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The many opinions on Ricochet about Trump’s announcement to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have been exasperating, delightful, and insightful. As in many of these discussions, a major change like this bodes danger, disaster, and mayhem. I felt compelled to create some perspective on the situation, as hourly the concerns and positions shift. I explain my thoughts on the effect of Trump’s action in seven points. See what you think
1. There never was a legitimate peace process. The Jews always had a presence in Israel, in spite of the Diaspora. Then in the 19th century, Jewish immigration began to increase; the Arabs in the region resented them and repeatedly attacked them, especially from the 1920s onward. The Arabs made sure that everyone knew they were not interested in negotiating anything and that their only intention was to destroy the Jews. There is nothing that any Arab or so-called Palestinian has said to change those facts in recent years. I see no reason these circumstances will change in the future.
Conclusion: Israel needs to pursue a one-state solution that will deal with the Palestinian people in a fair and just way (whether or not they agree with it). From the PA’s corrupt and inept governance over the years, we see they are not capable of structuring or managing their own country; they will only maintain their goal of destroying Israel.
2. The Palestinian Authority will continue to fund terrorists and their families. Although President Trump has threatened to cut off funds to the PA if it continues to fund terrorism and refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, they will continue on their same path. Why would they stop? If Trump is serious, he will need to set a deadline for Palestinian compliance; otherwise, the Arabs will agree to his terms, and as soon as the money starts to roll in, continue as they always have. It’s time to stop the milk train.
Conclusion: If we discontinue the funding, we can hope the Palestinian people may finally realize that if they blow themselves up, their only reward may be in heaven (and not from the US government).
3. Now that Trump has taken this step, more countries will begin to support his position. In one sense, the recognition issue is absurd: Jerusalem has always been Israel’s capital, but no one had the courage to acknowledge it. Those countries that have not been overridden by Arab or Islamic populations will probably come on board first since there will be less chance of internal violence. Countries with large Islamic populations will be forced to acknowledge that Islam is not a religion of peace and become more assertive about not accommodating those who are prepared to attack their citizens.
Conclusion: Europe and other Islamic-dominated countries will begin to restrict immigration and initiate programs to integrate those people who accept living in their new countries.
4. On the other hand, European countries may resist joining forces with the US. Not because of their Islamic populations but due to anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments.
Conclusion: Identify a strategy for reshaping the news media in a way that demonstrates the successes of these changes in immigration policies and integrating immigrant populations.
5. Arab and Islamic countries will protest loudly, but for a number of reasons they will not take action against the U.S. or Israel. (A) They have their own problems to deal with internally regarding terrorism; (B) Saudi Arabia has created a coalition to fight terrorism and has not excluded any country or heritage from qualifying for the coalition’s protection; (C) Saudi Arabia has also been engaging quietly with Israel to develop strategies against their mutual enemy, Iran — to threaten that growing relationship at this stage would be self-destructive; (D) Other Middle Eastern countries are taking strategic direction from the Saudis and will likely follow their lead, even if they’re quiet about it.
Conclusion: Assuming that Saudi Arabia continues in its current direction, promote their efforts to fight terrorism and build new relationships.
6. As described in The Federalist, much of the violence in Israel, if it occurs, will come from the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah:
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has threatened the United States and Israel with repercussions. Hamas is calling for another Intifada. A number of the usual suspects, including several totalitarian states that ban Jews from their countries, have “warned” the United States that such a move would cross a “red line.” (Here’s a little secret; most of these governments are posturing and couldn’t care less where the U.S. embassy is.)
I’m not sure whom Abbas is threatening with the proverbial red line, but Israel will be ready for him and his terrorist cohorts. Meanwhile, you can read about the “spontaneous” Palestinian protests here.
Conclusion: Publicly support any efforts that Israel must take to protect its people and its borders. Condemn every terrorist action taken and apply sanctions when they occur.
7. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks criticizes the world’s attitude toward the Jews’ relationship with Jerusalem:
The sustained denial, in many parts of the world, of the Jewish connection with Jerusalem is dishonest, unacceptable and a key element in the refusal to recognise the Jewish people’s right to exist in the land of their origins. Mentioned over 660 times in the Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem was the beating heart of Jewish faith more than a thousand years before the birth of Christianity, and two-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam.
Since then, though dispersed around the world, Jews never ceased to pray about Jerusalem, face Jerusalem, speak the language of Jerusalem, remember it at every wedding they celebrated, in every home they built, and at the high and holiest moments of the Jewish year.
Conclusion: Creative ways to change the media narrative to be more balanced must be identified. Europe and other nations that begin to support Israel must be lauded for their courage in speaking the truth and for taking steps to discourage terrorism.
Finally, the same Federalist article makes an excellent point:
Many of the same people who lecture us to stand up to the authoritarianism in Russia or China argue that we should cave to threats of groups that subsidize jihadists and undermine American interests. Why do Booker, Feinstein, or the experts at the Brookings Institution believe that Hamas or Qatar should dictate where the United States puts its embassy? Yes, the move will generate widespread hand-wringing in the world, and there is a good possibility that there will be a new round of self-destructive violence among Palestinians. But if Arabs are willing to embrace extremism and violence because the United States no longer supports a delusion, perhaps the problem isn’t Israel?
Then again, though the chance of any real peace with the Palestinians is slim, maybe reality will start to set in.
Trump’s announcement, along with other steps that have been taken in the past year, has created cracks in the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian narrative. We must capitalize on that tiny inroad and, as we restore our role as a world leader, must bring the rest of the world with us.