In miserable timing, the PLO’s Executive Committee announced that the Palestinian Authority has turned to the International Criminal Court at The Hague to open proceedings against Israel over its decision to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem within the framework of Israel’s “settlement crimes.”
When the Palestinian media covers Khan al-Ahmar, the viewer at home can see a few tents and tin structures, built with the help of the European Union—ornaments intended to curb the growth of Jerusalem’s urban ring. The images of utter devastation of entire cities in Yemen and Syria, however, paint the Khan al-Ahmar issue in a grotesque light.
Almost simultaneously, in a stroke of impeccable timing, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened to sanction and punish the ICC if it investigates the U.S. army for “war crimes” in Afghanistan. Bolton stressed that the U.S. would not allow this unrecognized court to harm it or its ally Israel. Alongside the Tamimi family’s demand to launch a public relations campaign abroad—described by their lawyer as “a campaign to reveal the unique truths to liberate all of Palestine”—activists on the left quickly issued an announcement that “the prioritization of nationalist considerations over humane ones is dangerous.” That is to say, Jewish national considerations are not humane, unlike the national considerations of the Palestinians.
In a response to the left, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas and his cohort (together with Israeli-Arab Knesset members Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka) stressed how serious they are about negating the Jewish state and its capital—by arguing for the right of return; championing UNRWA; rejecting the nation-state law; and denigrating the United States. Despite regional shifts, from the Palestinian perspective nothing has changed. Both Hamas and the PLO abide by the principal mantra (alongside other lethal demands): the “return of the refugees” to their homes based on U.N. Resolution 194, which effectively equates to the end of Israel.
The Palestinians have dug many a tunnel beneath us. Ironically, the light they see at the end of their tunnel is Trump’s locomotive speeding toward them, squashing all of their illusions in its tracks. Thus far, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has crushed the illusion of making it the Palestinian capital. UNRWA, too, has been flattened, along with the refugee lie and fantasy of “return.” Financial support for the P.A. has been reduced, its offices in Washington shuttered.
Trump’s locomotive is charging full steam ahead on the track of American interests, straight through the Hejaz and branching farther into Europe, Asia and the Far East. On his stops along the way, Trump is rebuilding the coalition destroyed by Barack Obama, preparing to stop Iran and China and their supporters and is taming recalcitrant European countries.
The Palestinians realized, too late, that the light at the end of their tunnel of incitement was Trump’s charging locomotive. Despite their best efforts to derail it, Trump didn’t stop at the rejectionist, manipulative Palestinian station to do business. He simply ran it over.
Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.