Whatever the Kushner Plan’s Flaws, They Won’t Be the Reason It Fails

June 27 2019

On Tuesday and Wednesday, delegates from across the Middle East met in Bahrain to discuss, among other things, the “economic portion” of the Trump administration’s proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace; its political complement remains under wraps. The Palestinian Authority (PA), boycotted the meeting and rejected the plan even before it was made public, while most foreign-policy experts have been sharply critical of its contents. Comparing this plan with those that preceded it, Jonathan Tobin writes:

All previous administrations have paid some lip service to economic issues, with many issuing their own plans that were not dissimilar to the one President Trump just proposed. They have all taken the approach the Palestinians say they prefer: [to attempt] to strong-arm Israel into agreeing to a two-state solution. Yet that strategy never succeeded, no matter how much pressure presidents like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama put on the Jewish state, and no matter how many times Israel said “yes” to two states as they did a number of times in the past twenty years. . . . At some point, the foreign-policy professionals should have figured out that the old approach was never going to work.

That is, in essence, what [Jared Kushner], [Jason] Greenblatt, and company have done by attempting to restart the conversation about peace in a different way. . . . Trump was right to try to end his predecessors’ coddling of Palestinian fantasies of defeating Israel, which is what their policies of non-recognition of Jerusalem and refusing to condition aid on ending support for terror amounted to.

The problem is that the Palestinians’ century-old war on Zionism has become inextricably linked to their national identity to the point where it is impossible for anyone inside their political structure to imagine normal life alongside a Jewish state. . . . If Trump’s plan is going to fail—and it will—[failure] can be attributed to these reasons. It’s not because previous administrations understood the conflict any better, or that the focus on economics is wrongheaded. If this latest approach doesn’t work, then the blame should fall on those responsible—the Palestinians—not on the ideas behind the plan itself.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Jared Kushner, Palestinians, Peace Process

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism