USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer speaks to Newsweek’s Nina Burleigh.
In the U.S., Palestinians have no single-issue political megadonor like Saban, but they do have representatives in D.C. Yousef Munayyer, a writer and executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a Washington-based, pro-Palestine coalition, says Palestinians have abandoned hope that any U.S. administration will support their cause.
But Trump’s administration looks particularly hostile to Palestinians for three reasons, Munayyer says. His “America First” position presages a reluctance to engage in any open-ended foreign entanglements, Kushner’s family supports illegal settlements, and Trump has stacked his Cabinet with known “Islamophobes.”
“Putting all of this together suggests Donald Trump will allow the radical Israeli right, which has a lock on power in Israel, to do basically whatever they please to the Palestinians,” Munayyer says. “Netanyahu is Israel’s Donald Trump and has been for years. He has successfully captured political office through the use of fear: fear of Arabs, fear of Iran, fear of Obama, fear of peace. He believes in building walls, not bridges. He fearmongers against outsiders and minorities and has been speaking in catchphrases and sound bites long before Trump took to Twitter’s 140-character medium.”
Munayyer adds that when Netanyahu advocates “two states for two peoples,” as he did on 60 Minutes on December 11, he is speaking in a code that only sounds like the two-state solution. The “two states” concept allows for Jordan taking in millions of Palestinians and leaving the West Bank for Israel, a move that would surely inflame Palestinians. Munayyer points out that the Likud platform states its members “flatly reject” a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.
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