Comments and a Wicked Cartoon about Abbas Meeting with Trump

happy abbas and trump (35K)
(source: screenshot White House video)

Buttu, Hassan, Erakat and TSVN's Heller

quotes from Palestinians provided by IMEU, Institute for Middle East Understanding |

Diana Buttu, Ramallah-based political analyst and former advisor to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian negotiators:

“Today’s meeting between Abbas and Trump is a waste of time, at best. Over the course of Trump’s first 100 days in office, Israel has expanded illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land at a faster rate than under any other president. Trump has not denounced this settlement activity and has indicated that he will move the US embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in violation of international law and contrary to nearly 70 years of US foreign policy, an extremely provocative and dangerous act. His appointment of David Friedman, a longtime ardent supporter of Israel’s settlement enterprise, as ambassador to Israel is another indicator of his dangerously pro-Israel policies.

“For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to continue the façade of the “peace process,” which Israel has always used as cover to build more settlements. Ironically, Israel’s cynical exploitation of negotiations to expand settlements means that the goal of peace becomes more difficult to achieve the longer talks go on. Moreover, Netanyahu has now added a new condition before any peace agreement can be reached, demanding that the Palestine Liberation Organization stop providing financial support to Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, hundreds of whom are currently on a hunger strike.

“In this reality, at most Abbas will get a resumption of a failed negotiations process, without any guarantees that Israel’s settlement activity will stop and without any guarantee that Israel will finally end its nearly 50-year-old military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories.

“Abbas should start supporting the grassroots boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement for Palestinian freedom and mobilizing widespread peaceful resistance to Israel’s occupation instead of continuing a failed negotiations process.”

Zaha Hassan, Human rights attorney and Middle East Fellow at New America. During Palestine’s bid for UN membership, Ms. Hassan was the coordinator and legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team. See this recently published op-ed by Ms. Hassan and co-author Nadia Hijab, Executive Director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, at The Hill about the Trump-Abbas meeting:

“President Trump said what the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas needed to be said at this meeting. First, that President Abbas is the Palestinian leader to sign a final agreement with Israel, thereby bolstering Abbas’s presidency at home. Second, Trump also recognized Abbas as a US partner which is important in quieting members of Congress who have been rallying to take a harder line with Palestinians on aid. And third, he promised to help support economic development in Palestine in cooperation with the public and private sectors which will be important to alleviate the situation on the ground so that Palestinians may be willing to give Abbas the space and time to explore yet again peace with Israel.

“Though President Trump promised that the US would work diligently with the parties as a facilitator, mediator or arbitrator – ‘whatever is needed’—he provided no insight into the parameters for a comprehensive peace agreement saying the parties had to agree between themselves. If the parties haven’t done so yet, it isn’t clear how President Trump thinks that could happen under his administration without more US engagement. President Abbas, for his part, did lay out parameters for a two-state solution including the baseline of the 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state followed by implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative which provides for normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel. That sequencing is important to Abbas in light Israeli efforts to use its warming relations with certain Arab countries to compel Palestinians to accept an agreement on Israeli terms.”

We save the best for last

Noura Erakat, Human rights attorney, Assistant Professor at George Mason University, editorial board member of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and Co-Editor of the e-zine Jadaliyya and the book, Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures (2013):

“It is rather tragic that Mahmoud Abbas is meeting with Donald Trump at a time when even NFL Super Bowl champions are refusing the 45th President’s invitation due to his jingoist and destructive policies. Abbas has much to learn from these athletes. Trump has signaled a desire to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and both his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and his closest Middle East adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are unabashed financial contributors to illegal West Bank settlements. And despite wanting to make a historic deal, Trump has disavowed Israel’s status as an occupying power thus abrogating five decades of US policy.

"The best thing Abbas could do right now is use Trump’s dismal record and the promise of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 condemning Israel’s settlement enterprise as illegal to pivot away from the US to internationalize the conflict. There could not be a better time to make this pivot and end the deleterious impact of US-led bilateralism, and yet the Palestinian leadership seems so entrenched in the peace process industry and occupation regime that it will fail to step up to the calls of this critical moment.”

Stanley Heller, The Struggle

Hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners are on hunger strike and this man, this unelected "President" (his term ended long ago) goes to DC to try to win over Trump through...what..flattery..? It's beyond contemptible

Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff puts it this way:

trump pats abbas on the head (131K)
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