Trump, Jerusalem, and the Future of Palestine


What does Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel mean for the future of Palestine and the Palestinians, and what does it reveal about US policy? Al-Shabaka policy analysts examine these questions and recommend ways for Palestinian civil society and leaders to safeguard Palestinian rights in the face of such a setback.

Nur Arafeh argues that Trump’s announcement cements Israel’s apartheid regime and “Judaization” policies in Jerusalem, and calls for the PA to end coordination with Israel and nullify the Oslo Accords. Dana El Kurd makes the case that the US move creates two opposing legal frameworks for Jerusalem, one that follows international law and one that bends to Israeli interests. “[Trump’s declaration] sets a precedent for greater legal recognition in the future,” she writes. “Palestinians should consider new ways of resisting Israeli colonization.” Munir Nuseibah reasons that the development confirms the US as a biased mediator. “The only positive outcome is that it ends the illusion that the ‘peace process’ is legitimate,” he writes.

Victor Kattan and Tareq Baconi recommend ways for the PA to respond and move forward. While Kattan outlines a number of strategies for the leadership, including calling on more states to recognize Palestine and devoting more energy to producing a concrete vision of the state it wants to establish, Baconi calls for the PA to be restructured to support a redirection of the Palestinian struggle – but in such a way that would mitigate the economic detriment of its collapse.

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