Donald Trump’s “both sides” argument is making a comeback this week. The president has used it to defend neo-Nazis and regularly resorts to similar logic when blaming the victims of both personal and systemic violence for the violence against them. So Americans probably should have seen it coming when Trump applied that same logic to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict on Sunday.
The Trump administration is currently withholding $65 million in aid to the United Nations agency that serves Palestinian refugees, The Hill reports. The argument that Palestinians don’t want peace is yet another example of Trump’s penchant for blaming the victim. He said this:
“Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace, they are not looking to make peace. And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace. So we are just going to have to see what happens.”
Trump furthered his “both sides” fallacy by saying that both Israel and Palestine will have to “make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement”.
Trump noted that Israel “has to be very careful with the settlements”. He did not mention the fact that Israel’s settlements are in violation of international law, as is the entire occupation of Palestinian land by Israeli forces.
A sitting president can’t say that “both sides” are to blame when Palestinians are unable to come and go without passing through Israeli checkpoints and are denied basic citizenship rights. That’s called apartheid.
“Both sides” are not to blame when the aggressor’s ongoing goal – wiping out Palestine and its people – is not being checked, but rather enabled by the government of one of the richest nations in world history.
Trump may be pretending to be the mediator, but his administration’s recent decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the Eastern portion of which the Palestinian people see as their future capital, proves otherwise.
The decision was met with a stunning display of rebuke at the United Nations. That’s because “both sides” are not to blame. Those like Trump, who refuse to take a stand for human rights, are at fault.
Featured Image via U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain