Palestinian rights and a Trump administration: Reflections on surviving the next four years
President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team have added their harsh criticism to that of Israel regarding the just-adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which reaffirms the illegality of Israeli settlements. Indeed, Trump has made no secret of his support for Israel’s designs on the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, as demonstrated by his pick of the avidly pro-settler David Friedman as his nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel.
What chance does the Palestinian quest for rights and an independent state have under a Trump administration? To address this question one must look beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the way in which Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign trail and since has legitimated racism, xenophobia, and sexism. He has appointed figures who have nurtured white nationalism or who view the world through a clash-of-civilizations prism imbued with Islamophobia.
This has repercussions on a wide swath of domestic and foreign policy issues, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is no exception. In fact, one could argue that with Trump’s victory, Palestinians now have a roadmap for the way forward that is clearer than ever before, both at the grassroots and the policy levels.
Over the past decade, numerous organizations fighting for Palestinian rights have flourished in the U.S. Their struggle mirrors that of other minorities here, including the Latino, Black American, Muslim, and LGBTQ communities, who are fighting against institutionalized discrimination to lead lives rooted in equality and dignity. As these organizations collectively mobilize against the threat of the incoming administration, alliances are forged and unity is engineered.