Pro-Palestinian? Then Vote for Donald Trump

As a progressive Palestinian, and as bad as Donald Trump has been towards us, I would take him over Joe Biden.

You may think this is a joke, not least when his infamous Mideast "Deal of the Century" comes to mind, but as damaging and inflammatory as Trump has been towards the Palestinians, there have also been less visible, but still majorly significant, paybacks from his presidency. Those positive repercussions may not be tangible in the short term. But the impact of his presidency on future American public opinion regarding Israel is going to end up paying dividends for the Palestinian cause. 

The list of damaging policies that Trump has implemented towards the Palestinians is always worth enumerating. In December 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with decades of official U.S. policy, and went on to bless the U.S. embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. 

Three months later, his administration terminated funding for humanitarian programs supporting Palestinian refugees by ending a 70-year partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Six months later, in February 2019, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) ceased all assistance to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, officially ending all forms of aid to the Palestinian Authority. 

After moving the embassy and curing aid, Trump waited just one month to endorse Israel's occupation over the Golan Heights. In his so-called peace plan, launched at the beginning of 2020, he "biblically" endorsed the annexation of most of Area C –  60 percent of the West Bank. More recently, his administration has green lighted a potential annexation of the West Bank. 

Palestinians protest against President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Feb. 11, 2020Majdi Mohammed,AP

But all is not as it seems. Trump’s crude partisanship, his tunnel vision towards solely satisfying Israel’s territorial aspirations, has actually strengthened the Palestinian cause in the U.S. That’s because he has accelerated a process that was already in train for years: growing skepticism among Democrats about unconditional support for Israel, and rising insistence on ensuring Palestinian rights and freedom.

Nobody should underestimate the Trump presidency’s negative impact on Americans’ attitude towards Israel. It has opened eyes. Israel is no longer a clearcut bipartisan cause.