Jimmy Carter’s Plan to Make the Israel-Palestinian Conflict Worse

In an article in Monday’s New York Times, the ex-president called on the Obama administration to recognize a Palestinian state and ensure that it be accorded full member status in the United Nations. Elliott Abrams responds:

[G]ranting diplomatic recognition to “the state of Palestine” will no more make it a legitimate and genuine country than granting diplomatic recognition to Plains, Georgia, would make it one. The fact, [acknowledged by Carter], that 137 countries have done so—to no effect whatsoever—ought to make that obvious. So, what is Carter’s real goal here? He writes that it is peace, but the steps he proposes and the analysis he offers would leave Israel and the Palestinians farther from peace than ever.

The “facts” Carter adduces are not only wrong, but tricky and misleading. For example, he writes that there are “600,000 Israeli settlers.” That number can be reached only by counting every Israeli living in Jerusalem—including in the Jewish Quarter, and the parts barred to Jews by Jordan before 1967—as settlers. He writes that “Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians, and entrenching its occupation of Palestinian lands,” but he offers no data—because there are none to support his claim. . . .

What is really needed to move toward peace is security—an end to terrorism. That is a subject entirely absent from Carter’s op-ed. Mr. Carter writes that “the commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation.” By whom? He holds the Palestinians responsible for nothing and accountable for nothing. George W. Bush used to refer to “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” and the phrase surely applies here. Mr. Carter infantilizes the Palestinians, but then says they must immediately have a state. The logic will escape most readers.

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Read more at National Review

More about: Israel & Zionism, Jimmy Carter, New York Times, Palestinian statehood

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship