bank, or as much as it wants, and place Israeli sovereignty or recognize Israeli sovereignty on parts of the West Bank that have not yet been officially become part of Israeli sovereignty,” Peled, who is also the author of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” told Loud & Clear host Brian Becker on Monday.
“Palestinians have rightly said that they will have nothing to do with this,” Peled said.
Palestinians are rightfully skeptical of Washington’s mediator veneer. The Trump administration in late 2017 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, a claim by Israel that is in violation of international law. In addition, Trump’s so-called peace plan is expected to allow Israeli annexation of large chunks of the occupied West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also repeatedly promised to annex the Jordan Valley if re-elected in the March 2020 Israeli elections.
“All Palestine has been under Israeli control, colonized, settled by Israeli Jews. This is just adding another stamp of approval to kind of the final step, if you will. But the reality doesn’t change. We have 7 million Palestinians living in historic Palestine, what is now Israel, who have no rights. Depending on where they live precisely, their rights vary, but they basically have no rights, no access to resources; they are being killed and arrested and forced into exile every single day. Their lands are being confiscated, and again, there’s 5 million Palestinians living in refugee camps banned from returning … We can see that even the King of Jordan [Abdullah II] is saying that Jordan stands in opposition to this,” Peled added.
On Monday, Trump met separately with both Netanyahu and his rival, Blue and White coalition leader Benny Gantz, in the White House ahead of the deal’s reveal. That same day, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh vehemently expressed his rejection of the deal.
"We reject it, and we demand the international community not be a partner to it, because it contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights," Shtayyeh said, Al-Jazeera reported.
"It is nothing but a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause,” he added.
Monday is also the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in occupied Poland in 1945 by the Soviet Red Army, a day during which all victims of the Holocaust are remembered, including the roughly 6 million Jews killed in the Shoah.
According to Peled, the creation of Israel was not a result of the Holocaust, and Judaism and Zionism must be strictly separated.
“All the world leaders were in Jerusalem just a few days ago to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp … I think connecting Israel to the Holocaust is a big mistake. Israel was not a result of the Holocaust, and it’s not an answer to the Holocaust, and I think commemorating the Holocaust on stolen land where the bodies of innocent Palestinians are buried is a grave mistake. I think if we want to look at the appropriate response to the Holocaust, we can look at Jewish communities that have rebuilt themselves in Europe, in the US, in other places and are now thriving, whether they are orthodox, or secular or whatever the case may be,” he said.
“As the Holocaust was going on, as Jews were being murdered in Europe, Israel was planning and executing a campaign of recleansing and genocides in Palestine against the Palestinians. The Zionists were already there doing this. So, I don't think Israel is a response to a Holocaust,” Peled explained. Israel was formed as an independent state on May 14, 1948, but the conflict between Zionist settlers and Palestinians already living there preceded it by several decades.
“The Zionist movement was powerful. They had some very strong and well-spoken spokespeople traveling around the world, mostly to convince Jews and leaders of the world that Zionism was a good idea, and the result of that, we see today. I think it’s important that Zionism and Judaism are separated, that people understand these are two entirely different things. Opposing Zionism is something that many Jewish people always have done and still continue to do. And rejecting Israel has nothing to do with rejecting Jews … the conflation of Jews and Judaism with Zionism in Israel is a terrible mistake,” Peled continued.
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