After holding out for a month, last week Trump indicated he is adopting his predecessors’ obsession with empowering the PLO .
There are many actors and conflicts in the Middle East that challenge and threaten US national interests and US national security. Iran’s rise as a nuclear power and regional hegemon; the war in Syria; Turkey’s abandonment of the West; and Russia’s regional power play all pose major threats to US power, security and interests. The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Hamas and other Sunni jihadist movements all threaten the US, Europe and the US’s Sunni allies in the region in a manner that is strategically significant to America.
To the contrary, all of these pressing concerns will be sidelined – and so made more pressing and dangerous – by a US reengagement with the PLO .
And yet, over the past week, Trump has indicated that the PLO is now his focus.
Last Friday, Trump spoke on the telephone with Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is head of the PLO and the unelected dictator of the corrupt, terrorism-sponsoring, PLO -controlled Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.
According to media reports, Trump told Abbas – whose legal term in office ended eight years ago – that he views him as a legitimate leader. According to the official White House report of the conversation, Trump also reportedly told Abbas that he supports reaching a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Such a deal, to the extent it is ever reached, involves expanding PLO control over Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem at Israel’s expense.
Trump also invited Abbas for an official visit to Washington. And the day after they spoke, the Trump administration moved $250 million in US taxpayer dollars to Abbas’s police state where for the past 25 years, Abbas and his cronies have enriched themselves while feeding a steady diet of antisemitic, anti-American jihadist bile to their impoverished subjects.
To build up his credibility with the PLO , Trump put his electoral pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem on ice. The real estate mogul ordered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deny Jews the right to their property and their legal right to use state lands in Judea and Samaria.
And swift on the heels of that conversation with Abbas, Trump’s chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt was dispatched to Jerusalem to begin empowering the PLO at Israel’s expense.
According to media reports, Greenblatt intended to use his meeting Monday with Netanyahu to reject Netanyahu’s commitment to build a new Israeli town in Samaria. Greenblatt was also reportedly intending to dictate the parameters for yet another round of negotiations with the PLO.
After meeting with Netanyahu, Greenblatt continued on to Ramallah to embrace Abbas.
Also during his stay, Greenblatt is scheduled to meet with IDF generals who are responsible for giving money and providing services to the PLO.
And Greenblatt doesn’t have the Palestinians to himself.
Following Trump’s conversation with Abbas, plans were suddenly afloat for Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to visit Israel and spend an afternoon with Abbas in Ramallah.
If things develop as reported, then Trump is serious about embracing the PLO and intends to have his top advisers devote themselves to Abbas and his henchmen. If that is the case, then Trump is setting himself, his advisers, his daughter and the US up to fail and be humiliated.
The PLO is the Siren that drowns US administrations. It is to the PLO that America’s top envoys have eagerly flown, gotten hooked on the attention of the demented, anti-Israel press corps, and forgotten their purpose: to advance US national interests.
If Trump is serious about repeating this practice, then rather than repair the massive damage done to the US and the Middle East by his two predecessors, the 45th president will repeat their mistakes. Like them, he will leave office in a blaze of failure.
To understand why this is the case, three things must be clear.
First, the PLO will never make peace with Israel. There will never be a Palestinian state.
There will never be a peace or a Palestinian state because the PLO wants neither. This is the lesson of the past 25 years. Both Abbas and his predecessor Arafat rejected peace and statehood multiple times and opted instead to expand their terrorist and political war against Israel.
Why did they do that? Because they are interested in two things: personal enrichment – which they achieve by stealing donor funds and emptying the pockets of their own people; and weakening, with the goal of destroying Israel – which they achieve through their hybrid war of terrorism and political warfare.
The second thing that needs to be clear is that the Palestinians are irrelevant to the rest of the problems – the real problems that impact US interests – in the region. If anything, the Palestinians are pawns on the larger chessboard. America’s enemies use them to distract the Americans from the larger realities so that the US will not pay attention to the real game.
Iran will not be appeased or defeated if Trump empowers the PLO in its war against Israel and continues feeding PLO leaders’ insatiable appetite for other people’s money.
The Sunni jihadists will not beat their swords into plowshares if the US coerces Israel to cough up land to the PLO . To the contrary, they will be emboldened.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not move his forces out of Syria or stop giving nuclear technologies to Iran if the US turns the screws on Israel. Putin will come to the conclusion that Trump is either weak or stupid to damage Israel, the US’s most serious ally.
And of course, Israel will not be better off if Trump decides to push it back onto the peace train which has caused it nothing but harm for the past quarter century.
Trump’s election opened up the possibility, for the first time in decades, that the US would end its destructive obsession with the PLO. For three months, Israelis have been free for the first time to discuss seriously the possibilities of applying Israeli law to all or parts of Judea and Samaria. And a massive majority of Israelis support doing just that.
On the Palestinian side as well, Trump’s election empowered the people who have been living under the jackboot of Abbas and his cronies to think about the possibility of living at peace with Israel in a post-PLO era. Polling results indicate that they too are eager to move beyond the Palestinian statehood chimera.
But now, it appears that Trump has been convinced to embrace the PLO obsession. The same entrenched bureaucrats at the State Department and the same foreign policy establishment in Washington that brought the US nothing but failure in the Middle East for a generation appear to have captivated Trump’s foreign policy. They have convinced him it is better to devote his top advisers to repeating the mistakes of his predecessors than to devote his energies and theirs to fixing the mess that Obama and George W. Bush left him with. They have gotten him to believe that it is better to empower the PLO than develop coherent strategies and plans for dealing with the problems of the region that actually endanger US interests and imperil the security and safety of the American people.
We appear to conceive of revival as a kind of benign miracle, a feverish renaissance of religious activity which will come upon us, leaving us morally just as we are now, except that we will be a lot happier and there will be a great many more of us. It´s a good talking point and it has an aura of superior godliness about it; but the trouble is that it is just not true.
Our mistake is that we want God to send revival on our terms. We want to get the power of God into our hands, to call it to us that it may work for us in promoting and furthering our kind of Christianity. We want still to be in charge, guiding the chariot through the religious sky in the direction we want it to go, shouting “Glory to God,” it is true, but modestly accepting a share of the glory for ourselves in a nice inoffensive sort of way. We are calling on God to send fire on our altars, completely ignoring the fact that they are our altars and not God´s. And like the prophets of Baal we are working ourselves into a frenzy as if we could by violence command the arm of the Almighty.
Of this we may be certain: We cannot continue to ignore God´s will as expressed in the Scriptures and expect to secure the aid of God´s Spirit… Today we have the strange phenomenon of a company of Christians solemnly protesting to heaven and earth the purity of their Bible creed, and at the same time following the unregenerate world in their methods and managing only with difficulty to keep their moral standards from sinking out of sight. Coldness, worldliness, pride, boasting, lying, misrepresenting, love of money, exhibitionism – all these things are practiced by professedly orthodox Christians, not in secret but in plain sight and often as a necessary part of the whole religious show. It will take more than talk and prayer to bring revival. There must be a return to the Lord in practice before our prayers will be heard in heaven. We dare not continue to trouble God´s way if we want Him to bless ours. Joshua sent his army up to conquer Ai, only
to see them hurled back with bloody losses. He threw himself to the ground on his face before the Ark and complained to the Lord.
The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” (Joshua 7:10-12)
If we are foolish enough to do it, we may spend our future vainly begging God to send revival, while we blindly overlook His requirements…
Mar 2, 2017, Chelsea Mosery Birnbaum
As tensions with Gaza rise, Hamas threatens: “We will respond to every Israeli attack.”
With the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip last month, today’s shooting by the security fence and the IDF’s response, Hamas is intensifying its threats against
Israel. A website affiliated with the terrorist organization threatened to put an end to its restraint: “We will respond to every Israeli attack.”
The tension in the Gaza Strip in recent months, coupled with the shooting today (Thursday) at IDF soldiers and Israel’s air strikes in response, led to Hamas’ explicit threat against Israel. Al-Majd, a Hamas-affiliated website, questioned the organization’s intent to stop exercising restraint in response to Israeli attacks.
According to Hamas, “A rocket for a rocket, a military post for a military post,” is how the new equation will look from here on out. The news article asserted that if Israel thinks it can continue to freely attack Hamas targets, it is mistaken. According to the article, it is possible that Hamas will have the proper motivation to put an end to the long period of its restraint.
Jerusalem Online Feb 23, 2017 Rachel Avraham
JerusalemOnline received a four-page intelligence cable, which revealed that Jordanian intelligence forces in cooperation with Abu Mazen were mobilizing forces in order to start another intifada until the Donald Trump administration warned both regimes, thus assuring that such attempts “would open hells gates for them.”
According to Arab intelligence source, CIA head Mike Pompeo visited Abu Mazen after the US received intelligence that both the Palestinian Authority and Jordan’s King Abdullah II were planning a massive intifada against the State of Israel in order to prevent the Americans from relocating their embassy to Jerusalem. A source associated with the Jordanian Opposition stated that both Abu Mazen and the Jordanian King know that the embassy move will bring about their demise.
A four-page intelligence cable that reached JerusalemOnline confirmed that as we speak, loyalists for Jordan’s king and intelligence agents were mobilizing forces in Hebron and Jerusalem. They were planning to launch protests in front of the American Embassy ahead of the US Embassy move. The plan was for these protests to occur alongside massive incitement in both the PA and Jordan. According to the report, the plan was to keep Trump so busy with the Palestinian intifada that he would view both Jordan’s king and Abu Mazen as indispensable.
Jordanian Palestinian dissident Mudar Zahran told JerusalemOnline: “The White House has sent a warning that if they do that, it will bring about their demise. We cannot tell what the head of the CIA told Abu Mazen but we know what Abbas and the king’s loyalists have been saying since the meeting. They are afraid, in shock and are doing everything so that an escalation won’t happen. They were not like that just one day before the meeting.”
According to Zahran, none of this comes as a surprise to the Israeli intelligence: “The Israeli intelligence knows this is all true and also, let’s not forget that we warned about the Knife Intifada before it happened and even confirmed it would begin from Jerusalem. Your site along with others have reported that with a hint of doubt then. Sadly, it did come true. Plus, none of this really takes a genius to figure out as Abbas, the King and Hamas have all used the same threat about the embassy move as if they were copying and pasting their press statements from one another.”
Zahran emphasized that this American response proves that US President Donald Trump is tough on terrorists and dictators: “I can assure Abbas, Abdullah II and Hamas, if they dare to push for a third intifada, it will now open hells gates for them from Israel, the US and even some Arab states.” According to him, as a result of this meeting, another intifada won’t break out but that does not mean that small confrontations won’t flare up, which means more incitement and protests but less violence.
Nancy Salem was fired from The Children’s Courtyard preschool for the online statements, which included:
Children’s Courtyard commented publicly on Salem’s dismissal, saying, “Providing a safe, nurturing and inclusive learning environment is of the utmost importance to us. The offensive comments certainly don’t reflect our views.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that Salem released a statement that she was “truly sorry for the pain and hurt my words caused, especially to members of the Jewish faith.” She added, “I deeply regret and believe [the statements] are not a reflection of the beliefs I hold today… As a Muslim American of Palestinian heritage, I am all too accustomed to being bullied and the target of hate speech so the fact that I made such statements is even more offensive because I should have known and acted with more compassion… even though these statements were made years prior to my employment at Children’s Courtyard and I do not espouse such sentiments today, I take full responsibility for my past statements and respect the actions my employer took to address the concerns as a result.”
Salem’s Twitter account, @fancynancyxxo, appears to have been closed, and then reopened by someone else. The new owner of the account tweeted “So, Nancy Salem abandoned her account after the controversy, in order to remove all her tweets. Like the coward she is.”