Monday, June 22, 2020

Trump’s “Israel-Palestine Peace Deal”: Cheered by Israelis and Jeered by Palestinian Authority

This article is by

Share this article

President Trump Unveils a Plan for a Comprehensive Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Palestinians | Source White House via Wikimedia

In January 2020, President of the United States, Mr. Trump, elaborated on a plan that, according to him, would bring peace to the Middle East with respect to the ongoing Palestinian crisis. The plan was welcomed by Israel but rejected by the Palestinians as they perceive it to favour Israel at the cost of Palestinian interests. It gave Israel the right over Jerusalem and the settlements in the West Bank as well as Jordan Valley. The settlements in the West Bank came as a consequence of the 1967 Mideast war, in which Israel had captured it but never formally claimed it due to international opposition. 

According to the plan, the proposed Palestinian state would not have a standing military and would be required to live up to benchmarks set up by the Israelis. The new state of Palestine will be established on the land which is non-contiguous and Israel would retain the security responsibility of the West Bank. The new Palestine therefore will become unviable as a functioning state.  

The president of the Palestinian authority, Mahmood Abbas, denounced the plan immediately and called it a conspiracy deal which is unworthy of serious contemplation. “We say a thousand times over:”, he said ”no,no,no,” after which the Palestinian leadership has not been on speaking terms with the Trump administration. Mr. Abbas played no substantive role in the plan-making process.

In January, Israel was planning to vote on the unilateral annexation of the West Bank after their Knesset elections, which is the national legislature of Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who promised the annexation if he was elected, was re-elected in the March elections. "Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea," said Mr. Netanyahu in September as a part of his election campaign.

The annexation, in the opinion of the Prime Minister of Palestine, would destroy the progress made in the Oslo accords, which were agreements between the two states signed in 1993. On 20th of May, the Prime Minister vowed to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and that he’d act in July, to which the Palestinian authority dissolved all treaties, understandings and agreements with Israel and the United States, which include the Oslo accords.

In the beginning of June, the Palestinian Prime Minster announced that the state would declare independence for Palestine if Israel follows through on the threat. The announcement detailed that the authority would declare an independent state along the 1967 partitions with Jerusalem as its capital. The authority would also manifest as a state on the ground, which means there would be a founding council and a constitutional declaration. 

All eyes are now on the action of Israeli government and reaction of Palestinian Authority in this  long drawn saga.

Support us to bring the world closer

To keep our content accessible we don't charge anything from our readers and rely on donations to continue working. Your support is critical in keeping Global Views 360 independent and helps us to present a well-rounded world view on different international issues for you. Every contribution, however big or small, is valuable for us to keep on delivering in future as well.

Support Us

Share this article

Read More

October 23, 2020 3:57 PM

Male gaze, their female guardians and sports-wear

In Helen Cixous’ essay, ‘The Laugh of Medusa’, she urges women to redefine what their body means to them, not just physically but also socially, emotionally and politically. This could happen by re-writing about your body in a way you deem  fit, the expression you identify with and separating it from how your body has been written about by men. The expression could be how you view your body separate from the patriarchal lense.

It is no secret that a woman’s body is subject to critique. While clothing for men is just a tool to cover themselves as per the surrounding environment, clothing for women isa social and political narrative that dictates their life or as we affectionately call it ‘culturally appropriate’.

The clothing style could vary. It could be a woman covered head to toe in a Burqa, it could be a woman who decides to wear sports-wear in a park or it could be jeans and a top. Everything is critically evaluated by men and by women who work towards protecting the male gaze.

The male gaze is a heterosexual way of looking at female bodies that sexualises these bodies into an object. It is a gaze that runs on the self-affirmative notion that the bodies of women, and what they do with it, is directly linked to how they  appear in front of a man.

In a recent incident in Bangalore, India, popular Indian actress Samyuktha Hegde was abused and threatened by senior political leader of the congress party, Kavitha Reddy,  for wearing sports-wear, in Bangalore’s Agara Lake park. She was exercising with her friend.

Kavitha Reddy initially claimed she was in indecent attire and went onto morally police and then later abused the actress and her friend.  A supposedly progressive political leader gets uncomfortable by what women are wearing. It breaks into an argument and a fight where the politician is supported by five to six men. Later on, the police appear to be appeasing the politician instead of the women who were harassed. Although she did apologise, her apology came after her video went viral, and as a protection for her own political reputation.

To look at Samyuktha Hegde’s clothing as a threat is to view her clothing as an act of obscenity therefore bullying her identity and sense of agency and reducing her to sexual object, who, by putting her in public, apparently gives the men present a right to look at her? Nevermind that she was there to workout like everyone else, her actions were confused as to how men look at her. In the video posted by the actress, the politician is surrounded by men who are championing her on. The politician choses to side with the patriarchal figures in shaming these women. Asking to protect from the male gaze is a far stretch but punishing women for the male gaze is where we should draw a line.

What roles does Kavitha Reddy play? She is the guardian of the male gaze. We find her in our mothers, in our grandmothers, in aunties and sometimes our friends. She understands a woman’s body as an object that is there to be looked at by men. She gets angry at women for wearing certain kinds of clothing but she is not angry at men for looking. The agency in this case always belongs to men.

When Cixous asks women to re-define their identity, she urges us to strangle the moral police that comes alive in such instances. It is the moral police that shames women for wearing clothes that don’t flatter their bodies or clothes that do flatter them. She urges us to reflect upon the source of such vigilance. Do we shame other women because we believe in what we are saying or our identity is partially (or  wholly) shaped by the male gaze?

Whether we chose to wear a burqa, or a dress, or variations of the new type clothing produced everyday, the crux of the matter is that it should not worry anyone apart from the one wearing it. The identity of a woman, sexual or otherwise, has to be redefined to be separated from the men and their gaze. We have to draw a line otherwise people in power will continue to abuse their power and preserve patriarchy and male gaze.

Read More