PSC stands with the Palestinian people whose collective rights are under attack in Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century”. Trump’s plan, the first stage of which was launched this week, centres on the notion that the Palestinian people can be persuaded to give up their struggle for freedom, justice and equality in exchange for promises of large scale investment to improve their economic wellbeing. Although Jared Kushner has indicated that part 2 of the US plan will address proposed political solutions, the framework has already been mapped out on the ground. The US moving its embassy to Jerusalem signalled the intent to deny the Palestinian right to a capital. Cutting funding to UNRWA and supporting Israel’s efforts to remove refugee status from the descendants of Palestinians expelled in 1948 and 1967 signals an intention to defy international law and permanently deny the right of return, leaving the majority of the Palestinian people trapped in a permanent exile. Ambassador Friedman’s endorsement of Netanyahu’s plan to annex the illegal settlements in the West Bank signals an intention to deny the Palestinians any viable state.
The Palestinian struggle cannot be solved by promises of large sums of cash. It is about the achievement of justice and rights. The Kushner document seeks to regard the Palestinians as individuals with economic needs and not a people with collective rights. Whilst Palestinians want to prosper and live ordinary lives in common with people across the world, they know that they cannot do so until Israel’s illegitimate control over their lives is ended. They seek liberation; not to be made more comfortable in their chains.
The UK government, and all of those who recognise that there is no route to peace that is not paved upon the upholding of international law and respect for human rights, must reject this plan. Israel will not end its occupation unless pressured to do so by the international community. The UK needs to act to end its complicity via the financial and diplomatic support that sustains the oppression of the Palestinian people, starting with an end to all trade with illegal settlements and an end to the 2-way arms trade with Israel.