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The Isolation of Trump
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
December 29, 2017

For the first time the United States found itself confronted with its opponents and allies together in the Security Council, and all its attempts to find someone to stand by, or at least abstain from voting against Trump's decision on Jerusalem, have failed.

Perhaps if any of the members of UNSC was hesitant in its vote, the intervention of the US Ambassador would resolve its position and make it standing not only with the draft resolution, but against the American policy as a whole.

Nikki Haley has not only defended, through her intervention, the Israeli occupation, but also spoken on the behalf of Israel; even she attacked the former administration of her state because it passed the Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned the settlement and called for discontinuing it.

It is true, that the draft resolution was thwarted by the American veto, but the nature of voting and the consensus of Security Council members on supporting made the United States, for the first time, isolated and outcast.

The US Ambassador tried to overturn «the cart and horse». While the international community considers that settlement is an obstacle in the way of implementing the political settlement, she sees the opposite and says that the resolution to condemn it, is what hinders her. It was noteworthy, that before the voting she tried to communicate with the other members of the Council by suggesting that the negotiations will decide everything and that the goal for all is to bring the Palestinian and Israeli sides to the negotiating table. Before that she pointed out in a misleading manner, that the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem does not mean recognition that the city is the capital of Israel.

After she has vetoed against the draft resolution, she said that Jerusalem is "a political, social and spiritual place for the Jewish people" and it is "the capital of Israel."

Formerly, slightly after the 2001bombings in Washington and New York, the US president said, "You are either with us or against us". He meant by "with us" the United States, while the US Ambassador, through her intervention in the Security Council, has meant by "who is not with Trump" is against the United States, Peace and the interests of Palestinians and Israelis!, in addition to that she has accused the members of the UNSC and others of trying to distort his decision on Jerusalem and the transfer of US Embassy.

Haley's intervention has coincided with the announcement of the new "American" strategy by President Trump. The first of its indicators regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, was that Washington had openly entered as a part of the conflict alongside the occupation, It is clear that the policy of complicity with Tel Aviv, that has been adopted by the former US administrations, has ended, and in light of the announced adoption of Trump's administration to Netanyahu's vision for the future of the occupied Palestinian territories. This adoption has begun to be unfolded by the current administration's decisions regarding Jerusalem and its future, and before that towards the settlement and defending the "right" of occupation to expand and support it.

The international community realized that this American policy would lead to the eruption of situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, which means creating new facts on the ground that could cause incalculable developments. The international community, including Washington's allies in Europe and elsewhere, considered that this policy is incompatible with the possibility of talking about a political settlement of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict, and thus will remove from the hands of those who are betting on this settlement, any pretexts to enter into. It will put them in the face of options demanded by the public and political Palestinian pressure, in light of the recent American policies and its declared alliance with the expansionist policies of occupation.

The main components of international community have also realized that Trump's attitude toward Jerusalem, in particular, puts his allies in the region in an embarrassing situation and prompts them to declare their rejection for his decision, regardless of the practical role that they can play on the ground in supporting the Palestinians in facing this decision. In addition to that, this policy contradicts the positions that have been agreed upon by the components of international community, especially the famous "Quartet" statement issued in March 2010, which was a complementary for the Obama's speech in Cairo (4/6/2009), which called for discontinuing settlement and confirmed the right of Palestinians to establish an independent state. If this call has been ignored by the forces of American pressure that are counter to this orientation, Trump's recent positions confirm that they are the representative of those pressure forces, which are now leading the official policy of United States.

In line with the rise of extreme populist movement expressed by Trump, the fears of European countries of the repercussions of this in their societies. There has already been a clear progress in a number of populist and right-wing European parties, in the general elections in some of these countries, before the forces and balanced currents regain the initiative and rearrange the political plan away from the concerns of generalizing the "Trump's experience".

Therefore; when the international community represented by the Security Council, stands against Trump's policy on the Palestinian issue, it stands at the same time against the repercussions of this position and disseminates it to other political aspects, including the relations with Europe and other components of the international community.

The same applies to the position on the United Nations and its institutions, especially when the American policy is incompatible with the resolutions of international legitimacy, and this is what forced the Secretary-General of the United Nations to affirm these decisions regarding Jerusalem, and it is open on other issues than the Palestinian issue.

But the most important thing about the Security Council and its positive position regarding the issue of Jerusalem, is to push for holding an international conference, whether through the Security Council or United Nations General Assembly, where resolutions are issued on basis of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to ensure the implementation of the rights of Palestinian people as stipulated in those resolutions.

Prior to this, the opponents of Trump's decision should join the political and diplomatic efforts, that enable the State of Palestine to become a member of the international forum and provide protection to the Palestinian people against the crimes of occupation; primarily the looting of its land and colonizing it by settlement and military occupation.

But the main questions to the American policies, are still related to the official Palestinian policy, not based on the rejection of recent Trump's decisions and the declaration of Washington's lack of authority to play the role of mediator or sponsor of the settlement, but to ignore the settlement with its titles, immediately internationalize the Palestinian issue, go to UN to arbitrate in the conflict with the occupation and activate the membership of Palestine in international institutions, especially international criminal ones through submitting complaints against its crimes and calling for the accountability.

The confrontations in the Palestinian territories with the occupation, confirm that the popular uprising is the best response to its crimes and the national supported force that enforces the occupation to face serious prices for its continuation, and places the international community before its responsibilities. As long as he talks about moving away from "violence", he should to look for the way to prevent its only cause; which is occupation.

Mohammad Al-Sahli: Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Rawan Al-Bash and Hassan Barazi

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