US President Donald Trump’s declaration, which recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, enjoyed consensus on the part of the Israeli political stage. On the other hand, the next Israeli step after the declaration was a bone of contention.

 

For Israel’s right wing, Trump’s Declaration confirmed its successful management of the conflict in the region in general, and with the Palestinians in particular. The declaration partially marked the right wing’s victorious ideology and highlighted its inclinations, which saw Trump as a new “Messiah” of Israel, specifically after the former Obama Administration. Trump’s Declaration was viewed as a political and electoral credit, which would help Israel’s right wing to remain in power for years to come. Although it welcomed the declaration, the Israeli Zionist opposition attempted to elicit items that confirmed its political inclinations and undermine the government’s pride of victory. In Trump’s speech, the opposition singled out details, which it believed that the Israeli government had completely ignored. In particular, Trump implicitly approved and supported the two-state solution, emphasising the opposition’s political approach towards the conflict. Though it recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump’s Declaration does not demarcate the borders of Jerusalem, leaving these to the two parties’ agreement. In other words, Trump did not recognise unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, debilitating the right wing’s triumph. It was also noted that Trump enforced just one part of the 1995 US Congress bill, which recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and provided for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem towards 1999. Trump executed the first part of the bill more than 20 years later. Still, relocation of the embassy might take some time.

It can be noted that consensus exists among all Zionist and Jewish parties over Trump’s Declaration. However, disagreement has emerged over the meanings and implications of the declaration.

As evident in many right-wing articles, perhaps the most notable understanding of Israel’s right wing is that creating facts on the ground is in favour of Israel. Whenever Israel creates a fact on the ground in the Palestinian territory, it is recognised by the USA. Earlier in 2005, US President George W. Bush sent a letter to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, stating that the USA would not accept the principle of reverting to the 4 June 1967 border as the basis for a settlement with the Palestinians. This discourse was imposed by the status quo of settlement blocs throughout the West Bank.
Additionally, Israel’s right wing viewed Trump’s Declaration as a triumph of the inclinations of the right wing in general, and those of Netanyahu in particular. If it continues to embrace these inclinations, Israel will be gaining far more than it could be losing. On the other hand, the Israeli opposition saw Trump’s Declaration as a confirmation of its approach. For the first time, the declaration unveiled the two-state idea and indicated that it did not object to the partition of Jerusalem.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

MADAR CENTER

The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.

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