For Palestinians, Trump’s Jerusalem declaration ended all hopes that the long-moribund peace process might lead to an independent Palestinian state.
…In recent years, Abbas has satisfied all of Israel’s demands but has still been rejected by Netanyahu. And now, Trump’s declaration had exposed the hopelessness of the U.S. serving as a fair arbiter.
…The U.S., a sponsor of the Oslo Accords, has openly violated one of its paramount provisions: that the status of Jerusalem be decided in final-status negotiations. Any pretense of Trump’s impartiality is gone, and, no Palestinians will be waiting to hear the promised peace plan by Jared Kushner.
…Since returning home, in 1978, I have closely tracked the stream of legal changes that allowed Israeli settlements to develop near Ramallah and in numerous other parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. I wrote extensively about Israel’s plans to annex the areas it occupied in 1967 by gradually extending Israeli laws to its ever-growing settlements. I firmly believed that if these violations of international law became known, Israel would no longer be able to carry them out. I was wrong.
…Gradually, during the early two thousands, the Israelis limited Palestinian access to Jerusalem by building the separation wall. They justified it as necessary to stop suicide bombings, but none of the restrictions were reversed when security conditions improved.
…It is important to remember that the Palestinians have consistently called for Jerusalem to remain undivided, and urged that when it became the capital of both states, Israel and Palestine, it would remain an open city. After a peace settlement, the city would serve as a model of coëxistence. Instead of furthering this objective, Trump and Netanyahu have condemned us, both peoples, Israeli and Palestinian, to perpetual conflict.