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Banning The U.S. From The Middle East Peace Process

Al-Ayyam, Ramallah, December 21

Washington has succeeded throughout the decades in turning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process into an American trademark. No peace deal can be negotiated, no war can be waged, and no crisis can be overcome without the U.S.’ stamp of approval. This is no exaggeration—just think of the numerous iconic photos of American presidents embracing Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Yet it is fair to say that America has never been a genuinely honest broker. History has taught us that, when it comes to Israel, the U.S. can never be neutral. American presidents, from Bush I to Barack Obama, have always consulted with their Israeli counterparts before speaking to the Palestinians. This favoritism has become even more pronounced under the current administration, which appointed three Orthodox Jews to lead its Middle East team. Leading Zionist figures have also made their way into the corridors of power of the State Department and the White House, where they have ensured that Israel will always benefit from America’s intervention in the region. In the U.S.’ defense, this policy was never hidden, as Washington’s preference for Israel has always been clear. Nevertheless, it is we, the Palestinian people, who were blinded by so-called American “goodwill gestures.” Therefore, the time has come to ban the U.S. from playing any role in the peace process. Following Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, we can only hope that President Abbas stays true to his stated intention to cut ties with Washington and find a different—and truly nonpartisan—mediator.  – Sliman Abu Arshid

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