From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by Rashid Khalidi in The Guardian on January 30, 2020
“In 1919, Arthur James Balfour, the foreign secretary, wrote that in Palestine, the British government did not ‘propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country’. The great powers were committed to Zionism, he continued, ‘and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land’.
In 2017, President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying: ‘We took Jerusalem off the table, so we don’t have to talk about it any more.’ Trump told Benjamin Netanyahu: ‘You won one point, and you’ll give up some points later on in the negotiation, if it ever takes place.’ The centre of the Palestinians’ history, identity, culture and worship was thus summarily disposed of without even the pretence of consulting their wishes. Then, in January 2020, the Trump administration finally unveiled its long awaited ‘deal’ – once again without consultation with the Palestinians, the party most directly affected.“
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.
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