Trump Shuts Down the Palestinians, One Step at a Time

 

When Donald Trump was campaigning for President, he stated frequently that he could be fair regarding the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He is learning over time that the Palestinians are not sincere about wanting a peace agreement with Israel. In fact, I think he finally realizes that the Palestinians actually want the destruction of Israel and a legitimate peace agreement may be impossible. He has taken several steps that have shown that the US will no longer acquiesce to Palestinian demands for fairness and objectivity.

So it was no surprise when the Trump administration announced Monday that it is closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington, citing Palestinian leaders’ resistance to peace talks and their attempts to get an international court to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes. There is a provision in US law which states that the PLO mission must close if the Palestinians appeal to the ICC to prosecute Israel for crimes against Palestinians.

Monday, National Security Adviser John Bolton stated the following during a speech to the Federalist Society:

The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel. The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.

He added:

The United States supports a direct and robust peace process, and we will not allow the ICC (International Criminal Court), or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense.

While the court welcomes the membership of the so-called State of Palestine, it has threatened Israel—a liberal, democratic nation—with investigation into its actions to defend citizens from terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Gaza.

If the court comes after us, Israel or other allies, we will not sit quietly. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system.

Saeb Erekat protested this action by the US and accused the US of a pro-Israel bias:

We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to US threats and bullying. Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes.

This action follows the Trump administration’s moving of the US embassy last November from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And earlier this month, the US ended decades of funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for the Palestinian refugees after the Agency refused to make needed reforms. The cuts will total nearly $300 million in planned support.

Clearly the US is indicating that it is running out of patience with the stalemate to direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel. The Palestinians assume that if they can remain in the good graces of the UN and the rest of the world, they will be supported in their actions against Israel and the US.

The good news is that this pressure by the US might motivate the Palestinians to move forward toward direct talks. The bad news is that they may react violently to the latest news.

I expect the Israeli Army is watching carefully.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Good news. Thank you.

    I will add “supporting Israel” to judges, deregulation, and pro-business climate on my list of major positive administration actions and accomplishments.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Good news. Thank you.

    I will add “supporting Israel” to judges, deregulation, and pro-business climate on my list of major positive administration actions and accomplishments.

    Thanks, Hank! It is a really big deal, and I suspect we’ll see more. I think Trump has their number (as they say).

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Good news. Thank you.

    I will add “supporting Israel” to judges, deregulation, and pro-business climate on my list of major positive administration actions and accomplishments.

    Yes. 

    You would think certain people on the right of a certain faith would be positive about it.

    • #3
  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I’m delighted.  Not tired yet, though. (-:

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Good news. Thank you.

    I will add “supporting Israel” to judges, deregulation, and pro-business climate on my list of major positive administration actions and accomplishments.

    Yes.

    You would think certain people on the right of a certain faith would be positive about it.

    You mean American Jews?  Sad,  isn’t it.

    • #5
  6. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    Just five minutes ago I saw John Kerry in a BBC interview boasting about the Iran nuclear deal. This post is a speedy and welcome antidote. 

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Just five minutes ago I saw John Kerry in a BBC interview boasting about the Iran nuclear deal. This post is a speedy and welcome antidote.

    Good grief, @charlesmark. I’m sorry you had to see that. Glad to help out!

    • #7
  8. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Bravo Donald!

    Now Stop Sending Them Money!

    • #8
  9. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    The International Criminal Court is rather aptly named, isn’t it?

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Bravo Donald!

    Now Stop Sending Them Money!

    Works for me. But I guess we have to be patient . . .   ;-(

    • #10
  11. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: The good news is that this pressure by the US might motivate the Palestinians to move forward toward direct talks.

    I haven’t seen any indication the Palestinians have ever wanted peace, unless it’s defined as the silence of Israel’s grave . . .

    • #11
  12. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Bravo Donald!

    Now Stop Sending Them Money!

    The money is the key.  There should be none from us and we should be trying to shut down the rest.  It’s a welfare state with the money funneled to the top and handed out to loyalists, any effort to build a piece of a real economy is squashed.  It’s criminal to give the leaders money and hence total control over the people.  The situation cannot and will not change until they develop an economy or accommodate Israel.  

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Bravo Donald!

    Now Stop Sending Them Money!

    The money is the key. There should be none from us and we should be trying to shut down the rest. It’s a welfare state with the money funneled to the top and handed out to loyalists, any effort to build a piece of a real economy is squashed. It’s criminal to give the leaders money and hence total control over the people. The situation cannot and will not change until they develop an economy or accommodate Israel.

    It disturbs me greatly that so many of their people live in poverty. Remember that Arafat died a millionaire, and you can be sure Abbas is rich, too.

    • #13
  14. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    All right-thinking people are appalled by Bolton’s slap at the ICC, which, after all is INTERNATIONAL and hence better. I’m sure they’re also horrified by the phrase “so-called State of Palestine,” which some believe existed since the 8th century until it was invaded by robust, muscular Holocaust survivors.

    Not accepting the premises of the Left = a refusal to accept reality, in some quarters. Why, it’s Denialism. Possibly Yassarphobic.

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    This is good news. Thank you, Susan. 

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    All right-thinking people are appalled by Bolton’s slap at the ICC, which, after all is INTERNATIONAL and hence better. I’m sure they’re also horrified by the phrase “so-called State of Palestine,” which some believe existed since the 8th century until it was invaded by robust, muscular Holocaust survivors.

    Not accepting the premises of the Left = a refusal to accept reality, in some quarters. Why, it’s Denialism. Possibly Yassarphobic.

    @jameslileks, thank you for setting us straight! Now I have to ask about your new avatar . . .

    • #16
  17. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Possibly Yassarphobic.

    Oooh! That’s good.  Will have to borrow this one, as I am very much a Yassarphobe.

    • #17
  18. John Seymour Member
    John Seymour
    @

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    All right-thinking people are appalled by Bolton’s slap at the ICC, which, after all is INTERNATIONAL and hence better. I’m sure they’re also horrified by the phrase “so-called State of Palestine,” which some believe existed since the 8th century until it was invaded by robust, muscular Holocaust survivors.

    Not accepting the premises of the Left = a refusal to accept reality, in some quarters. Why, it’s Denialism. Possibly Yassarphobic.

    Responding, @jameslileks, to just note that we shopped at the Red Owl on Lyndale near 54th when I was a kid and we lived at 51st and Bryant.  Nice blast from the past.  We collected the Green Stamps they gave away too.  I don’t remember ever getting anything from there, but something happened to the books, so we must have.

    • #18
  19. John Seymour Member
    John Seymour
    @

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Possibly Yassarphobic.

    Oooh! That’s good. Will have to borrow this one, as I am very much a Yassarphobe.

    Which is different than being a Vassarphobe.  Well, maybe not that different.

    • #19
  20. John Seymour Member
    John Seymour
    @

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    All right-thinking people are appalled by Bolton’s slap at the ICC, which, after all is INTERNATIONAL and hence better. I’m sure they’re also horrified by the phrase “so-called State of Palestine,” which some believe existed since the 8th century until it was invaded by robust, muscular Holocaust survivors.

    Not accepting the premises of the Left = a refusal to accept reality, in some quarters. Why, it’s Denialism. Possibly Yassarphobic.

    @jameslileks, thank you for setting us straight! Now I have to ask about your new avatar . . .

    At the risk of outing him.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    John Seymour (View Comment):

    @jameslileks, thank you for setting us straight! Now I have to ask about your new avatar . . .

    At the risk of outing him.

    Good job, @johnseymour!!! We have spies everywhere . . . ha, ha….

    Edit: he seems to like local companies logos . . .

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    All right-thinking people are appalled by Bolton’s slap at the ICC, which, after all is INTERNATIONAL and hence better. I’m sure they’re also horrified by the phrase “so-called State of Palestine,” which some believe existed since the 8th century until it was invaded by robust, muscular Holocaust survivors.

    Not accepting the premises of the Left = a refusal to accept reality, in some quarters. Why, it’s Denialism. Possibly Yassarphobic.

    @jameslileks, thank you for setting us straight! Now I have to ask about your new avatar . . .

    I miss the old one.  (sniff)

    • #22

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