emily @ yeniahval.com

At Israel Hayom’s Forum on US-Israeli relations, US envoy Jason Greenblatt made sure that references to the Palestinian people and their history were as obscure as possible. Palestinian history and memory are not about resentment and repetitive stories, as Greenblatt implied. On the contrary, both are imbued with war crimes and transgressions which the perpetrators — Israel, the US and the international community — are doing their utmost to force into oblivion.

For the US, the way forward is to present President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” as a beacon of peacemaking whereas, in reality, America is anything but an honest broker. The US tactic, according to Greenblatt, is “to confront deception, on the one hand, wishful thinking on the other hand, and to speak hard truths.” What the envoy omits is the context behind those “hard truths”. In the Trump administration, Israel has found a willing ally in fabricating pretexts upon which to force Palestinians into subjugation. The US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its consequences is one such example. The international community has facilitated Israel’s colonisation of Palestine to such an extent that the US and Israel are now simply tying up the loose ends.

Greenblatt referred to the ambiguity promoted by the UN, but fails to state how it has been exploited by Israel’s allies. “We might get there if people recognise that vague terms such as ‘international law’, ‘UN Resolutions’ and ‘internationally recognised parameters’ are not always clear cut, are interpreted differently by different parties in good faith and do not provide an executable solution to end this conflict,” he declared.

This statement should be read as indicative of what the international community is all about when it comes to Palestine. It has intentionally created space for interpretation based on political power rather than justice. That is why it is acceptable for Greenblatt to speak of “conflict” rather than colonisation when it comes to Israel’s presence and actions in Palestine.

What Greenblatt will not admit is that Israel has benefited from the international community’s refusal to speak of it being a colonial state. The US might present itself as offering a purportedly new vision due to its refusal to endorse the two-state paradigm, in line with what Israeli politicians promote. Yet Washington is building upon precedents that has seen Palestine ethnically cleansed with international permission, and is now creating the conditions to force Palestinians into a situation where there is not even the semblance of any option but to accept what is forced upon them.

Furthermore, the US-Israeli obsession with altering the significance of the legitimate Palestinian right of return will aid the narrative of conflict over colonisation, which the international community and the US are promoting. What will be left of Palestine if the right of return is eliminated? This is where the US wants to arrive; to be able to speak of Israel without mentioning Palestinians and how they were ethnically cleansed from their own land.

It is hypocritical to say that there is “an alternative path with the potential to unlock a prosperous future for the Palestinian people if they choose to follow it.” Any real choice for Palestinians was deliberately abolished before Israeli was even established. For the US, promoting an economic plan driven by external interests is just another step that ties in with what the Trump administration has so far accomplished for Israel, which is anything but honest peacemaking.