Palestinians protesting Israeli annexation

1 July 2020

Palestinian flags
This rally took place on Broad Street, a few blocks north of City Hall.

Today, the Israeli annexation of large parts of the West Bank was supposed to begin. The annexation was put off for a number of reasons. One of the major, immediate political problems with the idea was that

The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, strong Trump supporters, do not care very much about Palestinians in and of themselves. But their populations are very pro-Palestinian, and Netanyahu’s land grab could cause them a great deal of grief if they are not seen to be actively opposing it.

from across the street

When did the idea of annexation occur to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? It's hard to say, but clearly, as the US President's son-in-law Jared Kushner made annexation part of his Israeli-Palestinian "peace" plan, we can be sure that Netanyahu communicated that idea to Kushner. "Netanyahu has long been a friend of the Kushners, and particularly Jared’s dad, Charles Kushner, a major donor to pro-Israel and Jewish causes." Did Kushner ever care about the opinion of the Palestinians? Apparently not.

Kushner toured Middle East capitals seeking to get the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and Egypt’s authoritarian president, to pressure the Palestinian Authority into going along with the White House plan.
Meaning that Kushner never made the slightest attempt to try and get the Palestinian National Authority to "buy in" to his plan. So
The result is the “ulitmate deal”, as Donald Trump described it, that the president is expected to formally present to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House on Tuesday [28 January]. But enough details have leaked for the proposals to be widely scorned as favouring Israel by opening the door to its annexation of large parts of the occupied territories and giving it almost total control of Jerusalem.

the crowd

Palestinians have absolutely no patience for the Netanyahu-Kushner "peace" plan. Four Palestinians: Ahmad al-Khaldi, Gassan Khaled, Hasan M. Masan and Abderrahman F. Zaidan have filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court via a prominent Canadian human rights lawyer to declare the proposed annexation a crime.
Daniel Levy, president of the US Middle East Project, feels that the delay of the annexation was due more to internal bickering over the exact territories in the West Bank to annex than to any external force. Unfortunately, the US Democratic Party, though it doesn't approve of annexation, is not seen by Israelis as a significant obstacle, so Netanyahu will probably conclude the annexation project before Biden takes over as President.

crowd, looking towards City Hall

Why did the idea of annexation take so long after the 1967 war placed the West Bank under Israeli control? Demographics.

It has taken half a century to create irreversible facts on the ground that flipped the demographic reality in areas Israel did not want in the West Bank.
As early as the fourth day of the 1967 war, Israel initiated its planning for settlements. As of 2019, there were just over 240 settlements in the West Bank with more than 620,000 settlers.


So this is very much a story that's in progress. It's far from over. No idea where it'll end up.