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State of the Union: What’s at Stake

Tonight is Trump’s State of the Union address.

This is a critical time: we face a frightening escalation towards war, the abandonment of diplomacy, and attacks on human rights.

Here are a few items to look out for in Trump’s address — and what’s at stake for people and the planet:

  • On Trump’s escalation towards war with Iran: Trump’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a senior Iranian military commander, has brought us dangerously close to war with Iran and worsened violence across the region. It scuttled any prospects of diplomacy and undermined the concrete progress that Iran had made under the nuclear deal. Trump then slapped additional economic sanctions on Iran, claiming this was a de-escalation of the crisis. Far from it: these sanctions are war by another name. They’re causing shortages of medicine and increasing the costs of vital food and fuel, resulting in real suffering for the Iranian people.
  • On the so-called Middle East “peace deal”: Trump recently announced a “peace deal” for Israel and Palestine. But a real deal requires inclusion and diplomacy; here, Palestinians had no voice in shaping this plan. Trump’s proposal legitimizes Israel’s occupation, allowing Israel to annex much of the West Bank, Arab East Jerusalem, and the Jordan Valley. It forces Palestinians to live in patches of land surrounded by Israeli security forces. The plan rubber stamps Israel’s violations of international law and undermines any chance of real peace. Any real peace negotiations must center the Palestinian people, including civil society and women’s organizations pushing for peace, self-determination, and an end to occupation and militarization.
February 4, 2020