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Jeremy Corbyn: 'Trump's deal of the century is a disaster waiting to happen'

Former Labour leader says he fears world does not understand Palestinian anger as prospect of Israeli annexation of Jordan Valley looms

US President Donald Trump’s "deal of the century" and Israeli annexation plans for the Jordan Valley are a “disaster waiting to happen”, Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour party, has told Middle East Eye.

Corbyn, a long-time champion of Palestinian rights, said he feared the plans were so extreme that even if they were rejected, and those opposing them claimed some kind of victory,  the way could still be paved for an illegal land grab.

“My worry is that the Trump plan is so extreme that it will be rejected. But, and I say this sadly, in reality the Trump plan is actually a continuation of the demands of the right in Israel politics for a very long time,” he said. 

“The danger is there would be some slightly lesser version of the Trump plan proposed where there's not quite as much expansion, not quite as many settlements, and this will be somehow seen as a victory.”

Corbyn said that in Israel there was huge disquiet about the government's plans.

“Last week, I was on a conference call with people from both Palestine and Israel, people from Meretz, people from Gush Shalom, from B'Tselem, different peace groups within Israel who said there was a lot of anger and concern that the Trump plan will actually make their lives more dangerous, will make the situation of people in Israel more dangerous.

“So, the Trump plan is, I think, an absolute disaster waiting to happen.”

Corbyn also criticised the reaction of the British government to Israel’s annexation plans and its support for Trump on the issue. Following the release of Trump's "deal" in January, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Trump to express support, while British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called it a “serious proposal”.

Since then, Raab has warned Israel that any moves towards annexation would be “damaging to renewed efforts to restart peace negotiations, and contrary to international law”.

Asked whether the British government had protested enough, Corbyn said: “No, I don’t think they protested enough about this at all. And it's quite interesting that a cross-party group of MPs has written on this, and I support that letter saying that there has to be the strongest possible protests.

“The whole process has been that Israel has continuously put in more and more settlements, denied Palestinian people access to land, built a wall through farms that have made it impossible to run a sustainable farm and put the people of Gaza under siege.”

He said there was a sense of anger among the Palestinian people that he was not sure people in the outside world fully understood.

Source: Middle East Eye