Thursday, December 07, 2017

Trump And Jerusalem - The Story Behind The Story

The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem, December 1, 2017.

President Trump announced today that the United States is now formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol, and that the U.S. would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. here's what he had to say.

The U.S. congress passed a law 22 years ago to move the embassy to Israel's capitol, but including a
bi-annual waiver the president could sign if he felt national security conditions warranted a postponement. President Trump signed the first waiver in June, when he was still very involved in other matters and was still working on the outline of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. The deadline for the signing of a new waiver was December 4th. President Trump not signing it and his subsequent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capitol and the movement of the American embassy not just a nod to reality but a sign of a new realism in the Middle East and perhaps, even a possible solution.

The responses to the president's relatively even handed speech are hideously revealing.

The most interesting ones came from U.S. European allies. And they deserve some examination.
'I'm intending to speak to President Trump about this matter. Our position has not changed, it has been a long standing one and it is also a very clear one. It is that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement.'  British Prime Minister Theresa May

Why yes, Madame Prime Minister, Britain's position on Israel  is indeed long standing and clear. Let's recall a few things, shall we?

It was Britain who added to the death toll of the Holocaust substantially by disregarding their responsibilities under the League of Nations Mandate and closing Palestine to all Jewish migration in 1939. It trapped many Jews in Europe who were desperate for refuge and whose lives would have been saved...while unlimited Arab migration to Palestine was allowed. It was the British who prior to WWII actually sent desperate Jewish men, women and children they caught trying to enter Palestine back to the countries they had escaped from, including Nazi Germany. It was the British who attempted to strangle Israel at birth by arming and training the Arab armies attacking them, even though they knew the Arabs were openly promising a second Holocaust.

And it was British officers who led Jordan's Arab legion and oversaw the ethnic cleansing of every Jew in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, the burning of 28 historic synagogues and the use of the Kotel as a garbage dump and latrine. That, by the way is Jerusalem was divided in the first place and got most of its Arab population…with the eager assistance of Britain.

You've already turned your own capitol  over to the Muslims to the point where whole areas aren't safe for non-Muslims, and whose own Muslim mayor recently said that London would 'just have to get used to terrorist attacks' like the London Bridge massacre.  If the British people are stupid enough to vote for  politicians like you intent on turning their country into a place where women and children aren't protected, where jihadist mosques flourish, where the once renowned London cabs have become largely unsafe for non-Muslim women and where Britain's heritage and culture of freedom is becoming replaced by something far more sinister,  well, I suppose they can.

While I realize that it's politically expedient for you to bloviate  on this subject, but you might want to clean your own house first. If you still can.

'This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council.'
French President Emmanuel Macron

Mais oui, Monsieur Le President. After all, a Socialist like you needs all those Muslim votes if you're going to keep in power and that comes first, even while most of your army is deployed in your streets to try and maintain some kind of peace and security. Paris, the cultural capitol of Europe has become another Algiers, a city under siege. What is it, three years under a state of emergency? Bien jouie' President Macron, that must be a new record!

Oh, and those UN resolutions? None of them were Series 7 and thus legal or binding. That means they have all the meaning and value of paper towels in a pissoir.

That seems to be where your approval ratings are headed as well, sur le pissoir. Perhaps you too need to focus a lot more on what's happening outside the Élysée Palace instead of sticking your nose into anything to do with Israel and Jerusalem.

Of course, there were also the usual threats of Muslim violence and terrorism:

'This decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region.' Hamas official Ismail Radwan

'Death sentence for all who seek peace.' Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani

There is no way that there can be talks with the Americans. The peace process is finished. They have already pre-empted the outcome.' Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi.

The U.S. decision 'destroys the peace process.' Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Let's explore how and why this happened and what it really means.

For starters, the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians, or at least what passes for their leadership made a huge mistake. They thought they were still dealing with Barack Hussein Obama and overplayed their hand.

As I pointed out last July, the Trump Administration was getting increasingly fed up over 'Palestine's ' unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas, his obstruction and his refusal to make any concessions or take steps showing he was interested in an actual peace agreement.

The chief ones asked of him were that he stop using donor funds to encourage terrorism by rewarding terrorist murderers and their families, and that he end incitement against Jews and Israel in the mosques, media and schools he controls. He refused the first and ignored the second.

As I reported, Abbas actually got into a shouting match with Trump advisor Jared Kushner at their meeting in Ramallah, saying that rewarding the terrorists, or as he put it, holy martyrs was his 'social responsibility.'

Abbas, of course, had heard requests for these basic things for years but he took them, correctly, for lip service that meant nothing. Except for President Trump, it meant quite a bit.

There were quite a bit of other things going on for President Trump at that time, so he put the Mideast peace process on the back burner for awhile, choosing to see what would develop between then and December.. Abbas mistook this for once again literally getting away with murder.

And then decided to up the ante and act out accordingly. He did four things that openly showed his contempt for any peace process that didn't involve him getting everything he wanted while not giving up a single concession.

Image result for Abbas holding map showing no Israel

The first thing he did was to manufacture a major outbreak of violence and incitement at the Temple Mount. This definitely influenced President Trump's thinking on the matter.

Abbas then went to the ICC in what amounted to a futile attempt to indict Israel and Israelis for various 'crimes.' That was unsuccessful, but the fact that Abbas did it after the U.S. asked him not to make things worse by doing so did not improve the president's opinion of him.

Abbas also made a huge error in his unity agreement with Hamas, an officially designated terrorist group in America and the EU, although the EU seems to have forgotten that based on their approval of the pact.

The original basis for the unity agreement was that Hamas would allow Abbas to control the crossings and most of the administration of Gaza in exchange for a lot more donor cash. The one huge hangup is that Abbas, like most dictators didn't want anyone but his people armed...and Hamas refused to turn over its weapons or its missiles. There were also a number of disagreements about how much cash Hamas was going to get, various intra-clan disputes and who would get certain admin jobs. So the pact is now on life support.

Another factor was Abbas and the PLO shrugging their shoulders about being able to control Hamas terrorism against Israel, just like back in Arafat's day. That got the Israeli government to announce they wouldn't negotiate at all with any Palestinian government that contained Hamas.

Finally, Abbas and his minions refused to even consider a fairly reasonable peace plan advanced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that would have given them a state in parts of Judea and Samaria,Gaza, increased territory in northern Sinai and a capitol in Abu Dis, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem. It would have given 'Palestine' more territory than it now controls while for the most part, guaranteeing Israel's security needs.

Given that the plan involves territory that now belongs to Israel and Egypt, it's obvious that the Saudis ran this by them first. It's also fairly obvious that President Trump was aware of it also, since this plan, if accepted, would have settled a sore point and have been an important step in building the coalition of Israel and the Sunni Arab states against Iran, something definitely in the works and the president's main goal. Abbas turning it down cold convinced all parties involved that he's not serious about the real negotiations needed to make this work.

Contrary to popular belief and the spicy rhetoric that gets served up on occasion, most of the Sunni Arab states are sick and tired of the 'Palestinians.' Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan have tossed out and/or killed thousands of them as politically unreliable elements. Many Arab states only let them in on short term work visas. They simply aren't an important issue anymore, especially not compared to Iran and the Shi'ite bloc.

President Trump decided to show Abbas, unlike any president in the last 20 years that the choices he made have a cost. And he chose very shrewdly, since Jerusalem is one issue a vast majority of Israelis agree on. They were never going to agree to redivide the city anyway...especially not the Old City with the Kotel and their holiest shrines. They remember all too well what kind of respect the Arabs and their British officers showed those holy shrines after 1948.

As the president pointed out, the ridiculous policy of not acknowledging Israel's capitol never had any positive effect on the peace process, in fact, the reverse. President Trump has understood that for a while, and decided the time was right to honor a campaign promise he made that was also made by three previous presidents who weaseled out at the first opportunity once they got elected. President Trump is of a very different quality.

While President Trump was careful to give some lip service to the idea that part of Jerusalem might be up for grabs in a final settlement, he knows better. Anyone who thinks the Jews are willingly going to give up Jerusalem again ought to seek psychiatric care.

Israel is under G-d's Divine protection, The City of David redeemed and united, and the Jews are home. They're not going anywhere.

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