“This means that Palestinians will continue to be expelled and forced to live on fewer means in smaller areas until they are gone,” Paul Larudee told the Balkans Post in an interview about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The following is a transcript of the interview:
Balkans Post: U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the general provisions of his Middle East scheme, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side. What’s your take on the legitimacy of the move?
Paul Larudee: Let's keep this simple. Trump has a proposal, and it is one that no Palestinian, however compromised, has accepted or will accept. The U.S. has no legal right to dictate the terms to the Palestinians, so what is the purpose of the plan? The purpose is the same as all the other plans that preceded it. Make the plan unacceptable, and when the Palestinians refuse it, blame them for the failure. Then give Israel the green light to implement the plan by force because "there is no partner." Job done, and another milestone on the complete elimination of Palestinians and Palestine, i.e. the Zionist plan. The U.S. and Trump already consider the Golan Heights part of Israel, and South Lebanon, the East Bank and the Sinai are next on the agenda.
BP: What role has Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner played in the formation of such one-sided plan?
Paul Larudee: Kushner doesn't have much of a role. Some would say he's superfluous. But to the extent that he has a role, it is largely cosmetic, to make it appear that Trump is negotiating and not just taking orders from Israel. Yes, well I've seen horses count, too, but I don't think they do it on their own.
BP: Under the plan, the majority Arab population of historic Palestine is crammed into 15% of the land. How does this impact the lives of Palestinians?
Paul Larudee: Israel's ultimate goal is the elimination of everything Palestinian and non-Jewish from Palestine and to expand its territory with no definite limit. This means that Palestinians will continue to be expelled and forced to live on fewer means in smaller areas until they are gone. The Trump plan is a step on this road.
BP: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has criticized the move, saying any agreement “must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump’s so-called peace deal doesn’t come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict.” Other leading Democratic candidates have also criticized the move. What could you say about this?
Paul Larudee: We cannot take seriously anything the Democratic candidates say on this issue. They will never do anything without Israel's permission. Notice that Bernie says nothing about security for the Palestinians, nor what the state will look like. Perhaps he's talking about 15% of Palestine and prison-like conditions like in Gaza, where prisoners in other parts of the world are at least provided with electricity, food and medical services. The Democrats will say anything to criticize Trump. That's what this is about. We should not expect better from them.
Paul Larudee is a political activist who is a major figure in the pro-Palestinian movement. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, he is involved with the International Solidarity Movement and was a founder of the Free Gaza Movement and the Free Palestine Movement.