The articles and reports about US President Donald Trump’s “lack of commitment” to peace in the Middle East continue to pile up in all media outlets. From the obvious Al-Jazeera to the unexpected Washington Post, increasing numbers of people continue to express concern regarding the administration’s ability to mediate between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
A misconception suffered by many is that suspicion toward Trump began with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since then, it is claimed, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has used every opportunity to refute the legitimacy of the US as a mediator. However, it was not the Jerusalem announcement that caused doubts among the Palestinian leadership, it was Trump’s decision to drop the decadeslong foreign policy insisting on a two-state solution.
To peace activists this will probably not sound appealing; it was certainly disturbing to reflect on myself. Having served as a combat soldier in the IDF and lost friends to terrorism, I understand the need to preserve life and give a better future to Israelis and Palestinians alike. This conflict has, historically, called upon some of the most creative, resolute and brilliant minds to mediate and reach an agreement, yet there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. The best example, often cited by peace activists, is the Oslo Accords. The historical image of Yasser Arafat shaking prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s hand filled the hearts of many, but strategically the accords proved to be a massive failure. Recognizing a terrorist organization and giving it legitimacy to negotiate without reaching any agreement on concessions only served as a catalyst for the current state of affairs.
The real issue with the Oslo process was that it sought to side-step the ideological and historical component of the conflict, and in doing so chose to ignore the true obstacle to peace: anti-Zionism as a foundation of Palestinian identity.
Even when very generous offers were made by prime ministers Ehud Barak in 2001 and Ehud Olmert in 2008, the Palestinian leadership was unable to envision a two-state solution with a Jewish nation. The international community has turned a blind eye to this obstacle. Organizations such as UNRWA and UNESCO directly contribute to the indoctrination used by the Palestinian leadership to promote violence against Jews and a false historical narrative which involves erasing Jewish history. It is this indoctrination that denies the Palestinian people the ability to move toward reconciliation and a genuine understanding of Israel’s legitimate claims.
Palestinians are suffering. They are denied the most basic human right: the opportunity to pursue a happy and dignifying life. For far too long the United Nations, European Union, and non-government organizations blamed Israel. The only tangible outcome of this strategy has been an increase in Palestinian terrorism and lack of commitment to make necessary concessions.
Since 1937, when the English Peel Commission decided to blame Arab violence in Palestine on an increase in Jewish immigration, the international community has time and time again appeased terrorism and rewarded anti-Zionism. Is it not time for change? Have the Palestinians themselves not suffered enough at the hands of their own leadership?
President Donald Trump, through his change in US policy to ease the pressure to reach a two-state solution, has shown significant leadership in this process of holding the Palestinian leadership accountable. His determination to accept historical truths (as demonstrated by his recognition of Jerusalem as capital) and reducing funding for UNRWA have demonstrated the administration’s understanding of the real obstacles surrounding the conflict.
All we had from the last few Presidents Clinton Bush,Obama was a snow job and excuses
Trump, not being the foreign policy genius Obama was, looks at the Palestinian situation a bit differently; numerous acceptable offers have been made by the Israelis (the Palestinians don’t make offers) and the Israelis have offered to compromise by giving up territory vital to their defense but the Palestinians always reject them. The Israelis can never get security guarantees (as if they would be honored anyway) for their offers of relinquishing territory. So, why bother?
So, follow US policy, recognize Jerusalem as the capital stop making payments to terrorists and forget that two-state nonsense; you can’t trust Islamic terrorists anyway. Let THEM come to the table with something and go from there.
Like the Democrats, the Palestinians (the leadership who doesn’t feel any of the pain) don’t want a deal; they want an issue with which to vilify the Israelis before the anti-Semitic UN.