Israel’s ‘realities on the ground’ make a solution to the conflict harder to achieve

When announcing his recognition of Jerusalem (including occupied East Jerusalem) as Israel’s capital, Trump referred to reality on the ground claiming “today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than recognition of reality”.

The message to Israel is that you create reality on the ground and the US will then recognize these new realities devoid of international law or UN Security Council resolutions. The number of settlers residing illegally in settlements has grown without any notable interruption. If they all remain, and indeed others are added, then there can be no two-state solution or a deal that the Palestinians can accept. Even if Trump is replaced at some point by a more responsible president, he or she will be left with realities that make a solution to the conflict ever harder to achieve. Israel and its supporters in the US may be smiling and cheering now but they cannot expect the Palestinians to behave like a model occupied people and pick up the crumbs that remain to form their homeland. The settlement enterprise has well and truly kicked peace into the long grass.

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