Cruelty In The Extreme

When Donald Trump, the current incumbent of The White House, threw his hat into the ring of the US Presidential elections in 2016 we Palestinians who keep a close watch on the politics of Washington held our breath. Not in expectation. Not in awe, but in fear and trepidation.

Here is a man who is ignorant. Here is a man who is narcissistic. Here is a man with more than a touch of megalomania. What possible good could come from someone like this to people like us?

His announcement that he didn’t need anyone’s money, referring, we can only suppose, to the powerful Israeli lobby in Washington and the Jewish donors came as a surprise. Here was a new candidate with no political experience whatsoever declaring that he didn’t need the Zionist money. Could he be a breath of fresh air in American politics? I’m afraid not. Within moments we saw him scurrying towards AIPAC and declaring to all and sundry his commitment to the security and the survival of the Jewish State.

When I heard him saying, “The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable, ” I knew that we were in trouble.

He called Mr Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority to Washington and told him in no uncertain terms where he and his administration were coming from. America, as ever, would be firmly and invincibly on the side of Israel. What’s more they had plans for a so-called peace process, touted as ‘The Deal of The Century’ which Mr Abbas had better accept. Or else.

The ‘or else’ manifested itself in no uncertain terms when Mr Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocated the USA Embassy to Jerusalem. When the Palestinian Authority objected to the move as being ‘against normal US policy and against UN resolutions and conventions and against international law Mr Trump came down on them and the Palestinian people like a sledge hammer. He and his team cut the aid to the Palestinian Authority. They then set about depriving UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, of any further aid for Palestinian refugees even going on to deny that the 5million Palestinian refugees, scattered throughout Palestine and other Arab neighbouring states were not actually legitimate refugees.

A few days ago this cruelty and inhumanity sunk to a new level.

palestine road

According to a recent report from the Washington based National Public Radio News Organisation The White House has blocked an emergency effort to finish a nearly complete multimillion-dollar sewage network in the West Bank city of Jericho. It will have to be buried under asphalt and abandoned. A $1.4 million school facility under construction in the Bethlehem area will also be abandoned or demolished.

Sean Carroll, the head of Anera, a U.S-funded aid group which has been carrying out the school project, said that he recently received notification from the U.S. government that it may have to tear down the school.

USAID, which oversees these projects, will lay off most of its local staff within months, U.S. officials say. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

Meanwhile Dave Harden, who oversaw U.S. aid programs in the Palestinian territories under the Obama administration did not mince his words. ”To abandon schools and water systems while in the midst of construction represents the worst instincts of this administration,” he said,”This peace team has no shame.”

“Jericho is in desperate need of the project”, said Ehab Njoum, a municipal engineer. “Only about 15 percent of the city is hooked up to a sewage treatment plant”, he estimated. “When most Palestinians in the city flush their toilets, the waste drops into private pits next to their homes. Sometimes these pits overflow, and there is a risk that untreated sewage can seep into and contaminate groundwater.”

Jericho’s Mayor Salem Ghrouf said he has never seen anything like what the U.S. is doing, “stopping funding for an important project like this one.”

He added, “this is political pressure on our president, Mahmoud Abbas.”

You can say that again, my brother. Will Mr Abbas heed the call and relinquish the reins of his shaky authority and put the burden of the occupation on the occupier not the occupied?

Or will he continue the pretence that he actually has authority, let alone an Authority? This remains to be seen.

To all of you, my compatriots, I can only say, unite and stay fast. The solution and the eventual authority rests entirely in your hands.

Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London, presently in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.


Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News