100,000 Palestinians write to Donald Trump asking him to support two-state solution

Mass letter writing campaign organised in West Bank comes as new President signals US may move away from support for creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel

Friday 17 February 2017 10:59 GMT
Young Palestinians take part in a workshop at the Youth Centre for Development and Innovation in Nablus, West Bank
Young Palestinians take part in a workshop at the Youth Centre for Development and Innovation in Nablus, West Bank (YcFdAi Palestine)

More than 100,000 Palestinians have written letters to US President Donald Trump urging him not to end the US’s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The mass letter writing campaign, organised by the independent Youth Centre for Development and Innovation in Nablus, ran for 11 days in the run up to January 20 – Mr Trump’s inauguration day.

It collected notes for the President from young Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and displaced throughout the Middle East, to draw Mr Trump’s attention to their desire to cooperate with the US in the peace process.

Palestine's chief negotiator warns Trump against one-state solution

Centre director Mohammed Abu Ras told Al-Monitor: “All of the letters focused on the Palestinians’ right to freedom and self-determination, putting an end to the occupation as well as implementing the international law resolutions and international conventions and treaties related to the Palestinian cause.

“The letters call on Trump to stand by the principles of democracy and human rights, all the while committing to and defending international legitimacy by finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause.”

The letters have been summarised and are now ready be delivered to Mr Trump via official channels, Al-Monitor reported on Thursday.

The timing is apt. While Mr Trump signalled before he took office that he was much more sympathetic to Israeli interests than his predecessor Barack Obama, this week after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the President said he is open to other solutions that bring peace that do not necessarily involve Palestinian sovereignty.

“I’m looking at two-state and at one-state, and I like the one that both parties like... I can live with either one,” he said, in what would be a momentous break from what has been a cornerstone of US policy in the Middle East peace process since Bill Clinton’s administration.

The letters from Palestinian civilians join an official 9 January missive to the President from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In the letter of congratulations, Mr Abbas expressed his willingness to work with the US for peace.

He also warned that the proposed move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a city contested by both parties – could spark violence, endanger the peace process, and “open the gates of hell”.

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