From the 1st of July, plans to annex illegal Israeli territories in occupied Palestine – including the Golan Heights and parts of the West Bank – are intended to go ahead in coordination with U.S. support under the Trump administration. The Israeli Minister of Settlement Affairs, Tzipi Hotovely, recently announced that the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights will be named “Trump Heights” after President Donald Trump. Al Jazeera has reported that these future illegal settlements intend to house 300 families and forms part of the Trump Middle East peace plan that had been announced earlier this year.
The Trump “peace plan” largely favours Israeli expansionism over Palestinian self-determination. Ian Black is a visiting senior fellow at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics (LSE) and has expressed deep concerns over these imminent plans. Israel’s partial annexation of the West Bank would be, “the final nail in the coffin,” and “future historians will compare it with the Balfour Declaration of 1917.” Thus, the U.S.-Israeli relationship possesses direct legacies to British imperial expansion in the past where Israeli settler-colonization resulted in the mass displacement of civilians both within Palestine’s borders and beyond in the diaspora.
The creation of “Trump Heights” then commemorates colonial expansion in the 21st century under the current, destructive U.S.-Israeli relationship. These diplomatic relations are enforced by collaborative practices in police-state violence between the U.S. and Israeli armed forces, which is expressed in the ‘Deadly Exchange’ report assembled by the organizations, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Researching the American-Israeli Alliance (RAIA). The report scrutinizes the problematic nature of exchange programmes that are readily available for both U.S. and Israeli armed forces, which permits opportunities for both sides to share security tactics with one another.
The parallels in police-state violence towards black communities in the U.S. and Palestinians in the occupied territories is striking, which are arguably due to these security exchanges. The enormous support towards the abolition of police-state violence in the U.S. – especially pronounced after the murder of George Floyd – will then have transnational effects for Palestinians and their struggle for national sovereignty. The extreme militarization of armed forces in both the U.S. and in the Israeli occupied territories should therefore be analyzed alongside one another due to this collaborative nature, which would permit ways of deconstructing police-state violence that paradoxically exists as a global phenomenon.
To this end, we must conceptualize U.S. police brutality as an extension of, and beyond, the country’s own national borders, since Palestinian self-determination is suppressed transnationally due to these collaborative security practices. To begin, dismantling the Israeli-U.S. exchange programme is one way we can more capably tackle violations of human rights in both countries. The 1st of July looms large for Palestinians and the capacity to protest against Israeli settler colonialism under annexation will be stifled by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). Unfortunately, the type of tactics potentially employed by Israeli armed forces next month are analogous to those that will have been employed in the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S.
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