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Trump policies against Palestine add insult to injury, revive Balfour Declaration: PLO official

PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi

US President Donald Trump and his administration are following policies toward Palestine that have ‘added insult to injury’ and ‘revive’ the Balfour Declaration, which led to the creation of Israel, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) warns.

“It has been 103 years since the British government adopted a supremely arrogant, racist, and colonialist promise to give away Palestine and willfully discard the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” said PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi on Monday, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

“The catastrophic consequences of the Balfour Declaration have been our living reality since then.”

In a statement issued on the occasion of the 103rd anniversary of the infamous declaration, she also lambasted the Trump administration for reviving the declaration with his stance toward Palestine.

“Adding insult to injury, the Trump administration revived the objectionable mindset of the Balfour Declaration by upending US policy and international law in relation to Palestine. The so-called Trump plan borrowed this worldview and attempted to impose it on the Palestinian people.”

Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel in December 2017 and later relocated the US diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds in a highly provocative move.

The decision sparked outrage among Palestinians, who deem Jerusalem al-Quds as the future capital of a Palestinian state.

The American president also devised a controversial land grab plan – dubbed the ‘deal of the century peace initiative’ – which blatantly undermines Palestine’s right to statehood in exchange for vague promises of basic economic opportunities.

His provocative scheme, which enshrines Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, further denies the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homeland.

“Then and now, all such exclusionary policies aiming to deprive the Palestinian people of their fundamental right to have agency over their lives and destiny are egregious and entirely unacceptable. Just like the illegitimate Balfour Declaration, the Trump ‘plan’ is informed by an absolutist and literalist ideology that excuses the inexcusable, allowing for Israeli exceptionalism to perpetuate at the expense of Palestinian lives and rights,” Ashrawi said.

Furthermore, Trump recently brokered three much-condemned normalization deals between the Tel Aviv regime and three Muslim countries, namely the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Sudan.

“In this land, absolutist ideologies, including those backed by political and military aggression, have always failed. They will fail again in normalizing Israel’s inorganic and imposed occupation and institutional racism. Only a transparent and accountable political process that heals and rights these wrongs can undo the Balfour and Trump legacies,” the senior Palestinian official said.

The Balfour Declaration came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community. It was published on November 2, 1917.

The declaration was made during World War I (1914-1918), and was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

It is widely seen as the precursor to the 1948 Palestinian Nakba, when Zionist armed paramilitary groups, trained and created to fight side by side with the British in World War II, forcibly expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, captured huge swathes of the Arab land and proclaimed the existence of Israel.

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