by Mohammed Arafat
If we want to talk about the longest occupation since decades, we usually talk about Palestine being occupied by Israel. If we want to talk about the deepest suffering since ages, we absolutely talk about Palestinians’. If we want to talk about the changeless case, we definitely talk about the Palestinian case.
Since 1948, Palestine has been stuck to the Israeli occupation with outsider powers and policies represented by the Western countries ‘Israel’s allies’. Several plans were put along with a lot of road maps in order to end this fight peacefully since that year, but nothing was applied or agreed on by both sides, mostly by the Israeli, except one lone agreement called ‘the Oslo accords’ which both the government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) signed in Washington, D.C., in 1993. Oslo accords has resulted in the recognition by the PLO of the State of Israel, and the recognition by Israel of the PLO as the only representative of the Palestinian people.
After signing this agreement, Palestinians were hopeful that they finally would have their state structured gradually over time since this agreement would be the first step for the biggest step, especially after the Gaza airport was built and Gaza was opened to other countries. Trading began, infrastructures developed and Gaza became the beautiful scene of Palestine.
However, that did not last for too long as the second Intifada( Al-Aqsa Intifada) began in 2000 when the former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, visited the Temple Mount, which was considered as highly provocative by Palestinians, causing a new conflict between Palestinians and Israeli forces, bringing the situation to the time before Oslo records.
Despite of that, the Western countries, represented by the USA, even when witnessing a change in its presidency, never stopped suggesting new agreements to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which is considered the changeless case for millions of Palestinians inside Palestine and in the diaspora.
Nevertheless, Israel still authorizes and legalizes settlement built on private Palestinian lands in the West Bank. Jerusalem is still controlled and clashes are still taking place in both Palestinian sides, Gaza and the West Bank, despite the promises of the peace solutions that the US and some European countries suggest to solve this ongoing conflict.
Everyone knows that the US government plays a central role in this conflict since it’s the first ally of Israel and it has its sensitivity in the Middle East, especially the Arab Spring that stormed the Arab countries since 2011. As a result, every Palestinian and pro-Palestinian is giving America their concern and attention when it witnesses an event like presidential elections since every president, wishing to be elected for the White House, comes to their campaigns with a bag of promises for Palestinians and Israelis because they know how sensitive this issue is, and how affective it would be for their winnings.
After being elected as a president for the United States in 2008, Mr. Barack Obama made a visit to Cairo University in Egypt in 2009 and began his word with Salamu Alaykom (Peace be upon you), he promised to solve the Israeli-Palestinian case during his long speech for the Muslim world. Everyone hoped that Obama could do something towards this conflict, but nothing happened except increasing supporting Israel due to the Arab Spring that rocked the Middle East after a year.
The 2016 American presidential elections have begun on November 8 followed by campaigns for both candidates, the Democratic Hillary Clinton and the Republican Donald Trump. While their campaigns, both candidates had their comments about the Palestinian case while Palestinians and Israelis had their feedback about that.
The president-elect, Mr. Donald Trump, has said that the peace agreement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the toughest agreement of any kind. He also said that he would move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which means, for Palestinians, that Jerusalem would be the capital of Israel! As a result, Palestine’s UN envoy promised to make life “miserable” for the White House if it transfers the US Embassy to Jerusalem, threatening that they would unleash all the weapons they have in the UN against the United States.
While Hillary Clinton, who lost the president, has promised that Palestinians deserve to have a state, and she supported the idea of the two-state solution.
After Trump had won the presidency, people were divided into two parts; some supported his comments and his strategies since he is a new kind as a president for the United States so he could make a change, a big one, towards the world from one hand, and towards the Middle East, especially Palestinian-Israeli conflict from the other hand after his promises about solving this longest conflict. Others do believe that Trump is dangerous for Palestine since he always braises the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that he is a true friend for the state of Israel, supports the idea of settlements and promises to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Moreover, a lot of Palestinians believe that he knows nothing about the foreign policy unlike Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Palestinian politicians have other sayings about the US policy towards Palestine thinking that the American policy will remain the same whoever takes the white house since the American policy is the same, which is supporting Israel. Furthermore, the Palestinian President, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, has urged the American president-elect, Donald Trump, to work towards establishing a Palestinian State, adding that the Palestinian authority is ready to deal with him on the basis of a two-state solution and to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. The president has warned that the failing to resolve the conflict would mean that the unstable situations will continue in the area.
On the other hand, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and outside Palestine wish that the US new government could make a change in this ongoing conflict so they can live peacefully like the rest of the world who live their days and nights without worrying about their future. They also hope that Gaza never has new open wars or attacks that could destroy what was being built in the last three wars. So, will that be difficult for the US government to do for the people of Palestine?