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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantTrump’s Plan for Palestine Looks a Lot like Apartheid

Trump’s Plan for Palestine Looks a Lot like Apartheid

Author: Alon Liel

Affiliation: The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Policy 

Date/Place: February 27, 2020, U.S.

Type: Analysis 

Word Count: 1500 


Keywords: Deal of the Century, apartheid, Palestine, Israel.


Alon Liel, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa from 1992 to 1994 and director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2000 to 2001, believes that Trump’s deal of the century is nothing new but a copy of a 40-year-old Israeli Initiative to South African Apartheid. In South Africa’s White minority government, its apartheid planned to create ten supposed homelands called Bantustans where Black South Africans could live secluded from the cities occupied by White settlers. The project was called “separate development.” The purpose of this project was to divert the international community’s attention away from racial oppression by appealing that Black people had been granted independence in their own homeland and weren’t second-class citizens any more in South Africa. It is now clear that attempts to conceal a discriminatory and oppressive regime by creating untrue autonomous states, inhabited by subjects who have no real political rights, did not work in South Africa and will not work elsewhere. This historic lesson is now being tested, as Israel is planning to introduce and develop the new millennium’s version of the old South Africa’s apartheid policy, with active support from the United States in the form of Trump’s so called “Deal of the Century.” The deal is nothing more than the implementation of Netanyahu’s long term plan to further entrench Israel’s control of the West Bank, by giving its residents secluded territory deprived of basic political rights and real freedom—precisely the goal of the old South African government’s Bantustan policy. The map indicated in Trump’s plan is an emulation of the Bantustan model, with fragmented Palestinian wreckages surrounded by territory fully under the control of the Israeli state, approving the permanent domination of one ethnic or religious group over another. Similar to the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Trump continues to signal that international law and international community are impotent before his dictates. The former ambassador recommended that “no one must give even tacit approval to this new form of apartheid and the ideology undergirding it,” as doing so would betray not only the legacy and efficacy of momentous international resistance to South African apartheid but also the fate of millions of Palestinians.

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Research Associate



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