Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. President-Elect Trump “Gets” Israel

 

People have protested that we don’t know what Donald Trump’s policies are. Those policies are appearing, and we can also deduce a lot about his plans from the people he is choosing for his administration. One policy that is becoming clear is his view of the State of Israel.

As soon as President-Elect Trump announced that David Friedman would be nominated as our new Ambassador to Israel, the Left in this country and in Israel loudly protested. David Friedman has been a long-time supporter of Israel and has taken many conservative positions that Trump shares. Mr. Friedman issued a joint statement in November with his co-chairman of the Israel Advisory Committee to Donald J. Trump . I’d like to share a few of those positions, followed by my own comments; these positions could change the course of history in the Middle East:

  • The U.S. should cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State. UNESCO’s attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.

The U.S has debated for a number of years whether we should even maintain our membership in the United Nations. Since our membership will likely not be dropped in the near future, a movement to de-fund the Human Rights Council would be a move in the right direction.

  • A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a US-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.

You’ll notice that this position suggests that a divided PA rule makes it impossible for the Palestinians to have united control of any area. I particularly appreciate that there is no mention of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

  • The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.

If we followed through on this proposal, we could finally stand tall for our principles by refusing to work with terrorists, and standing up for human rights for all religions. Also, we could stop funding the Palestinians whose leaders are pocketing vast sums, while their people live in poverty.

  • Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.

Caroline Glick in her book, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East , points out, “From 1967 through the end of the Cold War, the United States –like Israel—maintained that Israel could not be expected to surrender territory it took control of during the Six Day War until the Arab states recognized its right to exist and accepted its right to continue to exist, unmolested, within secure, defensible boundaries.” So this position is not new.

  • The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

There is no reason the embassy couldn’t be established in West Jerusalem until further progress is made toward peace; as mentioned earlier, the Palestinians must acknowledge Israel’s right to exist to even begin to establish peace in the Middle East.

I’m very pleased to know that President-elect Trump is seriously considering these recommendations. They may be the first steps to bringing stability into that area of the world, strengthening our ties with the only true ally we have in the Middle East, and increasing our influence.

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  1. Kay of MT Member

    You are so good Susan at taking my thoughts and putting them in a post.

    This is Robert J. Avrech’s take on the newly selected Ambassador to Israel.

    http://www.seraphicpress.com/david-friedman-trumps-splendid-new-ambassador-to-israel/#more-35520

    • #1
    • December 21, 2016, at 10:47 AM PST
    • Like
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Kay of MT: You are so good Susan at taking my thoughts and putting them in a post.

    Thanks! The WSJ had two pieces on Friedman today. Lots of people are not happy–he strongly supported one of the settlements himself. I laughed when I read that a representative of the Palestinian Authority playing it cool and said he didn’t care that Friedman was a Jew and that he supported the settlements; the PA fellow only wanted him to support the two-state solution. That may not work out for him. BTW, am really enjoying (if that’s the right word) Glick’s book.

    • #2
    • December 21, 2016, at 10:55 AM PST
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  3. Old Bathos Moderator

    Any change would be refreshing.

    The US striped pants crowd pats the corrupt, terrorist-coddling Palestinian leadership on the head and expects Israel to make concessions. How many years did we indulge the Yassir Arafat Hustle in which he would not quite promise peace and when Palestinian violence continued after each high profile meeting he would say that the concessions (and cash to him and Suha) must have been inadequate.

    The Sunni Arab world is now under siege from Iran thanks to the legacy of President Wonder Weenie so the need to assuage Saudis by “even-handed” treatment of Israel is largely gone.

    • #3
    • December 21, 2016, at 10:57 AM PST
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  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos: How many years did we indulge the Yassir Arafat Hustle in which he would not quite promise peace and when Palestinian violence continued after each high profile meeting he would say that the concessions (and cash to him and Suha) must have been inadequate.

    Thanks, Old B; I agree. I’m convinced that Arafat never had any intention of settling, as I read Glick’s book. He was all about destroying Israel, pure and simple. And so is Abbas, and of course, Hamas, which has never changed its mission against the Jewish State.

    • #4
    • December 21, 2016, at 11:00 AM PST
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  5. Kay of MT Member

    The Perfidy of the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations against Israel, as disclosed in Glick’s book is enough to make one want to vomit. The Oslo Accords turned out to be a total disaster for Israel and and it’s citizens, Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

    • #5
    • December 21, 2016, at 11:32 AM PST
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  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Kay of MT: The Perfidy of the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations against Israel, as disclosed in Glick’s book is enough to make one want to vomit.

    I was especially disappointed and surprised at how often Condie Rice criticized Israel and opposed them, siding with the Palestinians.

    • #6
    • December 21, 2016, at 11:45 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Doesn’t everyone though get disappointed by the Israeli/Palestinian problem in the end? All the liberals were probably equally excited by Obama and they didn’t move the ball much anywhere. Why would the reverse be different? I’m not very old, but for as long as I can remember nothing has really changed except at the margins. Does the moving of the embassy (assuming it happens) really change that much? The current status quo to me seems more stable for all other parties than trying to break the stalemate. Which is why there is no incentive to settle the issue one way or the other. Trump’s administration is being portrayed as old style Nixon realists, so why would that help Israel? Isn’t it the idealists who are the big Israel supporters, while realists always valued the more geopolitically important Arabs.

    Unilateral action by the primary participants would break the deadlock, but any move by either party will (I imagine) cause open warfare which neither side seems all that keen on really. With the possible exception of Hamas though really I think they prefer their game of “war not war” far more than a true showdown.

    • #7
    • December 21, 2016, at 11:47 AM PST
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  8. Kay of MT Member

    Susan Quinn: BTW, am really enjoying (if that’s the right word) Glick’s book.

    It is extremely enlightening! A couple of times I doubted what she was saying but then went to the notes as every single one of them listed, chapter and page, and the Bibliography. She verifies every single thing she says from outside sources. Nothing is made up or assumed. I don’t think I have ever read a book so thoroughly researched.

    Just the first entry in the Bibliography.

    Amit-Cohn, Uzi, et.al., Israel, the “Intifada” and the Rule of Law, Tel Aviv: Israel Ministry of Defense Publications, 1993.

    • #8
    • December 21, 2016, at 11:51 AM PST
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  9. Kay of MT Member

    Valiuth: Why would the reverse be different? I’m not very old, but for as long as I can remember nothing has really changed except at the margins.

    That is because the “Palestinian Arabs” absolutely refuse to acknowledge Israel and Jews right to exist, not only in Israel but anywhere in the world. You seem not to understand that concept which has been a truism for 68 years. Go to the library or buy the book Valuth. Your responses are based on ignorance of the facts.

    • #9
    • December 21, 2016, at 12:08 PM PST
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  10. MarciN Member

    Thank you for this post, Susan.

    If he does no other single thing during his presidency, this one step, this appointment, is momentous. It asserts the truth of the situation in the Middle East more powerfully than any other thing he could say or do.

    • #10
    • December 21, 2016, at 12:29 PM PST
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  11. TKC1101 Inactive

    If the US is unmoveable in the support for Israel, it brings a clarity that is needed to move the entire Mideast forward.

    You couple that with the US controlling the price of oil, and we have leverage like never before.

    The key to peace in the Mideast is a deal with Putin to back off Iran in exchange for something. We can supply oil to China to get them off the Iranian spigot, hopefully in exchange for rare earth rights.

    This promises to be interesting. I sense we are returning to a great powers deal. Hence the time with Kissinger by both Trump and Pence.

    • #11
    • December 21, 2016, at 12:53 PM PST
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  12. MarciN Member

    TKC1101:If the US is unmoveable in the support for Israel, it brings a clarity that is needed to move the entire Mideast forward.

    You couple that with the US controlling the price of oil, and we have leverage like never before.

    The key to peace in the Mideast is a deal with Putin to back off Iran in exchange for something. We can supply oil to China to get them off the Iranian spigot, hopefully in exchange for rare earth rights.

    This promises to be interesting. I sense we are returning to a great powers deal. Hence the time with Kissinger by both Trump and Pence.

    I agree. These are heady days.

    • #12
    • December 21, 2016, at 12:54 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kay of MT:

    Valiuth: Why would the reverse be different? I’m not very old, but for as long as I can remember nothing has really changed except at the margins.

    That is because the “Palestinian Arabs” absolutely refuse to acknowledge Israel and Jews right to exist, not only in Israel but anywhere in the world. You seem not to understand that concept which has been a truism for 68 years. Go to the library or buy the book Valuth. Your responses are based on ignorance of the facts.

    What does the book have to do with it? The facts are clear on the ground. Israel and the Palestinians have been stuck in this state of contained hostility for decades. But, this situation is for all practical purposes contained for everyone else. So no one wants to make any drastic move that might precipitate the situation in to an open and hot mess. Especially considering how the rest of the Middle East has been in the last few years. So really from a realist geopolitical view the issue for the US is in a sense solved. We can have good relations with Israel and its Arab neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, etc.) and the Palestinians don’t matter. This is the status quo. If it breaks because either Palestinians declare statehood or Israel annexes the whole thing it throws things up in the air again. Only idealists want to actually settle the issue. Realists just want to live with it.

    • #13
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:02 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    TKC1101:If the US is unmoveable in the support for Israel, it brings a clarity that is needed to move the entire Mideast forward.

    You couple that with the US controlling the price of oil, and we have leverage like never before.

    The key to peace in the Mideast is a deal with Putin to back off Iran in exchange for something. We can supply oil to China to get them off the Iranian spigot, hopefully in exchange for rare earth rights.

    This promises to be interesting. I sense we are returning to a great powers deal. Hence the time with Kissinger by both Trump and Pence.

    Great power deals ended in two world wars arguably. What will Putin want? It seems to me his obvious target is Eastern Europe. Why is Israel more important than Poland to us? Really it is all just a different flavor of idealism, the thought that we can actually live together even though we are so different. Great Power politics is just another form of international laws and order isn’t it? We set up rules and enforce them? Where is all the anti-globalist outrage?

    • #14
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:09 PM PST
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  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth:Doesn’t everyone though get disappointed by the Israeli/Palestinian problem in the end? All the liberals were probably equally excited by Obama and they didn’t move the ball much anywhere. Why would the reverse be different? I’m not very old, but for as long as I can remember nothing has really changed except at the margins. Does the moving of the embassy (assuming it happens) really change that much? The current status quo to me seems more stable for all other parties than trying to break the stalemate. Which is why there is no incentive to settle the issue one way or the other. Trump’s administration is being portrayed as old style Nixon realists, so why would that help Israel? Isn’t it the idealists who are the big Israel supporters, while realists always valued the more geopolitically important Arabs.

    Unilateral action by the primary participants would break the deadlock, but any move by either party will (I imagine) cause open warfare which neither side seems all that keen on really. With the possible exception of Hamas though really I think they prefer their game of “war not war” far more than a true showdown.

    I feel better informed than the last time we had this discussion, so let me try to do a better job addressing your points.

    First, we had NO indication that Obama could really do anything different–at least I didn’t, and I don’t know anyone who did. Second, I think that Friedman clearly understands the dynamics at play, and this is the first time anyone (and this includes Trump) has suggested for many years that there actually could be a one-state solution. Third, moving the embassy is a huge move, because it essentially closes the door on unifying Jerusalem. Since 11 of 13 other embassies moved out of Jerusalem when the U.S. abandoned it, I think other embassies will follow the U.S returning. It is a huge symbolic move for everyone. Fourth, there is incentive for settling for a one-state solution, especially if Israel’s allies step up–that’s us: Israel is sick of living in a war zone ever since they became a state. That’s a very long time. And I think you are quite wrong about the idealists supporting Israel–I think the idealists want two-states, but realists (like me) know that as long as the Arabs continue to set their ultimate goal as driving Israel into the sea, Israel is at risk. Finally, I don’t think there will be open warfare–Israel has defeated the Arabs far too many times, and I don’t think the Arabs are prepared for another humiliation. Not only that, do you know how many times Israel has attacked them–the nuclear plant in Syria? Do you know that the Golan Heights is administered already by Israel? Do you know how many Palestinians are emigrating from Judea and Sumeria? It’s time to act. Oh, and the Arabs are NOT more important geopolitically–Israel gives us more advantages in the Middle East than any Arab country. Maybe I’ll go into that later.

    • #15
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:10 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth:

    Kay of MT:

    Valiuth: Why would the reverse be different? I’m not very old, but for as long as I can remember nothing has really changed except at the margins.

    That is because the “Palestinian Arabs” absolutely refuse to acknowledge Israel and Jews right to exist, not only in Israel but anywhere in the world. You seem not to understand that concept which has been a truism for 68 years. Go to the library or buy the book Valuth. Your responses are based on ignorance of the facts.

    What does the book have to do with it? The facts are clear on the ground. Israel and the Palestinians have been stuck in this state of contained hostility for decades. But, this situation is for all practical purposes contained for everyone else. So no one wants to make any drastic move that might precipitate the situation in to an open and hot mess. Especially considering how the rest of the Middle East has been in the last few years. So really from a realist geopolitical view the issue for the US is in a sense solved. We can have good relations with Israel and its Arab neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, etc.) and the Palestinians don’t matter. This is the status quo. If it breaks because either Palestinians declare statehood or Israel annexes the whole thing it throws things up in the air again. Only idealists want to actually settle the issue. Realists just want to live with it.

    Please my comment #15. You don’t know the facts on the ground, Valiuth.

    • #16
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:15 PM PST
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  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth: Great power deals ended in two world wars arguably. What will Putin want? It seems to me his obvious target is Eastern Europe. Why is Israel more important than Poland to us? Really it is all just a different flavor of idealism, the thought that we can actually live together even though we are so different. Great Power politics is just another form of international laws and order isn’t it? We set up rules and enforce them? Where is all the anti-globalist outrage?

    We need our relationship with Israel. They are the only ally and democracy in the Middle East. That means we trust them more than anyone else and we can count on them. We know they aren’t going to invade other countries (like Iran will probably try at some point); they won’t pair up with another Arab country to defeat another Arab country because everyone still hates them; and there are those key waterways that need to be kept open and free. I suspect Israel would support us on that count.

    • #17
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:20 PM PST
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  18. TKC1101 Inactive

    Valiuth: . What will Putin want? It seems to me his obvious target is Eastern Europe.

    That is quite a leap. You posit a ridiculous exchange and then rail on about it.

    Try and imaging what could be offered that would make isolating Iran worth it. You were the one throwing Poland to the wolves.

    I was thinking market access or capital investment in Russia. Iran without Putin is preferable to Iran with Putin.

    • #18
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:25 PM PST
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  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    TKC1101: I was thinking market access or capital investment in Russia. Iran without Putin is preferable to Iran with Putin.

    Great idea, TKC. I think this has real potential, since you’re talking the language of Trump!

    • #19
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:28 PM PST
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  20. Columbo Inactive

    Netanyahu hails Trump as a true friend of Israel (like it was pre-BHO)

    Obama Administration gave $350K to prevent Netanyahu’s 2015 Election

    • #20
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:33 PM PST
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  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Columbo:Netanyahu hails Trump as a true friend of Israel (like it was pre-BHO)

    Obama Administration gave $350K to prevent Netanyahu’s 2015 Election

    I love it, Columbo. Netanyahu gets it, and with the firm support he will get from Trump and his own political right, I think great things are ahead. After all the insults and criticisms from Obama, we may finally see things settled in the Middle East. Thanks for the links!

    • #21
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:45 PM PST
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  22. Randy Webster Member

    Susan Quinn: Fourth, there is incentive for settling for a one-state solution, especially if Israel’s allies step up

    What’s the one-state solution? Israel annexing the west bank and Gaza Strip? Wouldn’t that be suicidal?

    • #22
    • December 21, 2016, at 1:57 PM PST
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  23. Kay of MT Member

    Randy Webster: What’s the one-state solution? Israel annexing the west bank and Gaza Strip? Wouldn’t that be suicidal?

    The Gaza Strip is a done deal. It is self governed by a dictator. There are no Jews there. Unless they make more mischief for Israel, they will be left alone. Again, read for yourself what the One-State plan is. Too large a subject to give a short response. Caroline gives all the pros, cons, and probable fallout by other game players.

    • #23
    • December 21, 2016, at 2:11 PM PST
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  24. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for your always detailed response @susanquinn. I should say I am not actually antagonistic to a one state solution I just remain skeptical it will work without a lot of violence. More than there currently is at least. And if the violence is bloody and long enough things can spiral out of control no matter how good the plans are. Consider me overly cautious, but given what we have seen from Syria and Libya if our goal in the Middle East is stability any unilateral move seems like rocking the boat to me. I have some more questions if you will consent to further educate me.

    Susan Quinn: Third, moving the embassy is a huge move, because it essentially closes the door on unifying Jerusalem.

    Can you explain to me what you mean by “unify Jerusalem”. Is unifying it bad? Why?

    Susan Quinn: Finally, I don’t think there will be open warfare–Israel has defeated the Arabs far too many times, and I don’t think the Arabs are prepared for another humiliation.

    I was actually thinking about the Palestinians themselves, not the surrounding Arab states. Do you think the Palestinians will not fight annexation? Do you think such a conflict has no chance to be long an bloody? After all annexing will require exposing more Israelis to Palestinians thus increasing the potential level of violence.

    • #24
    • December 21, 2016, at 2:47 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    TKC1101:

    Valiuth: . What will Putin want? It seems to me his obvious target is Eastern Europe.

    That is quite a leap. You posit a ridiculous exchange and then rail on about it.

    Try and imaging what could be offered that would make isolating Iran worth it. You were the one throwing Poland to the wolves.

    I was thinking market access or capital investment in Russia. Iran without Putin is preferable to Iran with Putin.

    You think they will just want money? I think they will want their old sphere of influence back. Money they can get from Iran too.

    • #25
    • December 21, 2016, at 2:50 PM PST
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  26. Front Seat Cat Member

    I look forward to reading this after dinner, but I had to comment – your title matches your new picture – funny!

    • #26
    • December 21, 2016, at 3:21 PM PST
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  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth: Can you explain to me what you mean by “unify Jerusalem”. Is unifying it bad? Why?

    Glad to share what I know. Right now, the Palestinians claim a right to all of Jerusalem, and especially East Jerusalem; that part is mainly Palestinian, and the west is Israeli. So if it were unified, the Palestinians could claim it was unjustly taken from them, even though the Jews have lived in Jerusalem for a much longer time. Again, keep in mind that these are IMHO excuses for trying to stay so that they can drive out the Jews.

    • #27
    • December 21, 2016, at 3:40 PM PST
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  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth: I was actually thinking about the Palestinians themselves, not the surrounding Arab states. Do you think the Palestinians will not fight annexation? Do you think such a conflict has no chance to be long an bloody? After all annexing will require exposing more Israelis to Palestinians thus increasing the potential level of violence.

    There’s really no way to be certain of anything; your point is well taken. But if the Palestinians are going to fight without the other Arab countries, I think they will be reluctant to start a war. Israel will defeat them quickly. Certainly they could launch terrorist attacks, but if resolutions are taken that are supported by the U.S., they will be reluctant, too. Also, the U.S. has paid millions to the PA with no accountability for how they spend the money; Glick calls it a kleptocracy. You can be sure that if those funds dry up, they will not be happy. I’m hoping other countries who give them funding will also pull back.

    • #28
    • December 21, 2016, at 3:44 PM PST
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  29. Fritz Coolidge

    As I recall, Bibi N. has succinctly stated the situation (paraphrased) thus:

    If the Palestinians were to throw down their arms, there would be peace.

    If the Israelis were to throw down their arms, there would be a genocidal holocaust.

    That is the rub. I am heartened that D.J. Trump’s ambassadorial appointment seems clearly to recognize that this is the reality until such time as the Palestinians relent.

    • #29
    • December 21, 2016, at 4:03 PM PST
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  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Fritz:As I recall, Bibi N. has succinctly stated the situation (paraphrased) thus:

    If the Palestinians were to throw down their arms, there would be peace.

    If the Israelis were to throw down their arms, there would be a genocidal holocaust.

    That is the rub. I am heartened that D.J. Trump’s ambassadorial appointment seems clearly to recognize that this is the reality until such time as the Palestinians relent.

    You’re right, Fritz! He did say something just like that. And it’s true. I’m trying not to get too excited about the future, but I can’t help but be encouraged. Thanks!

    • #30
    • December 21, 2016, at 4:10 PM PST
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