Palestinian observers and analysts agree that statements by US Envoy Jason Greenblatt to PBS that Israel is a victim and did not commit any mistakes, and that the occupied West Bank is a “disputed territory” and that illegal settlements in the occupied territories must have names of districts and towns, once again unequivocally confirmed Greenblatt’s blatant hostility towards the Palestinian people and their innate rights.
It also showcased his support for illegal occupation and disregard for freedom and justice, and thus the fig leaf has fallen off, revealing US bias towards Israel.
Observers believe that the unbridled enthusiasm of Greenblatt, Jared Kushner, adviser and son-in-law of the US president and David Friedman, the US ambassador in Israel, in supporting illegal occupation and their attempts to make settlements legitimate — contrary to UN resolutions and documents — raises many questions about what this US administration really wants.
Washington’s position on the Palestinian issue and other global conflicts, its relations with other countries and attempts to change all previous agreements and rules of engagement indicate that it wants to impose the rules of the jungle and dark imperialist times on the global community, and perhaps trigger terrible wars of destruction.
They assert that the Israeli “victim” that Greenblatt is talking about usurped the lands of the Palestinians and built illegal settlements on them, and persists in occupying the land of another people and manipulating their future.
It has killed, injured and detained tens of thousands of Palestinians for exercising their natural right of resisting this deplorable occupation. Israel removed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland of Palestine in 1948 and tens of thousands more in 1967, and committed countless massacres that were horrific, even by the admission of Israelis and their commanders, erasing hundreds of Palestinian villages.
Omar Helmi Al-Ghoul, a political analyst, said that Donald Trump’s administration generally, and its Zionist team in charge of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process especially, has continuously tweeted and resuscitated extinct and obscure ideas over the past two years since the announcement of the ominous “Deal of the Century”.
Al-Ghoul said the latest illogical and alien idea that reflects Washington’s arrogance and conceit is the one Greenblatt stated sardonically that the occupation state of Israel is the “victim” rather than the one responsible for imperialism, terrorism, mayhem and destroying the peace process.
He continued: “This racist Zionist Jew [Greenblatt] says ‘since [Israel’s] creation it has been attacked several times [by Palestinians and Arabs] who continue to carry out terrorist attacks.’ He blatantly disregarded historic facts and expressed his true thoughts and Washington’s instructions by saying that from his viewpoint Israel ‘did not commit any mistakes during decades of constant conflict’.
Greenblatt spoke as if he were speaking ‘truths’ from long ago, as if the existence of colonial Israel did not spell Nakba and doom for the Palestinian people, displacing, uprooting and expelling nearly one million Palestinians from their homes, towns, villages and homeland of Palestine.
It is as if the dozens of massacres and carnage that Israel and the Zionist movement have admitted to never happened, and is not the one responsible for fanning the flames of conflict and inciting war in the region.”
Al-Ghoul continued: “This neo-imperialist American [Greenblatt] went even further by saying ‘the term settlement and settlers should not be used because they are derogatory and that the word settlements is ‘upsetting’ to his ears, beliefs, political conviction and his administration’s strategy that is in lock-step with the Israeli state and the theological myths that are entrenched in Jewish Zionist consciousness.”
Not only did Greenblatt justify the scandalous deal with these statements, Al-Ghoul added, he then tried to revive a mistaken concept, namely that the Palestinian West Bank “is disputed territory, not occupied” and therefore he suggested naming them “Israeli neighbourhoods”.
This, despite UN recognition of the State of Palestine within the borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital on 29 November 2012, and granting it observer status in the international organisation, as well as Security Council Resolution 2334 issued on 23 December 2016.
These statements uproot any possible political settlement and the foundations of the peace process, international resolutions, and eliminate any possibility of peace. They also aim to legitimise Israel’s violation of all Palestinian national rights and interests.
Ibrahim Shaaban, a writer and lawyer, said the US is taking other key steps that make any solution to the Palestinian issue unfair, including arrogantly declaring that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and approving its illegal annexation by Israel.
Also, withdrawing aid to the Palestinian Authority and its security agencies, UNRWA, hospitals in East Jerusalem and USAID.
And now it is pledging to recognise the annexation of the West Bank to the Israeli entity, while also supporting the annexation of the Golan Heights, despite the US’s track record of attempting to resolve the conflict between Syria and Israel.
“How can a country with these policies and these politicians present or deliver a fair peace in the region?” he pondered, warning that the US’s policy is based on denying the Palestinian people the right to self-determination and Palestinian refugees the right of return.
It believes in a land without a people and a people without a homeland, which contradicts UN and UNESCO resolutions, and the principles, documents and agreements of international law.
Shaaban said Trump is in Binyamin Netanyahu’s grip and current US policy on the Palestinian issue is in the hands of the Israeli government.
“Kissinger, Ross, Miller, Indyk, Kurtzer, Greenblatt, Kushner and many others. Are they Zionists or just Jews?” he pondered.
He added that a cursory look at the political and economic aspects of the “Deal of the Century” clearly reveals that US policy is neither fair nor honest on the Palestinian issue.
The Bahrain workshop and postponing presenting the deal show that Washington is managing the conflict and does not intend to resolve it.
“It is merely deflecting and wasting time,” he asserted. Shaaban explained that the US has managed the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948 without attempting to be a fair and honest broker, and would only do so if its interests in the region and the interests of its ally Israel are under threat. “Palestinians must unite their resolve despite differences,” he said.
“Blood is thicker than water and the Arab nation, and peace loving regional and international powers must support Palestinian resolve. Many hands make light work.”
Ahmed Jameel Azzam, a writer, said that one of the most infuriating situations is when an “ignorant” person with limited abilities, power and experience thinks they have the skill, experience, ability and ideas to “turn the table”.
This applies to the team Trump put together composed of his family and cronies to manage the Palestinian issue. “They are people who without their ties to Trump’s family and businesses would have no chance of playing an official political role in the US system,” Azzam said.
He explained Trump’s team is characteristic of a trend that was once believed to be a feature of backward countries and dictatorships only, whereby the son, son-in-law, lawyers and friends of politicians make up the inner circle.
Trump’s administration has shown that populism, cronyism, nepotism and sacrificing national interests for the sake of narrow political, personal, partisan and familial gains is no longer exclusive to Third World countries.
Since Trump was unable to control the US State Department, where officials and staff at the beginning of his term sent letters of protest and objection to his policies, he decided to replace his first pick with Mike Pompeo whose most important qualification is that he never says “no” to the president, and does not mind handing over his powers to the president’s cronies and family, such as Kushner and Greenblatt.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 25 July, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the headline: Blatant US-Israel bias exposed