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It is the USA
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
June 14, 2017

The Obama administration paved the way for the new administration to reap the fruits of "weakening everyone" policy in the ongoing Arab conflicts.

There are many indications, that the new US administration is neglecting the determinants of the previous administration's position toward the settlement process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. All these indications were in favor of the occupying state, especially before announcing Trump as a president of the United States.

Therefore, the Netanyahu government did not hide its satisfaction with the victory of the Republican candidate, and found that the opportunity is available for the American "friend", to move from the role of silent and involved with its expansionist policies to a partner in the legitimization of this policy and protecting it from any regional or international repercussions, as happened in the last days of Obama administration, which passed a Security Council resolution that condemned the settlement.

However, the facts confirm that the US strategy toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict did not changed in essence, and the Hollywood Production for Trump's coming has not convince anyone that the United States has two different versions, one in the hands of the Democrats and the other in the hands of their "Republican" rival.

Everyone agrees that Trump's statements about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have opposed the Obama administration's positions, starting from his condemnation of the UN resolution against the settlements, to his intention to transfer his country's embassy to Jerusalem, reaching to declaring the death of two-state solution.

In the first short period after his nomination, Trump and his administration reinforced this conclusion, by ignoring the PA' leadership, and celebrating Netanyahu's visit to Washington and the deliberate negligence for settlements status in their meeting; although the Israeli government has begun preparing for the annexation of the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement, and that was preceded by Knesset in putting the legislations regarding the future of settlements and the legitimization of looting the Palestinian land.

However, the new US administration recognizes that talking about a coming settlement is not right without accepting the existence of both sides of conflict. And that the Palestinian negotiator always was an "appropriate partner" in all the settlement stations; and that declaring the death of "two-state solution" is not useful, even if the path that Netanyahu is pushing towards it, does not approach to this solution.

Trump's administration, as the previous administration, understood that the security issue is the focus of everything that the Israeli government can discuss with the Palestinian side. So it can be said that the new US administration has got Obama's effect.

This is illustrated by what was revealed, by the Hebrew newspaper, Haaretz, that the Trump administration, is discussing the possibility of implementing a plan, that was put by the Obama administration, regarding the security arrangements in the West Bank, in case of any coming progress in the negotiation process about the future of the occupied Palestinian territories.

This plan starts from the fact that the Palestinian state is demilitarized. However, the Netanyahu government opposed most of what was included in it, starting from the definition of the demilitarized state, that it without sovereignty too. The objection was to any sovereign indicators in the plan, including the establishment of an airport and the mobilization of a group of helicopters that belong to the PA in the sky of the West Bank; even though, the American goal for the presence of these aircrafts is to enable the PA's security services of the Authority to suppress any movements against the occupation.

The security coordination which was sponsored by the former US administrations, is deeply requested by the Trump administration and it seeks to transform it into a cooperation between the PA and the occupation, and the conditions that were repeated by Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry, on "non-incitement" and "counter-terrorism" were intensified by Trump's envoy through nine conditions in the same context.

Maybe it is necessary, to point out, that the escalating course of the successive US administrations' attitudes, toward the Palestinian situation due to the retrogressive course, in which this situation is centering on, because of the division, on the one hand, and the continuation of false bet on the settlement, and the approach of waiting policy, that was followed by the Palestinian official leadership, all of that convinced Washington and others, that the Palestinian side is the one which has to receive the pressure , not the occupation.

Regarding the settlement, the regional banner of «Trump's deal», did not renewed what the Obama administration tried to do at the Aqaba summit in the last year of its presidency. The essence of what was discussed in it, was the possibility of holding direct negotiations between Arab parties, the Palestinian negotiator and the occupation. That means prioritizing normalization over settlement.

What is changing in this equation is the accelerated deterioration in the Arab situation, caused by the ongoing conflicts and wars in several Arab countries, while the other countries are concerned about what is happening to prevent it from reaching their homes.

Within this "atmosphere", it is normal that the American influence will be increased and Washington will be able to regain the initiative, and to intervene in reshaping the geopolitics map in the region. In this regard, we can say , that the Obama administration paved the way for Trump and his administration by adopting a policy of "weakening everyone" in the context of the ongoing conflicts.

Therefore, the new US administration can easily make arms deals with huge money amounts, and reap the fruits of spreading fear policy from the Iranian neighbor, in exchange for paving the way towards the normalization with the occupation state and accusing its resistance with terrorism.

Of course, the differences are existed between the administrations, and between the US Presidents, even if they are from the same party, but that does not affect the essence of the US strategy, specifically in the field of foreign policy, while the subject of disagreement remains in the internal affairs, as happened with the Health Insurance Act, which was approved in the era of Obama, and Trump failed in trying to abolish it.

Perhaps, the remarkable about Trump's performance, is its approach to maneuvering behavior. As happened with his declaration of the death of "two-state solution", to say later, that it is possible, to discuss this, if the PA take a series of steps to prove its seriousness, in the search for a settlement, and as the case with the postponement of transferring the Embassy of Washington to Jerusalem for six months, and the announcement of the United States, delegate to the United Nations that the postponement does not mean the retreat, and that the whole issue for President Trump is a "negotiation paper" in the case of re-launching settlement process again.

Anyway, the equation that governs Washington's performance toward the settlement, will remain on its status, and its bias towards the occupying state will increase by the time, that is because the absence of Palestinian situation and its drowning in its accumulated crises in the light of its ignorance to the national consensus resolutions, which the implementation of them ensures putting these crises, on the road to solution.

Otherwise, the occupation will continue its expansionist policies and shape the future of the occupied Palestinian territories through settlement.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Rawda Abo Zarqa
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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