TRUMP’S JERUSALEM DECLARATION SHOOK UP PEACE PROCESS, BUT “PALESTINIAN” REJECTIONISM REMAINS A KEY OBSTACLE Posted on February 5, 2018 Printer Friendly Time for Greenblatt to Walk Away: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2018— On Tuesday in Bethlehem, the Palestinians demonstrated the choice the Americans now face in their dealings with Fatah… Trump’s Jerusalem Statement Shakes Up the System: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, BESA, Jan. 31, 2018— A number of Israeli commentators have sought to reduce the significance of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel… Moving the Palestinian Leadership from Rejectionism to Recognition: Gregg Roman, The Hill, Jan. 25, 2018— On Jan. 14, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said something hardly unprecedented for him, but for some reason managed to break through the longstanding wall of international ignorance and obeisance to his typical angry declarations… The Trump Peace Plan for Israel Won’t Work: Gershon Hacohen, Algemeiner, Jan. 16, 2018— President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel occurred against the backdrop of his ambition to devise a comprehensive peace proposal for Israel and the Palestinians. On Topic Links Greenblatt: Trump Won't Force an Agreement on Israel: Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 31, 2018 Will Arabs and Muslims Never Accept Israel as the Jewish State?: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, Feb. 2, 2018 To Promote Middle East Peace, Cut Aid to Palestinians: Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser, The Hill, Jan. 19, 2018 Time to End the Big ‘Palestine Lie’: Daniel Greenfield, United With Israel, Feb. 1, 2018 TIME FOR GREENBLATT TO WALK AWAY Caroline B. Glick Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2018 On Tuesday in Bethlehem, the Palestinians demonstrated the choice the Americans now face in their dealings with Fatah – the supposedly moderate PLO faction that controls the Palestinian Authority and the PLO. President Donald Trump and his advisers can play by Fatah’s rules or they can walk away. 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!” Some of the demonstrators cursed the Palestinians present, accusing them of treason for participating in a meeting with Americans. According to the news reports, the scene became tense and violent. The American officials beat a speedy retreat. As they departed the city, the Fatah rioters continued attacking their cars, kicking them and throwing eggs at them, until they were gone. The attack on Tuesday was a natural progression. On Saturday, Fatah members in Bethlehem-area UN camps convened to carry out a very public “people’s tribunal.” Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were tried for “racism” and “bias” against the Palestinians. The “tribunal” found them guilty and sentenced the president and vice president to death by hanging. Their bodies, the “judges” decided, were to be burned. In the event, the crowd burned effigies of Trump and Pence. The implication of the “trial” was clear. Americans like Israelis should be killed. The burning effigies themselves were a natural consequence of PLO and Fatah chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s call last month for Trump’s “house to be destroyed.” That is, both the assault on the consular officers Tuesday and the riot on Saturday were simply Abbas’s followers carrying out his orders. He put the Americans in his crosshairs. And they are pulling the trigger – for now, with effigies and eggs. It isn’t hard for Abbas to set his people against the Americans. Palestinians hate Americans. As a 2014 Pew Survey showed, Palestinians are more anti-American than any people on earth. Seventy-six percent of Palestinians consider the US their enemy. Pakistan came in second place with 64% of respondents saying that the US is their enemy. Palestinian anti-Americanism is notable given that the US has given more assistance to the Palestinians than any country other than Israel. Americans have spent the last 25 years pressuring Israel to make more and more concessions to the Palestinians. In large part, anti-Americanism among Palestinians redounds to two things. First, incitement. For 25 years, the US-financed PA has used all the tools at its disposal to indoctrinate the Palestinians to hate America almost as much as they hate Israel. Second, like the Iranian regime, the Palestinians view the US and Israel as two sides of the same coin. And indeed, their hatred for the US is the mirror image of Israelis’ love for it. While the Palestinians topped the list of people who view the US as their enemy, Israel topped the list of nations that view the US as their partner. Ninety percent of Israelis view the US as their partner. All Abbas needed to do was call for Trump’s house to be destroyed and mobs of Fatah members were only too happy to go into the streets and burn the president in effigy. Trump, for his part, seems more than willing to walk away from the whole business. Over the past week Trump threatened to cut off all US aid to the Palestinians three times. In his appearance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Davos last week, Trump made clear that he wouldn’t be overly upset if the peace process disappears. “I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace,” Trump said. The Palestinians, he continued, are “going to have to want to make peace too, or we’re going to have nothing to do with it any longer.” When asked about the implications of his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for prospects for peace, Trump turned to Netanyahu and said, “You [Israel] won one point, and you’ll give up some points later on in the negotiation, if it ever takes place. I don’t know that it ever will take place.” Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s chief peace negotiator, seems less sanguine at the concept that the peace process is over. At a meeting in Ramat Gan this week with ambassadors from EU member states, one of the ambassadors asked Greenblatt whether Jerusalem is still a subject for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, or whether, as Trump said in Davos, the issue is settled and is in Trump’s words, “off the table.” Greenblatt reportedly answered that Trump mischaracterized the situation at Davos. Jerusalem is still a topic for negotiation between the sides, as Trump made clear in his December 6, 2017, declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Greenblatt said… [To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents TRUMP’S JERUSALEM STATEMENT SHAKES UP THE SYSTEM Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen BESA, Jan. 31, 2018 A number of Israeli commentators have sought to reduce the significance of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and even to warn of the danger inherent therein. Zvi Bar’el, for example, claimed that “Trump’s decision and the severe defeat in the UN leaves Israel with Jerusalem in hand but with nothing in the long run.” Eitan Haber warned that “the friend in the White House does not work for us” and that in time a Big Plan will be laid on the table – one whose details will be a great embarrassment to Jerusalem. One might ask why this declaration was viewed as novel, as it was preceded in April 2017 by Moscow’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, alongside East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The prevailing view is that Trump’s statement was intended to say to Israel: “You have now received a gift. Henceforth, do not foil the Big Deal.” The Trump Declaration should be examined from a point of view that extends beyond the standard question of what Israel gained and what it will need to give in return. That conventional interpretation is trapped in a Western rational perception of the nature and logic of the strategic process. Western approaches – subjugated as they are to a production-line management model – expect strategic planning to mark a target as a desired end and to take planned steps to reach it. By that standard, Trump’s statement and its repercussions can indeed be construed as dangerous: as a seductive introduction to an enforced process whose end is predetermined, or as a reckless step towards the unknown. But the key to Trump’s logic is in a different strategic planning model – one very close to the Russian way of thinking. After a year in office during which Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner served as his emissaries to the Middle East, President Trump apparently realized that the Israeli-Palestinian relationship has become paralyzed and deadlocked. With this understanding, he applied a Russian way of thinking that reflects his experience as a businessman. To break out of the standstill, he consciously sought to shake up the system. His object was to bring about a new occurrence in relation to which he would then calculate his next steps. That was the purpose of the Jerusalem declaration, and it was fully achieved. It was much like throwing a stone into a puddle and watching the mud rise from the bottom. The Russian approach to strategic planning assumes that with the start of action, the system in which it operates varies and fluctuates to the point of reincarnation. The recognition of systemic change forces one to acknowledge that the plan one is embarking upon must be subjected to complete reexamination, not just to minor adjustments. There is, of course, a strategic goal that serves as a compass from the start, but one embarks upon a path without a final plan for each stage along the way towards that goal. One recognizes that this is a process, a sequence of dynamic systems, through which one will clarify not only the way to achieve the end goal but also the ability to achieve it. A Western rational approach does not begin a journey until the ability to reach the goal is guaranteed. In this respect, Trump’s move seems irresponsible. The Russian approach, on the other hand, starts the process in full knowledge that for the time being, there is no way to assess the likelihood that the goal will be reached. In this rational format, Trump’s move takes on a different meaning. Calculated steps into the unknown can be likened to the advance of a reconnaissance force sent into battle in a threatened area in order to draw fire and thus discover the enemy’s military deployment while the rest of the force remains secured behind, waiting for the situation to become clearer. In recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump expressed reservations in the interests of maintaining a stable footing that will allow for retreat if necessary. At the same time, he explicitly mentioned the two-state plan and emphasized that the borders of Jerusalem would be determined in negotiations. In fact, nothing new was said. It is precisely because of this that the ensuing uproar was so significant. It exposed the reality of Palestinian demands. For those hoping for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement at almost any price, the Palestinian response led by Mahmoud Abbas, including a questioning of the US’s ability to be a fair mediator, appears to be another obstacle – possibly an insurmountable one. The logic of the two-state solution cannot explain what prevented Abbas from calculatingly accepting the declaration. He could have emphasized that it referred to West Jerusalem, which he also recognizes, as long as it is clear and agreed that East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state. Rather, his response gave grist to those members of the Israeli leadership who are interested in extricating Israel from the format of the Clinton outline(d) for a solution to the conflict, as agreed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak and adopted by Ehud Olmert, in his last, exceedingly generous proposal to Abbas in 2007-8. Netanyahu has been fighting this outline since he took office as prime minister in 2009. Instead of Abbas’s insistence on continuing the negotiations from the place where he left off with Olmert, Netanyahu presented his willingness to negotiate without preconditions. The difference between the Rabin outline as presented in his last speech in the Knesset in October 1995 and the Barak-Olmert outline is summed up in three essential elements: Rabin insisted on the integrity of a united Jerusalem in its broad scope, on the preservation of the Jordan Valley “in the broadest interpretation of this concept” as an eastern security border, and the insistence on a Palestinian entity “short of a state.” Barak and Olmert gave up all three of these elements and added another condition that was never agreed upon in Rabin’s concept – land swaps, or the granting of Israeli territory in return for every piece of land Israel retains in the settlement blocs. The stone thrown by Trump into the puddle shows us what is going on at the bottom. Here lies the potential strategic significance of the Trump Declaration. By shaking up the system and creating an opportunity to reexamine Palestinian claims as a whole, the declaration might help Israel escape the trap of the Clinton-Barak outline. Contents MOVING THE PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP FROM REJECTIONISM TO RECOGNITION Gregg Roman The Hill, Jan. 25, 2018 On Jan. 14, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said something hardly unprecedented for him, but for some reason managed to break through the longstanding wall of international ignorance and obeisance to his typical angry declarations. Abbas' address to the PLO Central Council ostensibly was to introduce the question of whether the Palestinian Liberation Organization should denounce the Oslo Accords, the treaty that governs relations between Israel and the Palestinians and created the Palestinian Authority, of which he is president. However, what was meant to be a political argument became a long-winded claim against the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, Zionism. Invoking everyone from Oliver Cromwell to Napoleon Bonaparte, Abbas' diatribe usefully shone a light on the real crux of why the conflict still rages after more than 100 years. Not once did Abbas mention the issues of land, borders, the settlements or the occupation. These are the issues that many in the West assume occupies the Palestinian leadership and are the prime motivators for the decades-long verbal and physical onslaught. However, it is clear that these issues were of little concern to Abbas. His sole target was Zionism, which he called "a colonialist enterprise." In other words, Abbas, like Palestinian leaders before him, does not consider the lack of a Palestinian state to be the problem, but the reality and existence of a Jewish and democratic state. This is not a shock for those paying close attention to the conflict, but it appears to be a blind spot for many who have spent significant resources, energies and political capital attempting to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the Middle East Forum, these words spoken by Abbas make our case that much easier. For some time now, Daniel Pipes has been stating that this conflict will end only with the end to the over-100 years of Palestinian rejectionism of the idea of the return and reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish people's indigenous and ancestral homeland. This is what has fed Palestinian rejectionism since the early part of the last century and has informed their consistent repudiation of the creation of a state of their own if it means sharing part of the land with a Jewish sovereign presence, even when that state would be only a tiny sliver of land as recommended by the Peel Commission in 1937. As can be seen in thousands of years of history, wars end not when one side declares victory, but when one side accepts that it no longer can reach the aims it set out for itself at the outset of the conflict. The Palestinians laid out for themselves a clear path to victory, which was, up until 1948, the prevention, and is now the elimination, of sovereignty for the Jewish people. Abbas' latest comments in 2018, are merely the latest barbs in this ongoing battle. Thus, the conflict will end only when a Palestinian leader has accepted the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and ends the physical, diplomatic, economic and political war against it. The Oslo Accords and every negotiation towards peace have failed because they did not accept this central issue. While the issues of land, borders and sovereignty for the Palestinian people were never sticking points in any of the failed talks, Palestinian leaders obstinately refused basic issues such as recognition of Israel and clauses such as "end of claims" and "end of conflict." Palestinian leaders seek to pocket Israeli concessions while keeping their claims open, making Israel a target for future wars. This was true in 2000 with the "Clinton Parameters" and the 2007 Annapolis talks. They both broke down because a Palestinian leader refused to end the conflict, regardless of the offer and terms for peace that were on the table in front of them. In other words, the conflict will not end with the creation of a Palestinian state, for the first time in history, or a removal of settlements and the presence of the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank. The Palestinians wish to pocket all of this and keep the conflict and their claims open, making all of Israel a target for their future maximalist endeavors. The focus of all Western efforts should be on ending Palestinian rejection of Israel as a Jewish democratic state… [To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents THE TRUMP PEACE PLAN FOR ISRAEL WON’T WORK Gershon Hacohen Algemeiner, Jan. 16, 2018 President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel occurred against the backdrop of his ambition to devise a comprehensive peace proposal for Israel and the Palestinians. The pressures and threats emanating from leaders of the Arab world, as well as from EU countries, ought to raise questions about the basic assumptions that are guiding the president as he seeks what he has called “the ultimate deal.” When he took office a year ago, Trump declared that as an experienced businessman, he would lead the sides to a deal that would be advantageous to both of them. Yet it must be asked: How is it possible to speak of this issue in terms of a deal? In the business world, the aim is to lay a legal groundwork that ensures that a signed deal will not have to be reopened for negotiation. The negotiating period is subject to challenges and surprises, but from the moment the matter is signed, it is final. Agreements between states and peoples, however, are likely to be revisited as national interests change. Even if negotiations and agreements between states show a behavioral pattern similar to what transpires in the business world, a crucial difference remains: peoples have national aspirations that are stronger than any agreement. Those aspirations are not under the control of leaders and cannot be conceded in negotiations. They continue to arouse passions — even when their fulfillment has been deferred. A redemptive deal simply cannot be made in a conflict that is as complex and fraught with conflicting national-religious dreams as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How far, after all, can any people be expected to go in giving up its dreams? What is involved here is a basic issue regarding the motives behind human behavior. It is reflected in a recent debate among Western intellectuals about the place and role of nationalism in the emergent global order. Alexander Yakobson (Haaretz, October 31, 2017) put the question well: “Can an ideological movement forgo a sacrosanct principle it has sworn never to forgo? Yes — if the constraints of reality are sufficiently difficult and ongoing.” My conception of human behavior is different: the constraints of reality can indeed bring even ideological leaders to a compromise, but the resulting agreement is always temporary, and awaits a strategic shift in which everything will be reconsidered. National passions can be repressed and deferred, but they do not dissipate. A hundred years after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish passion for lands that were under Turkish control before WWI continues to burn, and to drive President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regional policy and activity. Much the same is true for the Iranians: the golden age of the kingdom of Darius impels their current logic. Even an agreed national border does not obstruct national longings that await their hour. This is not only true in the Middle East. For millions of Germans, the cities of Breslau and Danzig — which, after WWII, became the Polish cities of Wroclaw and Gdansk — are still part of the German homeland. The dispute here extends far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a controversy between political realism and humanist idealism, rooted in different premises about the essential logic that drives the behavior of human society. In the basic enlightened, liberal outlook, the world can and should be in a positive moral equilibrium. This ideal situation will be achieved, so it is argued, if we just manage to remove obstacles, to work out a good deal and a satisfactory arrangement, to put reality on a course of prosperity and development. Because human beings are basically reasonable creatures, they will be able to stabilize their behavior patterns within the existing framework, under the conditions of peace. When humanity emerges from darkness into light, it will never want to return to the darkness. That, in brief, is the premise of the Enlightenment. In recent decades, has it met the test of reality?… [To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents On Topic Links Greenblatt: Trump Won't Force an Agreement on Israel: Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 31, 2018—US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Tuesday evening spoke at a a conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies about American efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Will Arabs and Muslims Never Accept Israel as the Jewish State?: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, Feb. 2, 2018—Mordechai Kedar, a distinguished specialist of the Middle East, recently published an article arguing that Israel can never win its neighbors' acceptance. This conclusion flies directly in the face of the Israel Victory Project I have proposed, which is about gaining precisely that acceptance. So, Kedar's analysis calls for a reply. To Promote Middle East Peace, Cut Aid to Palestinians: Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser, The Hill, Jan. 19, 2018—In one of his forthright tweets, dated Jan. 2, President Trump declared: “It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing … we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. … With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Time to End the Big ‘Palestine Lie’: Daniel Greenfield, United With Israel, Feb. 1, 2018—Palestinian boss Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Israel is “a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness.” Moses, King David and thousands of years of Jewish history would disagree. Israel and the Jews are part of the story of human civilization. Over 50 percent of the human race has a holy book that tells of the Jewish journey to Israel. That includes Mohammed’s own copy of the Koran.