Time to Break from the Palestinians and the Peace Process

 

Did you know that members of Fatah attacked a US delegation from the Jerusalem consulate last week? This is Caroline Glick’s description of the attack:

On Tuesday a delegation of diplomats from the US Consulate in Jerusalem came to Bethlehem to participate in a meeting of the local chamber of commerce. When they arrived in the city, Fatah members attacked them. Their vehicles with diplomatic license plates were pelted with tomatoes and eggs by a mob of protesters calling out anti-American slogans.

After the Americans entered the hall where the meeting was scheduled to take place, some of the rioters barged in. They held placards condemning America and they shouted, “Americans Out!”

The American officials left and the rioters again attacked their vehicles.

Near Bethlehem, a mock “tribunal” was held for Pence and Trump. Found guilty, their effigies were burned.

In other countries, this sort of behavior might be shrugged off. After all, Americans are despised in other countries and demonstrations are made against our country and our officials. But these demonstrations took place in a country ruled by Mahmoud Abbas, the man who has governed for 14 years (instead of the four for which he was elected.) At the very least, police could have been escorting the US diplomatic vehicles, or stationed at the doors of the meeting to protect those attending. No protection was provided.

After the U.S. threatened to withhold funding to the UN, and at Davos Trump threatened to cut off all US aid to the Palestinians, Abbas called for Trump’s “house to be destroyed.” You can be sure that this was an official call against Americans.

In addition, Jason Greenblatt is playing off Trump’s threats (I believe) to cut off funds. As often happens diplomatically with other senior officials, Greenblatt disagrees with Trump’s statement that Trump wouldn’t be overly concerned to see the peace process disappear. In contrast, Greenblatt has said that control of Jerusalem is still up for negotiation and that the US is still committed to the peace process.

Whether this difference in perspectives between Trump and Greenblatt is misdirection or confusing foreign policy, no one has been able to say.

Finally, the Palestinians may experience another blow to their plans for peace:

. . . reports that the administration is considering holding the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA to the same definition of “refugee” as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees means another Palestinian high card is in danger. If Trump carries out his threat, then the only Palestinians who will be eligible for refugee status will be the 20,000 Palestinians who left Israel between 1947 and 1949. In one fell swoop, Trump would wipe out the Palestinian demand to destroy Israel through mass immigration of five million foreign-born Arabs to its territory – in the framework of peace.

My hope is that Donald Trump is seeing the writing on the wall: he knows that pursuing a peace process between the Palestinians and Israel is a waste of our energy; that the Palestinians will not compromise on any important aspect of a peace agreement; that they will never agree to Israel’s right to exist; and they will never be an ally of our country.

It’s time to break off our relationship with the Palestinians.

Published in Foreign Policy
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There are 62 comments.

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  1. Member

    I subscribe to Caroline’s post and when I read this morning about this incident was so sad. I hope that President Trump cuts them off. As Well as cuts off the money.

    • #1
    • February 4, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    • 5 likes
  2. Coolidge

    Wait. If we stop supporting the Palestinians then almost the entire Arabic world will hate us.

    Oh. Wait.

    • #2
    • February 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm
    • 19 likes
  3. Member

    For the first time, things are changing there. The Palestinians have been offered one peace deal after another, we’ve paid millions in aid, and nothing is pleasing. For the first time, an American President has taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table and placing it back as the capital of Israel, which it was and always has been – the heart beat of the Jews. When it was under control of the Jews, there was reasonable co-existence between Muslims, Jews and Christians, and access to holy sites. It all went down the tubes with Arafat.

    This administration is asking that if indeed peace is the goal, than stand by it – stop the terror. No more funding for terrorists and their families. The world leaders, even the Pope, are squeamish that Trump is threatening “stability in the region” – really? Stable? It’s going to be an interesting year.

    • #3
    • February 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm
    • 12 likes
  4. Member

    Susan Quinn: Finally, the Palestinians may experience another blow to their plans for peace

    ?

    The only peace the Palestinians seem to be interested in is the peace of the grave. For Israel.

    I agree we should break off relations. Any civilized society would. They’ve never been an honest peace partner. It’s embarrassing that the civilized world continues to be bamboozled year after year, decade after decade. Fool me once…

    • #4
    • February 4, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    • 16 likes
  5. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    I subscribe to Caroline’s post and when I read this morning about this incident was so sad. I hope that President Trump cuts them off. As Well as cuts off the money.

    You’re the one who told me about Caroline, Kay. She’s so well-informed and thoughtful. I think this decision would free up Israel, too.

    • #5
    • February 4, 2018 at 6:26 pm
    • 3 likes
  6. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    For the first time, things are changing there. The Palestinians have been offered one peace deal after another, we’ve paid millions in aid, and nothing is pleasing. For the first time, an American President has taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table and placing it back as the capital of Israel, which it was and always has been – the heart beat of the Jews. When it was under control of the Jews, there was reasonable co-existence between Muslims, Jews and Christians, and access to holy sites. It all went down the tubes with Arafat.

    This administration is asking that if indeed peace is the goal, than stand by it – stop the terror. No more funding for terrorists and their families. The world leaders, even the Pope, is squeamish that Trump is threatening “stability in the region” – really? Stable? It’s going to be an interesting year.

    I’m optimistic. There may be bloodshed, FSC, but the Israelis will be ready.

    • #6
    • February 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm
    • 3 likes
  7. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Finally, the Palestinians may experience another blow to their plans for peace

    ?

    The only peace the Palestinians seem to be interested in is the peace of the grave. For Israel.

    I agree we should break off relations. Any civilized society would. They’ve never been an honest peace partner. It’s embarrassing that the civilized world continues to be bamboozled year after year, decade after decade. Fool me once…

    Double like!

    • #7
    • February 4, 2018 at 6:30 pm
    • 5 likes
  8. Member

    Skyler (View Comment):
    Wait. If we stop supporting the Palestinians then almost the entire Arabic world will hate us.

    Oh. Wait.

    Well, now they just hate us. But if we do that then they’ll really hate us.

    • #8
    • February 4, 2018 at 6:36 pm
    • 7 likes
  9. Member

    The time to have done it was about fifty years ago, but better late than never.

    • #9
    • February 4, 2018 at 6:55 pm
    • 15 likes
  10. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):
    The time to have done it was about fifty years ago, but better late than never.

    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    Chinese Proverb

    • #10
    • February 4, 2018 at 7:25 pm
    • 14 likes
  11. Member

    Wow, after over a half century of rewarding evil behavior, the U.S. is actually considering punishing it. What a concept.

    • #11
    • February 4, 2018 at 7:29 pm
    • 16 likes
  12. Coolidge

    Susan, it’s been long apparent that money we give to the Palestinians for “humanitarian” reasons is funneled, in part, into their efforts to undermine Israel. It’s unbelievable how dense we are when the recipient of our largess makes the right noises concerning freedom, nationhood, and oppression. Europe has long been suckers. There is no need for us to remain suckers any longer.

    We’re worse than a naive young girl who is taken in by a cad who knows what words will trigger compliance. We’re worse because this isn’t our first go-around.

    When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?

    Kent

    • #12
    • February 4, 2018 at 8:08 pm
    • 7 likes
  13. Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    The time to have done it was about fifty years ago, but better late than never.

    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    Chinese Proverb

    _________

    Richard, I’ve never heard that proverb. It’s a good one.

    Kent

    • #13
    • February 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm
    • 6 likes
  14. Member

    Susan Quinn: the peace process

    Ha! What a laugh. There is no peace process; there’s a war process punctuated by brief moments of peace.

    Diplomats live in an illusory place where Palestinians want peace. Everyone else in the world knows this is not true, even as many are reluctant to admit it. If the president tells the truth about this, he’s vilified. It’s a topsy turvy world.

    • #14
    • February 4, 2018 at 8:16 pm
    • 12 likes
  15. Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    There is no peace process; there’s a war process punctuated by brief moments of peace getting ready for the next attack.

    FTFY.

    • #15
    • February 4, 2018 at 8:25 pm
    • 9 likes
  16. Member

    Susan Quinn: It’s time to break off our relationship with the Palestinians.

    Waaaay past time!

    • #16
    • February 4, 2018 at 8:47 pm
    • 4 likes
  17. Coolidge
    TBA

    I take a back seat cat to no one when it comes to favoring Israel over Palestine. When it comes to talk of a peace process my contempt runneth over.

    But we’re talking about tomatoes and yelling and signage here; it’s a weak place for drawing a line in the sand®*.
    ____________________________
    *’line in the sand’ is a registered trademark of the Republican Party and is not meant to be confused with the Obama™ line.

    • #17
    • February 4, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    • 4 likes
  18. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):
    The time to have done it was about fifty years ago, but better late than never.

    When they throw a tantrum, the best thing to do is to walk away. Let the oil-rich Arab/Muslim nations deal with the “humanitarian” needs.

    • #18
    • February 4, 2018 at 9:20 pm
    • 3 likes
  19. Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    But we’re talking about tomatoes and yelling and signage here; it’s a weak place for drawing a line in the sand®*.
    ____________________________
    *’line in the sand’ is a registered trademark of the Republican Party and is not meant to be confused with the Obama™ line.

    Doesn’t it seem that there has been way more than enough provocation already? I don’t think that we needed this incident to trigger the “line in the sand”. The Palestinians have never bargained in good faith. I think most Americans are tired of the [COC] and we need to let them know it in no uncertain terms.

    • #19
    • February 4, 2018 at 9:41 pm
    • 8 likes
  20. Thatcher

    This was going to be my quote of the day, but it works here.

    “There is no such thing as a “peace process”. Peace is never negotiated, but won in combat, and the winner sets the terms of any peace treaty.” RushBabe49

    And the term “Palestinians” needs always to appear in scare-quotes, since there is no such group either.

    • #20
    • February 4, 2018 at 9:48 pm
    • 9 likes
  21. Coolidge
    TBA

    JoelB (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    But we’re talking about tomatoes and yelling and signage here; it’s a weak place for drawing a line in the sand®*.
    ____________________________
    *’line in the sand’ is a registered trademark of the Republican Party and is not meant to be confused with the Obama™ line.

    Doesn’t it seem that there has been way more than enough provocation already? I don’t think that we needed this incident to trigger the “line in the sand”. The Palestinians have never bargained in good faith. I think most Americans are tired of the [COC] and we need to let them know it in no uncertain terms.

    Absolutely. But how seriously will anyone take us if we say, ‘sure, you lob rockets from mosques and schools to murder Jewish civilians, but throwing tomatoes at embassy staff is absolutely the last straw’?

    • #21
    • February 4, 2018 at 10:41 pm
    • Like
  22. Member

    Dehumanization is the psychological process of demonizing the enemy, making them seem less than human and hence not worthy of humane treatment. This can lead to increased violence, human rights violations, war crimes, and genocide.

    …Protracted conflict…often lead[s] to feelings of intense hatred and alienation among conflicting parties. The more severe the conflict, the more the psychological distance between groups will widen. Eventually, this can result in moral exclusion. Those excluded are typically viewed as inferior, evil, or criminal.

    …for individuals viewed as outside the scope of morality and justice, “the concepts of deserving basic needs and fair treatment do not apply and can seem irrelevant.”Any harm that befalls such individuals seems warranted, and perhaps even morally justified….Common criteria for exclusion include ideology, skin color, and cognitive capacity. We typically dehumanize those whom we perceive as a threat to our well-being or values.

    Psychologically, it is necessary to categorize one’s enemy as sub-human in order to legitimize increased violence or justify the violation of basic human rights. Moral exclusion reduces restraints against harming or exploiting certain groups of people. In severe cases, dehumanization makes the violation of generally accepted norms of behavior regarding one’s fellow man seem reasonable, or even necessary.

    Dehumanization is actually an extension of a less intense process of developing an “enemy image” of the opponent. During the course of protracted conflict…parties begin to attribute negative traits to their opponent. They may come to view the opponent as an evil enemy, deficient in moral virtue, or as a dangerous, warlike monster.

    An enemy image is a negative stereotype through which the opposing group is viewed as evil, in contrast to one’s own side, which is seen as good. Such images can stem from a desire for group identity and a need to contrast the distinctive attributes and virtues of one’s own group with the vices of the “outside” group. In some cases, evil-ruler enemy images form. While ordinary group members are regarded as neutral, or perhaps even innocent, their leaders are viewed as hideous monsters.

    Enemy images are usually black and white. The negative actions of one’s opponent are thought to reflect their fundamental evil nature, traits, or motives. One’s own faults, as well as the values and motivations behind the actions of one’s opponent, are usually discounted, denied, or ignored…

    Once formed, enemy images tend to resist change, and serve to perpetuate and intensify the conflict. Because the adversary has come to be viewed as a “diabolical enemy,” the conflict is framed as a war between good and evil. Once the parties have framed the conflict in this way, their positions become more rigid. In some cases, zero-sum thinking develops as parties come to believe that they must either secure their own victory, or face defeat. New goals to punish or destroy the opponent arise, and in some cases more militant leadership comes into power.

    • #22
    • February 5, 2018 at 12:11 am
    • Like
  23. Member

    I think what you describe in your thoughtful post, @zafar, is a realization that men like Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin come to and are, unfortunately for humanity, too often not allowed to pursue. I would in no way put Mahmoud Abbas in particular anywhere near those men in intention or character, however.

    Foreign policy throughout the world has become so inured to posturing double speak that a simple link between exchange of aid for a certain level of behavior is seen as an outrageous requirement.

    • #23
    • February 5, 2018 at 12:56 am
    • 7 likes
  24. Member

    A friend of mine, a professor of European politics in the United States, has been doing research here in Israel. At the University of Haifa, she asked an Arab student what she thought of Trump’s declaration of acceptance of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. To her amazement, the young woman was quite positive. Why? “We need something new.”

    As to the incident in Bethlehem, what you need to ask is, where were the news cameras placed? Most likely, this was another episode of “Pallywood.” — Tomatoes and eggs are not rocks (which would have been the choice had this been a serious incident). American diplomats have been attacked before.

    One of my neighbors served her army duty with the Border Police. She told me that it sometimes happened that when she was at a demonstration, the demonstrators were shouting and waving placards for the cameras, but when everyone took a lunch break, the Palestinians and police sat down and sometimes joked around, too. Everybody knew it was all for the benefit of the press. Mind you, it can also turn tragic. Therefore, I wouldn’t call the Bethlehem incident any kind of line in the sand. But, added with all the other incidents, it’s time for a change.

    If the United States can stand firm, it will encourage those Palestinians who are completely disgusted with the corruption and injustices of their own government some hope for a change.

    • #24
    • February 5, 2018 at 1:22 am
    • 9 likes
  25. Member

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    I think what you describe in your thoughtful post, @zafar,

    Um….it’s all a quote (ie not me!), but I thought it was pretty interesting.

    is a realization that men like Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin come to and are, unfortunately for humanity, too often not allowed to pursue.

    Arguably this is so. But not allowed by whom?

    I would in no way put Mahmoud Abbas in particular anywhere near those men in intention or character, however.

    He’s a Mini Sadat. (Like Mini Me.)

    Foreign policy throughout the world has become so inured to posturing double speak that a simple link between exchange of aid for a certain level of behavior is seen as an outrageous requirement.

    It’s never honestly positioned as such a transactional arrangement.

    It’s always about “human rights and democracy and peace”.

    Which, if you were really honest about it, you wouldn’t have to pay a country to implement because they are self evidently (and immediately felt) in that country’s best interest.

    You only have to pay countries to do stuff that is actually not in their best interest as they perceive it. Then they pretend to agree with your (editorial ‘you’) view in public, or at least their government does.

    • #25
    • February 5, 2018 at 1:59 am
    • Like
  26. Coolidge

    I have no problem with zafar’s quote. When a nation or group commits acts that are beyond civil behavior, they deserve no support or protection, and if dehumanization is how the civil side manages to get widespread support to defend itself, then so be it.

    The trick is to have a moral civilization and moral leadership so that the people of the good nation or group know that they can trust their leaders to be making the right judgment.

    • #26
    • February 5, 2018 at 4:05 am
    • 2 likes
  27. Member

    Little My (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a professor of European politics in the United States, has been doing research here in Israel. At the University of Haifa, she asked an Arab student what she thought of Trump’s declaration of acceptance of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. To her amazement, the young woman was quite positive. Why? “We need something new.”

    As to the incident in Bethlehem, what you need to ask is, where were the news cameras placed? Most likely, this was another episode of “Pallywood.” — Tomatoes and eggs are not rocks (which would have been the choice had this been a serious incident). American diplomats have been attacked before.

    One of my neighbors served her army duty with the Border Police. She told me that it sometimes happened that when she was at a demonstration, the demonstrators were shouting and waving placards for the cameras, but when everyone took a lunch break, the Palestinians and police sat down and sometimes joked around, too. Everybody knew it was all for the benefit of the press. Mind you, it can also turn tragic. Therefore, I wouldn’t call the Bethlehem incident any kind of line in the sand. But, added with all the other incidents, it’s time for a change.

    If the United States can stand firm, it will encourage those Palestinians who are completely disgusted with the corruption and injustices of their own government some hope for a change.

    “It’s time for a change”. This is what I was trying to get across and not doing nearly so well as you, Little My. I don’t know how many “Palestinians” are looking for change, but when a negotiating position has not worked for 50+ years it is time for a change.

    • #27
    • February 5, 2018 at 4:41 am
    • 6 likes
  28. Member

    @susanquinn, I hope everyone notices the “refugee” definition you quote. Pray tell: why should  there be a totally different definition for Palestinian “refugees” than for any other kind?

    To be a” refugee” other than a Palestinian, you have to be:

    An individual him/herself,

    who left the country where you were born

    under threat of military action at actual physical threat.

    To be a Palestinian “refugee” , you could be

    an individual or descended from one,

    who left an area where you (or your forbear) may have lived for as little as four years,

    and, you do not  have to have left under fear of military or other physical attack.

    I didn’t know Trump was trying to eliminate this ridiculous double standard, but I am ecstatic to hear it.

    This hothouse grievance, this unique orchid of eternal resentment, carefully cultivated and nourished for seventy years, while the millions of other persons displaced after WWII resettled and their progeny prospered! Break the glass, and let this poisonous bloom wither in the bracing wind of ever-changing reality.

    • #28
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:07 am
    • 9 likes
  29. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Wow, after over a half century of rewarding evil behavior, the U.S. is actually considering punishing it. What a concept.

    Well said, Richard. Well said.

    • #29
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:57 am
    • 3 likes
  30. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    We’re worse than a naive young girl who is taken in by a cad who knows what words will trigger compliance. We’re worse because this isn’t our first go-around.

    This is what happens, Kent, when the Left dominates. Or when the heartstrings are sufficiently tugged. I think we’re finally realize what’s behind the curtain–we’re slow learners–and the time has come to stand up for what is right, not what looks good.

    • #30
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:59 am
    • 3 likes
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