'The White House has yet to unveil the president’s plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, but President Donald Trump has already made clear that it includes recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ignores the historic Muslim-Arab-Palestinian affinity for the city. To clear any doubt on the matter, Trump announced Jan. 25 at the World Economic Forum in Davos that his recent recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and his intention to relocate the US Embassy to the city, preclude any negotiation over the city’s future. Trump also declared that “Israel does want to make peace,” whereas the Palestinians “are going to have to want to make peace” or else “we’re going to have nothing to do with it any longer.” Trump seems to have forgotten that because he took the explosive issue of Jerusalem off the table, without leaving any options for the Palestinians, they have already announced that they want nothing to do with him.
It would be interesting to know on what Trump based his assertion that Israel does want peace. Perhaps he didn’t have time to glance at the decision adopted the day before by the Knesset’s Education Committee that approved legislation imposing Israeli sovereignty over academic institutions in the West Bank. The decision sent the bill to the Knesset plenary for the first of three votes before it becomes law. On Jan. 29, the proposed legislation was already adopted at a first hearing. (Two more votes are necessary for the law to be approved.)
Current Israeli law does not apply to institutions operating in the territories that Israel has occupied since 1967. When the college of the settlement town of Ariel applied to become a university, the Council for Higher Education responded that this was not within its jurisdiction. In the early 1990s, the government formed a separate Council for Higher Education to oversee Ariel’s college, upgrading it to a full-fledged university in 1992; it is now authorized to grant academic degrees. The new law would shut down the separate council and present the Council for Higher Education with a fait accompli — responsibility for an institution that it did not recognize in accordance with its respected, international academic standards.'
Read more: Far right Israeli regime moves forward with gradual annexation of West Bank
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