For the first time in more than eight years, the White House will greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a beloved friend instead of a political antagonist and a threat to peace in the Middle East.
Netanyahu had a strained relationship with former President Barack Obama. The two rarely saw eye-to-eye on major issues, be it the stagnant peace process in the Gulf region or the Iran nuclear deal. Meetings between the two world leaders (and there were many of them) were usually marred with drama and conflict.
However, things will be different this time around.
Not only will Trump, the leader of the free world, will welcome Netanyahu, the leader of the biggest apartheid state in the world, with open arms, the two will also use this opportunity as a public demonstration of unity.
For the Trump team, this would be a good distraction from the turmoil and chaos that arose in the aftermath of former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn’s abrupt departure from the administration.
For Netanyahu, it’d be a pleasant opportunity to share his divisive plans with a like-minded bigot.
However, for the rest of the world — particularly the Palestinian people — this meeting could bear disastrous consequences.
First, as far as their personalities are concerned, Trump and Netanyahu are two sides of the same coin. They are both pathological liars and bullies who love playing victim and have an obsessive desire to gain as much power as they can through any means necessary.
Nothing good is ever going to come out of such a union.
Second, this meeting (the first since Trump took office) will do nothing but embolden the warmongering by the Israeli PM, who has no regard for human rights atrocities being committed by his forces.
In fact, he believes he deserves the world support for keeping almost 1.4 million people in devastating conditions on a strip of land surrounded from all sides by an overwhelming and punitive occupying force.
This meeting comes at a time when Netanyahu is facing a series of police investigations and pressure from the far-right. Moreover, the Israeli leader’s anti-Arab Likud Party seeks aggressive settlement expansion in occupied Palestinian territories and wants him to disavow the two-state solution, which Trump is likely to agree to in order to please his ally.
In 2015, Israeli security forces killed at least 100 and injured at least 11,953 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. The victims included women, children and the elderly.
Last year, Israeli forces killed more than 110 people — including 33 children — marking the highest numbers of deaths in Palestine in a decade.
“Israel enforces severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights, and it builds and supports unlawful settlements in the occupied West Bank. Its security forces appear to use excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators and suspected attackers, raising the specter of extra-judicial killings. It has renewed the practice of punitive home demolitions,” wrote the Human Rights Watch in its report.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters