“Our vision is of Israelis and Palestinians living in peace together, each having their own national identity and each respecting the other. It is not based upon divisions of land but on rights. This is the vision with which we have to challenge the Trump plan with. For even though it may sound daft it is actually far more achievable.” Chris Rose writes about President Trump’s recent Peace Plan.
Amos Trust is welcomed to the South Hebron Hills during Just Walk to Jerusalem — October 2017
We will only create a vision for peace in the Holy Land by respecting the rights of all.
We have received a large number of responses to President Trump’s Peace and Prosperity Plan.
These have drawn parallels between this document and the 1917 Balfour Declaration, when the dominant global superpower of its day promised one people’s land to another. And there are similarities.
We have had calls to write to our MP’s lodging our concern and asking that our Government stands up for human rights and International Law, of course we fully endorse these calls. Our Government’s response so far is to see how wide the fence is they can sit on, so they need not endorse or challenge the Peace and Prosperity Plan.
We have heard how it is not the ‘Deal of the Century’ but the ‘Steal of the Century’ by a coalition of Israeli anti-occupation organisations — including Breaking the Silence, Peace Now, Standing Together, Combatants for Peace and Zazim, — who organised an emergency rally under the headline 'Yes to a peace plan; no to an annexation deal’.
We have heard Ambassador Husam Zomlot, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the United Kingdom, speak so passionately on Newsnight, rejecting the plan and of the stressing the inspirational ongoing Palestinian struggle for dignity and a future.
Our Government’s response so far is to see how wide the fence is they can sit on, so they need not endorse or challenge the Peace and Prosperity Plan.
We have read Jonathon Cook’s scathing assessment that ‘Donald Trump has made crystal-clear something that was supposed to be obscured: that no US administration has ever really seen peace as the objective of its ‘peacemaking’
And I could continue with quote after quote condemning the Peace Plan.
Of course, so as to give due balance, I have to say there have been voices welcoming the plan. And the hawks have recognised it for what it is, an opportunity they have to grasp.
We have heard how it is not the ‘Deal of the Century’ but the ‘Steal of the Century’
But my favourite response was this from Hagai El-Ad the Executive Director of B’T Selem
Not peace, but Apartheid:
A brief response to the Trump Plan.
What has changed today? The reality on the ground is already one of full Israeli control over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and everyone living in it.
It is a reality of one, inherently undemocratic, state. And so, the main change today is that Israel and the Trump administration are taking a step further in laying bare their intention to perpetuate this reality. This clarity significantly reduces the gap between the situation as it is, and the euphemistic terms used to describe it.
What hasn’t changed today? Tomorrow, there will still be 14 million people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, five million of them Palestinian subjects who have no political rights. And all of us here, in one way or another, will remain under the rule of the same government in Jerusalem, a government that works relentlessly to advance the supremacy of one people at the expense of the other, while continually trampling its rights underfoot.
What has changed today? The reality on the ground is already one of full Israeli control over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and everyone living in it.” Hagai El-Ad — B’Tselem Executive Director
And the future? What the Palestinians are being offered right now is not rights or a state, but a permanent state of Apartheid. No amount of marketing can erase this disgrace or blur the facts. But, the painful facts of today give rise to hope for the future, the only future that can genuinely offer peace. A future not based on supremacy for some and oppression for others, but on full equality, liberty, dignity, and rights for all.
That day will come.
Hagai El-Ad — B’Tselem Executive Director
Just Walk: Amos Trust supporters walking through the West Bank — West Bank, 2017
We walked from London to Jerusalem in 2017 to call for full equal rights for all who call the Holy Land home. We did not call for a 1 state or 2 state solution but full equal rights so that Israelis and Palestinians can together decide their future.
Palestinians were not even consulted about the Peace Plan, they turned down the opportunity as they knew full well the direction it would take. The plan seeks to give a legal basis to support the annexation of the swathes of the West Bank that Israel already has under its full control. The peace plan never mentions International law — as it seeks to supersede it.
The only mention of ensuring human rights is what is expected of a Palestinian Authority to prove its credentials in the parcels of land left to it over the next 5 years. The plan also tries to draw a line under Refugee rights by taking nearly all of them out of the equation and tells Palestinians that they can rename Abu Dis as al Quds — even though every Arab child know knows al Quds is Jerusalem.
What scares us most is that the Peace Plan and USA’s recognition of the settlements gives Israel even greater permission to do as they choose on the West Bank. That means more home demolitions — we have already heard of new demolition orders being served in Battir and al Walajah. It means more Bedouin communities and villages in the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills being destroyed and that places such as the Tent of Nations, that rely on their legal rights, will have nothing to fall back on.
The plan seeks to give a legal basis to support the annexation of the swathes of the West Bank that Israel already has under its full control. The peace plan never mentions International law — as it seeks to supersede it.
The peace plan is based on the populist, highly protectionist policies that have swept through so many countries including our own. Policies which rely on walls, on separating, on segregating and on re-populating people. One of the major problems with this approach and the plethora of wall-building is that it presents the problems they try to address as being insolvable, and then they become insolvable — and this is nonsense.
The Jesus I try to follow came to break down the walls and the barriers we erect to separate us from the other. Our vision for Palestine and Israel is not one of Apartheid, of an endless squabble over a tiny piece of land with more and more walls and ever more sophisticated surveillance systems and checkpoints.
Our vision is of Israelis and Palestinians living in peace together, each having their own national identity and each respecting the other. It is not based upon divisions of land but on rights. This is the vision with which we have to challenge the Trump plan with. For even though it may sound daft it is actually far more achievable.
Chris Rose 13/2/20
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