We told you on the last Countdown about Trump cutting UNRWA’s funding by half, and that was apparently just the beginning of Trump’s attempt to bully Palestinians into submission to Netanyahu’s vision of “peace.” This week, Vice President Mike Pence visited Israel and gave a deplorable speech to the Knesset that made absolutely no mention of occupation or settlements (you know, just the main problems obstructing peace), and the Palestinians refused to meet with him during his trip. On Thursday, Trump said this Palestinian refusal to meet Pence “disrespected us,” and threatened to cut off all aid to the Palestinians and abandon peace-promoting efforts altogether if the Palestinians didn’t return to a negotiating table that’s obviously tilted against them. And just in case there was any doubt about how tilted the table was going to be, Trump reiterated that he “took Jerusalem off the table, so we don’t have to talk about it anymore.” Then came the most Orwellian point of all: “I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace, and [the Palestinians] are going to have to want to make peace too” if they wanted US aid. Of course, if the president were to escape Bizarro World and return to earth, he would know that cutting aid to the party that doesn’t want to seriously negotiate peace would mean cutting US aid to Israel. But there is no escaping Bizarro World for any of us; not for a while at least.

comments powered by Disqus