Is US Senator Graham confessing his sins? - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Is US Senator Graham confessing his sins?

Consecutive U.S. governments have so far supported a “two-state solution” to the Palestinian issue even if in words only. There is bipartisan consensus on this issue in Congress. Furthermore, U.S. policy on Palestine derailed only during the Trump era. For the first time in September 2018, Trump publicly announced his support for a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump said he had prepared a peace plan and would declare it soon. It’s thus very telling that since then the White House has not announced its support for a two-state solution.

Trump thinks that Israel can make concessions to the Palestinians in exchange for the great favors he’s done for Netanyahu , especially moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Although Trump officially recognized the Israeli annexation of the Syrian “Golan Heights”, there is no indication that Netanyahu will take agree to a two-state solution.

Netanyahu is a politician who has been in power for 20 years, and Trump is a real-estate businessman. Can Trump, who has only been in the White House for two-and-a-half years, compete with Netanyahu, an outrageous politician? Let's not forget that Trump is surrounded by the Israeli Lobby, the“ Neocons” and the Christian Zionists..

The delegation that prepared Trump's Palestinian Plan also recognizes Israeli sovereignty in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu said they would annex these settlements. The annexation of the West Bank means the death of Trump's plan. The political part of Trump's plan is expected to be announced in November. It is unclear whether the plan includes a two-state solution as well as an article on Palestinian refugees.

Congress's biggest supporter of Trump's Middle East policy is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. The Senator also played a leading role behind Trump's official recognition of the annexation of the Golan Heights. Despite being a pro-Israeli politician, Graham argues that the United States should stick to a two-state solution. Graham and Democrat Senator Chris Van-Hollen had prepared a draft resolution to support a two-state solution last June, while U.S. Ambassador to Israel Ron Dermer tried to persuade the two senators to remove the phrase “two-state solution” from the text.

This time, Graham and Van-Hollen went to Israel to seek support for the draft resolution, where they met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saeb Erekat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The Palestinians had severed contact with the Trump administration because of the concessions it made to Israel. Trump, who was generous to Netanyahu, treated Palestinians as “adversaries”. That is why the meeting of Graham and Van-Hollen with Erekat is an important development. The Senators said at a press conference that they did not think that Trump's Palestinian plan would soon result in an consensus. However, they also stated that the United States should not lose its ability to implement a two-state solution in the future.

Senator Graham is responsible for Trump's concessions to Netanyahu. These concessions have been a lifeline for Netanyahu, who is overwhelmed by corruption charges. It's hard for Trump to get the concessions he had hoped for in return from Netanyahu. If Netanyahu wins the September elections and forms the government, he will become even stronger. Does Netanyahu, who is politically empowered, need Trump? Trump lacks the necessary leverage to put pressure on Netanyahu. Because he had ceded plenty of cards to force Netanyahu to make concessions. Palestinians will not accept a partition plan that all but requires them to “surrender.”

Trump, who approaches the Palestinian issue with the logic of a real estate businessman, must be prepared to let his plan go to waste. Everyone knows that this plan is rubbish, except for Trump himself.


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