PRESIDENT Trump and the Israeli leader Netanyahu are set to meet in Washington today just as hundreds of US rabbis have signed an open letter to Trump condemning the appointment of David Friedman as the United States’ ambassador to Israel, describing him as an ‘extremist’.
The open letter condemns Friedman’s fervent support for Israel’s massive settlement activities in the West Bank and his strong opposition to the ‘two-state solution’. The letter states: ‘Mr Friedman’s pro-settler positions and opposition to the two-state solution are in conflict with our views and the majority of American Jews who see settlement expansion as an obstacle to peace and who strongly support a two-state solution.’
They called his views not representative of American society, and his general behaviour unbefitting of an envoy. Friedman has already caused massive controversy by saying that he plans to work at ‘the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem,’ effectively wiping Palestine and the Palestinian people off the map.
Before taking off for Washington on Monday, Netanyahu said the US-Israel alliance is ‘about to get even stronger’ during the ‘Trump era’. Speaking in English shortly before boarding the plane for the US, Netanyahu said: ‘President Trump and I see eye-to-eye on the dangers emanating from the region, but also on the opportunities. And we’ll talk about both, as well as upgrading the relations between Israel and the United States in many, many fields.’
At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked urged Netanyahu to end his public support for Palestinian statehood, and argued that Trump’s term in the White House offers a unique opportunity to do so. The Trump administration, he reportedly said, was indeed friendlier to Israel than that of Barack Obama, but would not tolerate unlimited construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Netanyahu is said to have cautioned ministers not to push Israel into a confrontation with the US president.
‘Trump believes in a deal and in running peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,’ the prime minister was quoted as saying. ‘We should be careful and not do things that will cause everything to break down. We mustn’t get into a confrontation with him.’
On Thursday, Trump for the first time criticised settlements, in an interview with the Israel Hayom daily. ‘Settlements’, Trump said, ‘don’t help the peace process.’ He added: ‘Every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left. But we are looking at that, and we are looking at some other options we’ll see. But no, I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace.’ It seems that the talks will be two-tier.
The first will be a cementing of the anti-Iranian alliance with the US, giving Israel further free military firepower to strengthen its alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf feudal states for war to drive back the Iranian revolution. The second may well see a new form of talks with the Palestinians to see how much more of Palestine can be stolen from the Palestinian people without a major war, with the support of financial ‘aid’ for the Palestinians from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
The Palestinian masses on the 100th anniversary of the UK’s ‘Balfour Declaration’ are in no mood to accept any minor, petty concessions; and are determined that 2017 will be the year that they establish their state with Jerusalem as its capital on land free from all Israeli settlements, and to which all Palestinians have the right to return.
The last six months have seen an undeclared Israeli war on the Palestinian masses to rob them of more of their land and demolish many more of their homes, killing and injuring thousands of Palestinian youth in the process, with arrogant Zionist ministers declaring that the Gaza Strip is the Palestinian state, the rest is to be annexed by Israel.
The Palestinian masses will not accept more useless talks just to give the US and Israel more room to manoeuvre against Iran. They will mount a workers and peasants revolution, that must have the support of the working people of the world, who must give all moral and material support to the Palestinians to win their struggle!