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The Message behind American Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty over Jerusalem

Dec. 14 2017

By refusing to acknowledge the location of Israel’s capital, generations of U.S. presidents and foreign-policy professionals have demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of what lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Douglas Feith explains:

Part and parcel of [Palestinian] thinking is the depiction of Israel as a foreign intrusion into the region. It is called a “Crusader state” and analogized to European colonialist outposts, such as French Algeria. The point is that the Israelis, like the Crusaders in the Middle Ages and the French a half-century ago, can be demoralized through relentless violent resistance and induced to pack up and leave the land to its true owners, the Arabs. . . .

The conventional wisdom for decades has held that the heart of the Arab-Israeli problem is the territory that Israel won in 1967 and the Israeli settlements there. But it should be obvious that that’s wrong. Why did Egypt, Syria, and Jordan provoke the 1967 war to begin with? In fact, the conflict goes back long before 1967—it even predates 1948, when Israel became an independent state. . . .

If this analysis is correct, then U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem might contribute to peace. It reinforces useful messages: Israel is here to stay. The Jews are deeply historically connected to the land and are not foreigners or Crusaders. The U.S.-Israeli connection is tight and not subject to manipulation by Israel’s enemies. . . . There is a price to be paid for perpetuating the conflict: life goes on, the Israelis create new realities, and the world in general adjusts to those realities. The Palestinians do not improve their position—or even preserve it—by remaining unwilling to make peace.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Israel & Zionism, Jerusalem, Palestinians, US-Israel relations

 

Mahmoud Abbas Comes to the UN to Walk away from the Negotiating Table

Feb. 22 2018

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, addressed the United Nations Security Council during one of its regular discussions of the “Palestine question.” He used the opportunity to elaborate on the Palestinians’ “5,000-year history” in the land of Israel, after which he moved on to demand—among other things—that the U.S. reverse its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The editors of the Weekly Standard comment:

It’s convenient for Abbas to suggest a condition to which he knows the United States won’t accede. It allows him to do what he does best—walk away from the table. Which is what he did on Tuesday, literally. After his speech, Abbas and his coterie of bureaucrats walked out of the council chamber, snubbing the next two speakers, the Israeli ambassador Danny Danon and the U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, . . . [in order to have his] photograph taken with the Belgian foreign minister.

Abbas has neither the power nor the will to make peace. It’s the perennial problem afflicting Palestinian leadership. If he compromises on the alleged “right of return”—the chimerical idea that Palestinians can re-occupy the lands from which they [or their ancestors] fled, in effect obliterating the Israeli state—he will be deposed by political adversaries. Thus his contradictory strategy: to prolong his pageantry in international forums such as the UN, and to fashion himself a “moderate” even as he finances and incites terror. He seems to believe time is on his side. But it’s not. He’s eighty-two. While he continues his performative intransigence, he further immiserates the people he claims to represent.

In a sense, it was entirely appropriate that Abbas walked out. In that sullen act, he [exemplified] his own approach to peacemaking: when difficulties arise, vacate the premises and seek out photographers.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Nikki Haley, Politics & Current Affairs, United Nations