Saturday, February 22, 2020 | ePaper

BREAKING NEWS:

Don't trust the untrustworthy Trump with Netanyahu on his side: Remove US bases

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Donald Trump is going to unveil his much-delayed Middle East "peace plan" alongside the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday amid a rising global chorus of doubt about its timing and substance. The US president said on Monday that he would announce the plan at noon Washington time (1700 GMT).

The choreography between the US and Israel has been interpreted as a convenient distraction for both Trump, who faces an impeachment trial, and Netanyahu, who faces three criminal corruption indictments, and an uncertain election campaign.

Israeli media have reported that the measures would be extremely favourable to the country, allowing it to annex much of the Palestinian territories, including Jewish settlements, and all of contested Jerusalem. The Palestinians may be granted some form of self-rule, but under tight restrictions. Essentially the plan is all about giving Israel what it wants -- at the expense of the Palestinians. This is a more of a plan to protect Netanyahu from prison. But what more we can expect from the US? It reversed its decades old policy by refraining from endorsing the internationally backed two-state solution. It has also recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, cut millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians, and announced that it no longer views Israeli settlements in occupied territory as "inconsistent with international law".

Trump is anti-Muslim and it is a shame that he took the current initiative with Israeli prime minister Netanyahu on his side. That itself is an invitation for the Muslim  countries to stay away. The best thing would be to get rid of the US bases from the Middle East and stop buying useless military hardware from the US. The US is certainly present in the Middle East to  create and sustain division among the Muslim countries.

In a 63-page indictment by Israel's attorney general, Netanyahu was accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of pounds in luxury gifts from billionaire friends and for trading valuable favours with Israeli media and telecom moguls for positive news coverage.

We can thus expect him to spin this story as a resounding success to the Israeli public and media and to portray himself as a Champion of Israel -- all so that the public don't see his real face.

We do not have to wait to see what would be the outcome of latest peace effort in the Middle East. But whether it will work or not -- Israel is heading for an unprecedented third general election within a year's period. The Muslims must show unity among themselves to expose their strength.

Will the public be intelligent enough to evict him from the PM's office and usher in someone who can promote real change -- or will they vote him again. If they do the same it will be a real calamity for all Palestinians.

Seeing the reactions of the Muslim leaders, it seems that they so far have rejected the offer made by president Trump. Our hope is Muslim leaders will ignore the plan right away. Already the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesperson called Arab Ambassadors to boycott the event.

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