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Editorial
Trumping in Middle-East
US president's ambiguous 'peace deal' offer on Palestine appears to be reflection of his bigoted stand against Muslim world
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US president Donald Trump's one-liner to Israel to "hold back on settlements" in pursuit of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian authority while opposing the two state formula is yet another demonstration of his bias against Muslims and an endorsement of his Islamophobia. On the face of it, the statement may be confusing and appear to be some sort of a balancing act but the note of caution for Israel's pro-active policy of illegal settlements in Palestine's Gaza strip are hardly promising, especially when such warnings come in muffled tones. Last week while detailing about a plan to broker peace in the region, Trump maintained that settlements were not an impediment to peace but they "may not be helpful," revealing his lukewarm opposition to such policies pursued by Israel. That Trump's rise to presidency has emboldened Israel to put the settlements agenda on top gear further lends credence to the seriousness and ambiguity of the words chosen by Trump. This ambiguity of words needs to be read in juxtaposition of a legislation brought in by Israel recently legalise nearly 4,000 Jewish settler homes on private Palestinian lands in the West Bank. The legislation allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land if the land-owners are unknown. If known, they will be compensated in cash or kind. The legislation, which seeks to extend Israeli law to the West Bank may in all probability be struck down by the judiciary as it flies in the face of international norms and laws. Yet, the increasing ambitiousness of Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no secret. His announcement of construction of 5,500 new houses in the occupied West Bank came right after Trump taking over the reins of US government. The tacit patronage is unmistakable. Going against the grain of the existing US policy of a two-state solution, Trump has calculatedly de-legitimised Palestinian's fight for independence from Israel and a separate state, though he refrained from his earlier provocative remarks of shifting US embassy to Jerusalem. There are visible signs of a shift in the US policy with respect to the Palestine issue though Trump's remarks do not betray a predictable mood.

However, given Trump's overall Islamophobia, his attempts to clampdown on rest of Muslim world, his belligerence against Iran and his bid to stop immigrants from seven Muslim countries including Syria, it is safe to hazard a guess that this likely US shift in Palestine is inspired by the similar ideology. Many of his pronouncements and moves are charting a dangerous course for both USA and the world, pushing the world to a situation of more aggression, hatred and wars and robbing USA of its basic values of liberty, democracy and equality. Needless to point out that many of his orders, especially one pertaining to banning entry of Muslims to USA is violation of international laws with respect to refugees. Such moves enhance the existing threats to the middle eastern world as they inspire a greater push towards religious radicalization as a reaction to Trump's bigoted views and hatred for Muslims. His aggressive attacks in Yemen, his vitriolic campaign against Iran and now his concealed but visible bias with respect to Palestine portend a situation which strengthens the hands of Islamic radical groups like ISIS. Given the enormous power invested in the Office of the President of the United States, arbitrary exercise of authority presents itself as a significant threat to international peace and security, and increases the likelihood that disputes will escalate to armed confrontations. US governments in the past have failed to contribute to resolving conflicts across the world and have instead faltered on many occasions in creating new or exacerbating existing conflicts. However, never before has any USA president sought to do them so brazenly and so recklessly as now.




News Updated at : Friday, February 17, 2017
 
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