President Trump stood next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release the “deal of the century.” This “deal” flouts every tenet of relevant international law, and like the other deals made a century ago that gave us a hundred-year conflict, it is imposed on the Palestinians. Under this new-old “deal,” they would be restricted to semi-autonomous, non-contiguous and disarmed Bantustans, forever subject to Israeli diktat. It’s no less than a new-old apartheid.

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917, was a deal between Imperial Britain and the World Zionist Organization, promising a “Jewish national home” in Palestine when 92 percent of the population was not Jewish. The 1922-1947 British Mandate was established in consultation with the Zionist Organization but not with the Palestinians. Then came an imposed partition, war and dispossession in 1948, and it was neither the Palestinians’ choice to have their towns and villages razed and erased, nor to become refugees prevented from returning and reclaiming their homes and properties for more than 80 years.

Then came the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 and more unilateral decisions: annexation of East Jerusalem, confiscation of land, illegal settlements, house demolitions and more. In 1993 the Oslo Accords were signed with the Palestinians, finally, but all it did was buy Israel time to confiscate more land and build more settlements.

Trump is no student of history. A repeat of the deals of the last century in this century promises to continue and further exacerbate this ongoing disaster.

Fateh Azzam


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