WASHINGTON, DC, January 28, 2020—The so-called “peace plan” announced today by President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a non-starter and a blatant attempt to distract from their respective political scandals around charges of corruption. Once again, the Palestinian people are being used as pawns for repressive leaders to shore up support with their right-wing bases in election season. Any attempt to address the Israeli-Palestinian issue that does not begin and end with the full acknowledgment of the Palestinian right to self-determination, freedom, justice, and equality is a non-starter. 

This plan is simply a rubber stamp for the Israeli government’s continuing violations of international law, separate-and-unequal policies, land grabs, and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. The United States government continues to give the Israeli government cover for its human rights abuses, which are in turn subsidized by U.S. taxpayer dollars to the tune of $3.8 billion in military funding to Israel every year. That U.S. taxpayer money is going towards the oppression, killing, and control of the Palestinian people who are native to that land. 

We do not expect the Trump administration to stand on the side of justice, but this is an opportunity for true progressives to set themselves apart from President Trump’s racist foreign policy. Our progressive elected officials must throw out the book of failed negotiations and denying Palestinians their rights and start over from a new vantage point. U.S. policy on Palestine/Israel—and any proposal for a just peace—must center the values of justice and freedom for all. 

The clear alternative that progressives should embrace in place of the Trump administration’s plan is the vision for justice for the Palestinian people presented in the Freedom Is the Future vision and policy demands. Freedom Is the Future is a clarion call by Palestinians in the U.S. for progressives to take action to end U.S. complicity in Israeli abuses of human rights and daily violence against the Palestinian people. It presents a set of universal demands for freedom and self-determination, the right of refugees to return to their homeland, the space to thrive, and the right to resist oppression. 

The Palestinian people, like everyone else, simply want to live freely and safely in their homes, be treated equally, and give their children and families a brighter future. Any proposed “peace plan” or policy decision must center Palestinians as the people most impacted. That is what the Palestinian Freedom Is the Future vision and policy demands offer: a point of reference for progressives to center the voices of Palestinians. 

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said: “Donald Trump, the White Supremacist-in-Chief, is rolling out a plan to whitewash the apartheid reality alongside his Israeli partners-in-war-crimes. The only suitable response from people of conscience is to reject this effort and demand immediate accountability for Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights. The separate-and-unequal reality the Israeli government has imposed on Palestinians, with the support of the U.S., flies in the face of the values Americans claim to uphold. Freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians is the only way forward.”

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