Power, not appeasement or concession-based “diplomacy,” has always prevailed in the history of the world, and power is demonstrated by executing a power play. The President’s new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians means they can get on board, or get steamrolled into irrelevance outside of Belgium, Helsinki, The Hague, UC-Berkeley, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the editorial meeting room of the New York Times.
By Mitchell Baxter l December 14, 2017
Among the numerous objections to President Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and ordering preparations for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, is one that he should have first engaged in “diplomatic preparation” before his White House Jerusalem announcement.
Building half-baked, watered-down coalitions of recalcitrant, emasculated Europeans is pointless. They’re in the midst of a bizarre, self-immolating penance for exterminating/expelling their Jews, imagining that they can redeem themselves by showing violent Islamists the tolerance they withheld from educated, peaceful Jews.
The U.S. operates best as a muscular unilateral leader. We should use our power and influence by leading from the front, not by trying to persuade the hijab-wearing Swedish intersectional “feminist” government and the grandchildren of French Nazi-collaborators to stand up for Israel.
Power, not appeasement or concession-based “diplomacy,” has always prevailed in the history of the world, and power is demonstrated by executing a power play.
Obama’s “soft power” was never anything more than deliberately underplaying strong hands, and neither the Arabs, the Russians, nor the Chinese respect a show of weakness. When Obama allowed the UN to declare much of Israel’s presence in Jerusalem to be “illegal,” by hinting in advance that the U.S. wouldn’t intervene, then abstaining from the vote, allowing it to pass, he showed how to lead from the rear.
Trump’s announcement came one year to the day after this travesty, reversing it in effect, if not by actual vote. U.S. action will always carry more weight than a UN resolution.
The Gulf kingdoms will follow our lead, and never cared about Jerusalem or the Palestinian Arabs in the first place. Mecca is the center of Islam, not Jerusalem. Egypt is fed up with the Muslim Brotherhood/ISIS/al Qaeda-affiliated, Iranian-armed Palestinians, and is putting their foot back on the gas pedal to round up, execute, and wipe out the troublemakers in Egypt, especially in the Sinai.
Arab overtures to Israel, such as Bahrain’s, are emboldened by U.S. support and power, as opposed to watching their backs lest Iran-sympathizing Obama undermine them.
We’re always warned that the “Arab Street” will react violently to announcements and actions. The “Arab Street” is a mob that can only burn Arab cities. Who cares if they’re inflamed? And the riots haven’t materialized, outside of Europe. Sweden just arrested a number of Palestinians and Syrians for firebombing synagogues.
In NYC, Palestinians and their leftist allies rallied in Times Square to chant “Jews remember Khaybar,” a taunting reference to Muhammad’s massacre and expulsion of Arabia’s Jews 14 centuries ago, to call for intifada (violent riots), and to shout that “every inch of the land is Palestine.” So much for their buy-in to the two-state solution or peaceful negotiations.
The image of keffiyeh and hijab-wearing Arabs in Times Square extolling jihad suggests that the travel ban should be extended to those under Hamas and Palestinian Authority rule; enhanced vetting is appropriate for those with Muslim Brotherhood family ties and sympathies.
In a Jersey City mosque, the imam called on his followers to martyr themselves for Jerusalem, to liberate the al Asqa mosque from Jewish “apes and pigs,” and called on Allah to wipe out the Jews.
Syria, Yemen, and Libya are too wrapped up in civil war to get worked up over Jerusalem; Iraq has its own problems (the people also resent the favors and funding bestowed on the Palestinians); and Islamist Turkey’s Erdogan will cooperate with Iran regardless. (Erdogan recently quoted the Islamic hadith about trees calling out to Muslims “there is a Jew hiding behind me; come and kill him.” His commitment to peaceful negotiations is also questionable, at best.)
Iran’s aggression, underhandedness, and manipulations are part of a long game, which hasn’t been deterred by decades of waffling on Jerusalem.
Russia recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital 8 months ago without all of the liberal consternation. This is one more case of pitching a fit over something because Trump is the one who did it. Does anyone believe that the Russians (or Czechs) care if the Palestinians are able to negotiate East Jerusalem as their capital, or if they end up with nothing?
Eastern Europe remembers the attempted Muslim conquests, which were finally turned away in the 17th Century, and they re-awoke to Islamist infiltration in the 21st Century, which is why they’re locking out “refugees,” and pushing onward to Germany or Scandinavia those who manage to enter. Anything that knocks the Muslim world back on its heels is fine with them.
China, Japan, Vietnam, etc., neither understand nor care about the Palestinian cause; they’ll allow the West to resolve it, with the idea of engaging and investing either way. Plus, China is too busy putting down their own Muslim agitators to care about someone else’s.
Most importantly, Trump’s announcement tells the Palestinians that their fantasies of eradicating Israel and driving out “the Jews” are finished.
The Palestinians themselves have not yet recognized this reality, with President Abbas announcing that the Jews “are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion…it is mentioned in the holy Qur’an they fabricate truth and they try to do that and they believe in that.” A PA official also announced that Vice President Pence is “not welcome” in Palestinian areas, which should prompt a reconsideration of U.S. financial aid.
Turmp’s announcement did not cause violent hatred of Jews or America; rather, it revealed hatred that has long existed.
President Truman recognized the State of Israel 70 years ago. “Ever since then,” Trump emphasized, “Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem – the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.
Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.”
In his statement, President Trump said, “My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Presidential affirmation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (reaffirming Congress’ 1995 declaration) creates a new reality on the ground far more powerful than submitting the concept to Europe or the UN for validation, debate, modification, or agreement.
The Palestinians can get on board, or get steamrolled into irrelevance outside of Belgium, Helsinki, The Hague, UC-Berkeley, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the editorial meeting room of the New York Times.
President Trump demonstrated American leadership by executing the long overdue power play.
Mitchell Baxter is a policy analyst, writer, and attorney. Mr. Baxter is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the Conservative-Online-Journalism Center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.