The complicated history of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is plagued by unfortunate decisions adopted by third parties that do nothing to help resolve the political, social and strategic problems that have worldwide repercussions. The decisions made by Donald Trump are a good example of this.
The last decision, the immediate closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, was an unnecessarily aggressive act. For years the office acted as the Palestinian embassy, who was given the mantle of observer state by the United Nations in 2012. It is therefore the politically legitimate representation of Palestinians in a nation that, under the leadership of previous presidents, has spearheaded important efforts to end the conflict.
Yesterday marked exactly 25 years since the signing of the Oslo agreement in the gardens of the White House, the last great agreement to establish peace reached between the two parties. The image of the clasped hands of Isaac Rabin and Yaser Arafat has spread through history. Both appear embraced, in front of then president of the United States, Bill Clinton.
However, Trump has not stopped sending signals that have intensified differences. The withdrawal of funds from international aid agencies for Palestinian refugees is a direct attack on their already low quality of life. The transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has broken international consensus on the need for an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians on the final statute of the city, whose eastern part has been occupied by Israel since 1967, and now the closure of the Palestinian office, formerly a mechanism of discussion. It goes even beyond the actions of the Israeli government itself, who has the Palestinian Authority and their officials as recognized interlocutors in numerous everyday issues.
In the best case scenario, Trump does not understand the negative consequences his actions have on the lives of millions of people. Worst case, he does not care. Governments, institutions and international organizations know that supporting dialogue is the only way to solve the conflict and to not fuel confrontation and tension. This is applicable for everyone, including those that believe supporting the Palestinian cause counts as actions against the Israeli people regardless of their ideas or condition. The movements that encourage boycotting of Israeli products, artist and intellectuals, and blame them for the actions of their government, are not only unjust and discriminatory, but also only serve to eliminate spaces of dialogue that are more necessary now than ever.