The Jerusalem Post
Recipe for failure: A divided Jerusalem
US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel skirted the question of the city’s final boundaries under Israeli sovereignty, leaving them to be determined by final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. His stance is in line with the Oslo Accords, to which both parties agreed amid fanfare and a White House lawn ceremony.
But despite the Palestinians’ signatory acceptance of Jerusalem’s disputed status, their disregard for international law and diplomacy has consistently undermined peace efforts.
In addition to the terrorist group Hamas, which has sworn to destroy Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s disdain for the rule of law is not surprising. Reacting to President Trump’s statement, and no doubt stung by US congressional support for the Taylor Force Act, Abbas declared all previous agreements null and void – perhaps forgetting they were already null and void due to Palestinian denial of Israel’s right to exist, and insistence on preposterous preconditions to “peace” talks.
Is it any wonder that the official PA fantasy maps, which plaster “Palestine” over the map of Israel, are routinely distributed to its media, educators, schoolchildren and terrorists? Militant Islam is the real replacement theology.
Abbas, who routinely distorts and denies Jewish history in Jerusalem to get his way, and has turned down offers for a two-state solution three times, having learned well from his mentor, Yasser Arafat.
Shortly after Arafat signed the Oslo Accords, he placated the Muslim world by proclaiming the agreement was merely “the first step on the road to Jerusalem and jihad,” author Hirsch Goodman said; Arafat then compared the Oslo Accords to Muhammad’s 628 CE peace treaty with Koresh – once Muhammad gained enough power, he “slaughtered the Koresh tribe to the last person and conquered Mecca.”
Wise King Solomon warned in Proverbs: “When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.” Israel and America are considering carefully what is before them, and they are on the same page: it’s counterproductive to sit down with Palestinian “rulers” who desire neither peace nor two states, but who literally want to put a knife to Israel’s throat, while touting their own “right” to self-determination. Trump knows this, of course, as does the US Congress, where the Taylor Force Act has strong bipartisan support.
Palestinian leaders’ modus operandi indicates beyond the shadow of a doubt that handing over east Jerusalem to a terrorist entity which continuously proves it will never keep its end of the bargain would be a tragic mistake with deadly consequences for both Israelis and any Palestinians who sincerely desire peace and a chance for a normal life.
If the Palestinian leaders really understood Israel – a vibrant democracy that supports the concept of self-determination and a state for its neighbors, it might dawn on them that bona fide negotiations would propel them at a faster pace to achieve their proclaimed goal. Of course, that presupposes that they really want to live side by side with Israel in peace. If that’s not true, then peace talks would be a sham anyway.
If Palestinians realized that real states require statesmanship, they would have had their state long ago. A statesman values negotiation; he perceives that successful diplomacy is not “my way or the highway” but rather consensus. Bullying, saber rattling, rage, dire threats and violence – not Israel – are impeding the dream for peace which the Palestinian leaders claim to be seeking.
The author served four US presidents and is currently an international Christian broadcaster and journalist who is actively engaged in humanitarian projects in support of Israel.