Mistaking Bullying for Diplomacy, Trump Once Again Threatens Palestinians

January 26, 2018

(WASHINGTON, DC 1/26/18) Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the economic summit in Davos yesterday, President Donald Trump once again insulted Palestinians, declared Jerusalem “off the table” in negotiations, and threatened to cut off aid if they failed to agree to peace talks. It appears that Trump is mistaking bullying for diplomacy and is intent on contravening decades of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.  

His remarks come mere days after Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset were violently ejected from parliament for staging a protest during Vice President Mike Pence’s speech. Pence, an Evangelical Christian, doubled down on Trump’s declaration in violation of international law, while making biblical references  to validate Israel's religious claims. The MPs shouted “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine,” rejecting the United States’s unilateral declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December. Trump criticised Palestinian leaders for refusing to meet with Pence, saying they had “disrespected” him and insisting the U.S. is “going to have nothing to do with them any longer” if they do not fall into line.    

Trump’s offensive remarks and escalation in tone against the Palestinians once again expose him as a biased and dishonest broker in the Middle East. His hardline pro-Israel stance is in no way conducive to peace and his financial threats, including his recent decision to drastically cut off aid to UNRWA, is a dramatic departure from past administrations that had maintained the status quo. 

American Muslims for Palestine is gravely concerned about the future of Palestine and the situation on the ground as Trump continues on this reckless path. Further devastating an already dire humanitarian situation while violating international law and resolutions will only inflame tensions and continue to undermine the global standing of the U.S.