TEL AVIV – The American people made a historic mistake in democratically electing President Donald Trump just as the Germans did when they elected Hitler and Gaza Palestinians did with their election of Hamas, a Palestinian columnist said, joining a chorus of Palestinian commentators who are slamming the new president as a “fascist,” “lunatic,” and “megalomaniac.”
Bassem Barhoum, a columnist for Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, expressed the importance of keeping the “resistance” movement alive. The anti-Trump demonstrations that took place in the wake of the president’s inauguration were protests, he said, of the “savage capitalism and unprecedented greed that he represents, and to the dangers he could bring upon the world.”
“What gives me hope is that Trump’s insistence on repeating his mistakes and his provocative and ill-considered statements will nurture this awakening [movement and keep it alive],” he wrote in the paper translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in a new report highlighting the Palestinian mood regarding Trump’s presidency.
It is puzzling that nations, no matter how civilized, keep repeating the same mistakes when exercising their right to hold democratic elections. … The Palestinian people made this mistake in 2006 when it elected Hamas in a moment of frustration, despair and rage [while] the civilized and educated German people elected Hitler and his Nazi party.
Barhoum decried Trump’s “use of the threat of radical Islam as a bogeyman.”
Meanwhile, Hassan Khader, a columnist for the Palestinian Authority’s Al-Ayyam paper, made the following morbid prediction: “If the Americans do not manage to drive Donald Trump out of the White House, he will drive democracy out of their land.”
Khader echoed Barhoum’s comparisons with Nazi Germany, save for one important distinction. While Hitler regarded Jews as the source of all of Germany’s problems, Trump regards immigrants and Muslims as “an enemy responsible for all the problems that plague the U.S. and its citizens.”
PLO Executive Committee Secretary and former negotiator Saeb Erekat said Trump’s “rightwing extremism” was reminiscent of pre-World War II Europe.
Also in the official Palestinian rag Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Omar Al-Ghul asserted that “Trump suffers from megalomania and narcissism stemming from unbelievable arrogance. This dangerous tendency does not bode well for the U.S. and its people.”
He added that the new president was “a reckless, arrogant and racist man for whom tact and respect for the other are foreign concepts.”
“That the billionaire Trump has been elected U.S. president poses a tangible danger to [America’s] status and role [in the world, and endangers] the capitalist West, since his positions and statements reveal that he means to divide the capitalist West and turn the world and its international institutions upside down,” Al-Gul concluded.
“This can change the entire system of international relations. Hence, the [world’s] leaders and countries must take precautions and [prepare for] various scenarios so as to avoid [being harmed by] surprising decisions that the new U.S. president might take. The logical conclusion to draw regarding the future is that, in the Trump era, the U.S. will be at a crossroads.”
As soon as Trump came into power, Palestinian officials expressed their fear that the new administration would be biased towards Israel, supporting settlement expansion and a possible embassy transfer to Jerusalem.
Maen Erekat, chief of the PLO delegation in Washington, said that any credibility the U.S. has left in the Middle East will suffer greatly if “Trump takes positions that are clearly biased towards Israel and its policy that violates international law and the UN resolutions.”
Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath told the Hamas publication Al-Risala: “The coming period is dangerous for the Palestinians in the shadow of the Trump administration and of an extremist government in Israel headed by Netanyahu.”
Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki criticized Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who is an open supporter of the settlements. He further warned that if Trump follows through with his promise to move the embassy it would “open the gates of hell.” He added that the Americans will “lose if they do not back down.”
“No one can divide the Muslims,” he wrote.
Fatah Central Committee Member Nasr Al-Qudwa said that an embassy transfer would be a “clear assault” against the Palestinian people and would result in the closure of the Palestinian mission in Washington.
“The Palestinian side will sever its ties with the official staffers of the U.S. Embassy that will be illegally situated in Jerusalem,” he wrote.
He added that the move would instigate “popular action,” an apparent euphemism for mass violence, and added that he predicts “a great deal of fury” from the Muslim and Arab world.
Speaking on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel on January 18, Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub referred to Trump as a “lunatic” and said that the embassy relocation was a “declaration of war” against the whole world.
Rajoub said, “We want the confrontation to be between this new Fascist in the White House and the whole world – Christians as well as Muslims.”