OpinionMiddle East

Israel Hayom

End of an era for U.S. policy on the Israel-Palestinian conflict

While the Trump administration is busy consolidating a regional peace plan, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is losing whatever cards he has left to play.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on May 3, 2017. Credit: White House/Shealah Craighead.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on May 3, 2017. Credit: White House/Shealah Craighead.
(Israeli American Council)
Reuven Berko
Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.

In an interview with Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds on Sunday, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner made it clear that the Americans intend to push forward with their long-awaited peace plan with or without the Palestinian Authority. Kushner emphasized the need for the Palestinian people to foster a dynamic that would steer their leadership towards a solution that will bring them economic prosperity and respect the dignity of the Palestinians.

Kushner explained that in light of the recent deadlock in peace efforts in recent years, the Americans were now offering the Palestinians a groundbreaking regional economic framework to be based upon the provision of incentives to Arab states, primarily Jordan and Egypt, which are near bankruptcy. These countries will, in turn, influence the Palestinian economy and contribute to the consolidation of a policy on the path to a regional solution.

Kushner called on the Palestinian masses to pressure their leadership to end the deadlock and act against terrorism. He emphasized that Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount would be open to believers of all religions; in other words, it will remain under Israeli sovereignty. Kushner promised the U.S. administration would present solutions that respected the dignity of the Palestinian people and would be acceptable to the rest of the Arab world.

The framework he presented in the interview is based on a cross-border economic and technological vision of areas of influence on a future Palestinian state, in conjunction with an Israel with secure borders and economic incentives courtesy of Uncle Sam.

According to this rudimentary framework, which does not require the cooperation of the current Palestinian leadership for its implementation, the Gazan periphery will be managed in the same way that it was until 1967, with an Egyptian economic orientation and the isolation of Hamas in the hope of removing the terrorist group from power. The Palestinian-controlled territories inside Judea and Samaria, on the other hand, would be managed according to common Palestinian-Jordanian economic interests.

In their love affair with Abbas, the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini promised the Palestinian leader the earth at Israel’s expense, and only led the P.A. to harden its positions. At the United Nations, countless condemnations of Israel gave the P.A. reason to celebrate, fostering allusions Israel would succumb to international pressure any minute now and cede its security and national assets.

But the White House has a new president—one who is not easily given to Palestinian manipulation. And at the United Nations, the U.S. envoy sides with Israel.

There is also change in Europe: E.U. states are on the brink of bankruptcy and subject to an influx of Islamic immigration, and they are putting less pressure on Israel. The Arab states and former enemies of Israel that survived the Sunni Arab Spring awoke to a nightmare of a nuclear Shi—ite Iran. They now see in Israel and the U.S. strategic partners for the defense of the region.

While the Trump administration is busy consolidating a regional peace plan, Abbas is losing whatever cards he has left to play. When it comes to the fictitious Palestinian narrative, the cat has been let out of the bag, and the policy of attrition and rejectionism, along with the justification of terrorism as “legitimate resistance,” has come crashing down.

Abbas’s last meeting with Trump, in which the U.S. president angrily accused him of lying about his commitment to peace, and Kushner’s interview with Al-Quds are a slap in the face to the Palestinians. This is not how you build a state.

Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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