The Jerusalem Post

Recipe for failure: A divided Jerusalem

- • By EARL COX

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.

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