'There can not be a deal by telling Palestinians you have nothing,' London panel hears
The U.S. President Donald Trump “has adopted an occupation narrative” with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a member of the Israeli parliament said on Sunday.
“One of the most dangerous elements in Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel speech, is when Trump mentioned that Israel has right to decide it’s capital because the government, and parliament are there in Jerusalem,” Dr Ahmad Tibi, an Arab-Muslim member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), said.
In December last year, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city.
The dramatic shift in the U.S. policy drew a storm of condemnation and protest across the Arab and Muslim world.
Speaking at a London panel organized by The Middle East Monitor group, Tibi said: “Trump has protected and adapted the occupation narrative.”
“Telling Palestinians that you have nothing, telling Israel you have everything – you can have no deal,” he said.
“We know the ideas, and components, we were not surprised by Trump. Trump is not solving Jerusalem or the borders, not solving the issue of refugees. Nor sovereignty… it is more than obvious that he did not consult Palestinians about that speech.
“Trump’s speech totally adopted the Israeli PM. Encouraged by [Jason] Greenblatt, [David] Friedman, [Jared] Kushner – the three musketeers. The three are more settler supporters than half of the Knesset! I am sure, I live there.”
- 'Heart of Palestine'
Tibi said: “Trump put pressure on Russia, EU to make the Palestinian leadership to come back to the negotiations.
“But at the end, we know exactly what is on the table. Jerusalem is one of the most important issues of the conflict.”
Speaking in one of the four panels that discussed the situation in Palestinian territory and the Israel’s settlement moves, Prof. Manuel Hassassian said: “There is no such thing as two-state solutions, [it's] more like a delusion.”
“Jerusalem is the heart of Palestine,” said Hassassian, who has served as executive vice-president of Bethlehem University and representative for the university at the Ministry of Education and at the Association of Arab Universities.
“And if all the attempts fail to bring justice to Jerusalem, I have confidence in the Jerusalemites.”
“I thank Trump for bringing Jerusalem back to the top of the agenda. He thinks he has done a favor to Israel, yet more than ever Israel is being alienated.
Hassassian said the U.S. has chosen to be on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of peace.
“Trump has increased violence by recognizing Jerusalem,” he added.