Israel will be holding general elections on April 9. The country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is backed into a corner due to corruption accusations, wants to win the elections by establishing an alliance with the most radical groups of Israel’s rightists. The alliance that Netanyahu, who is up against strong competitors, formed with the racist “Jewish Force” and “Jewish Home,” divided the Israeli lobby in the US – Abdullah Muradoğlu, YENISAFAK
As is known, U.S President Donald Trump had a peace plan, which he describes as the “deal of the century,” prepared to be a final solution to the “Palestine issue.” However, the details of this plan are yet to be announced to the public. The plan implemented by Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser Jared Kushner, has, for months, turned into the case of the blind man describing the elephant. Trump had postponed the announcement of the plan till after the April 9 elections in Israel. Trump did not want the so-called peace plan to turn into a referendum at the elections. This is how Trump’s excuse to postpone the announcement has been explained.
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The outline of Trump’s plan is drawn not by a team that is unbiased toward the parties involved, but by a small, strict group known to be pro-Israel. The Palestinian sides withdrew from the meetings due to Trump’s pro-Israel policies. Diplomatic ties between Palestine and the U.S. are broken. The Trump administration took pro-Israel decisions the previous U.S. governments could not dare to do. The U.S.’s Israel embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the financial contribution the U.S. made to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees was cancelled; and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington office was closed. The U.S. also withdrew from the UN’s UNESCO and Human Rights Council as it took decisions that disturbed Israel.
In addition to the sanctions on the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the law package including a $38-billion military aid to Israel was also approved in the U.S. Senate. If the package passes the approval stages in Congress, it will be enacted. By withdrawing from the “Iran Nuclear Deal,” Trump fulfilled another demand of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bringing out a law that identifies Israel as a “Jewish state,” Netanyahu reduced an Arab population of close to 2 million to second class citizens. Trump remained silent in the face of this fait accompli.
In exchange for the favors his did for Netanyahu, Trump is waiting for Israel to approve the peace plan he states is the “deal of the century.” However, Netanyahu has not given any positive signal with respect to the project. On the contrary, he made statements indicating that he will not approve of a Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem, and that he will make no compromise on the settlement in the West Bank. Certain Zionist writers are warning that the plan is harmful in terms of Israel.
One of Netanyahu’s signs that he will interrupt Trump’s peace plan was his election alliance with three minor parties that are known for being Jewish racists. Netanyahu’s cooperation with these parties that are affiliated with the “Meir Kahane” movement, which is on the U.S.’s terrorist organizations list, is bad news for Trump’s peace plan. These parties, which do not intend to give even a pebble to Palestinians from Palestine’s territory, entering the Israeli parliament, or taking place in the Israeli government, is one of the most serious obstacles standing before Trump’s plan.
The main organizations of the Israeli lobby in the U.S. also made statements criticizing Netanyahu’s alliance move. According to some commentators, this alliance is equivalent to the U.S. president striking a deal with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). In the case that Netanyahu wins the elections, there is no likelihood that a coalition government with these parties will take a positive approach to Trump’s peace plan. This alliance move has shown what Netanyahu, who got Trump to do everything he wanted until now, cannot make Trump do too.
If Netanyahu loses in the April 9 elections, will the new government take a positive approach to Trump’s Palestine plan? Whether is a government with Netanyahu, or another government, can Trump apply serious pressure for Israel to accept the U.S.’s plan? Or will the “deal of the century” end in a fiasco? It is too soon to see what Trump has up his sleeve, but we can say that a great uproar will break out in Israel after April 9.