In response to reports that the Trump administration plans to announce a new policy that will reject the refugee status of millions of Palestinians and further undermine the UNRWA refugee agency, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s moves to rescind the refugee status of millions of Palestinians and to massively cut US humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza further confirm that their real intent isn’t an ‘ultimate deal’ to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but to adopt as US policy the disastrous agenda of Israel’s far-right.
What the president, Jared Kushner and David Friedman are preparing is not a peace plan, it’s a sham. It is a blueprint not for a negotiated peace but for one side’s capitulation. By seeking to unilaterally take first Jerusalem and now the refugee issue ‘off the table,’ President Trump isn’t resolving the conflict’s core issues — he’s making it worse.
Denying that millions of Palestinians have legitimate claims as descendants of refugees will not make them disappear, and cutting aid to people in need will only increase prospects for violence and unrest, as Israeli security officials have repeatedly warned.
The administration’s cruel and destructive policies will not change the need to resolve this conflict via a fairly negotiated two-state solution. Nor will they prevent a future US administration from once again leading good-faith diplomacy towards that goal.
The Trump administration has destroyed its ability to serve as a diplomatic leader. It is instead behaving as a full-on bad actor. Members of Congress must now do everything in their power to challenge the actions of a reckless president pouring fuel on the fire in the Middle East.”