OUR WORLD: Trump embraces the PLO fantasy

The PLO is the Siren that drowns US administrations.The PLO is the Siren that drowns US administrations.


US President Donald Trump is losing his focus. If he doesn’t get it back soon, he will fail to make America great again or safe again in the Middle East.

After holding out for a month, last week Trump indicated he is adopting his predecessors’ obsession with empowering the PLO.

This is a strategic error.

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.

None of these issues, none of these actors and none of these threats are in any way related to or caused by the PLO and its interminable, European-supported hybrid terror and political war against Israel. None of these pressing concerns will be advanced by a US embrace of the PLO or a renewed obsession with empowering the PLO and its mafia-terrorist bosses.

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 was 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.

March 14, 2017 | 12 Comments » | 51 views

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12 Comments / 12 Comments

  1. Trump appears very deaf when many of those around him tried to explain that a two state concept is not viable. He apparently thinks that he can do things everyone else has failed at. He fails to understand that the Arab “Palestinians” have made this a zero sum game.

    Hopefully at some point he will learn that the Palestinians will not become rationale in the sense of giving up their dream of destroying Israel and replacing it with an Arab Muslim State. They will not because of his powers of his persuasion or Jared Kushner start teaching their children that Jews have a history in the land and it is best for all to share the land and live side by side in peace.

    Abbas in English will tell him we want to live side by side in peace with Israel on the 1967 lines in peace with Jerusalem as the Pals capital. Trump will be told that if the Israelis will agree to that and the right of return of Palestinians to Haifa, Jafa, Safed……….. we can have peace. Yes 430,000 Israelis will need to move out of Judea/Samaria. Never mind the approximately 300,000 past the Green Line in Greater Jerusalem of course Abbas and his followers belief this is stage one of the destruction of Israel. Which very well could be if Israel was so stupid as agree to a PA state.

    Never mind Abbas does not control Hamas and any of the other Pal terror groups. Yet people who become the POTUS have one thing in common sooner or later they try their brand of ego on for size to solve the zero sum Israeli Palestinian Conflict of 120 years.

    So this will actually slow down the pursuit of a new paradigm that will bring stability and peace in the long run. The government of Israel is derelict in not explaining to Trump that we know a two state concept is path to war and not peace. We have decided that we are applying Israeli sovereignty to the large Settlement Blocks, Jewish Towns in Area C of Judea/Samaria and the Jordan Valley as we have no intention of leaving these areas ever.

    We would be open to discussing something similar to Palestinian independence on the basis of something similar to San Marino (demiltarized, muni-level decsions with trappings of a full state flag, soccer team..) in areas A & B of Judea/Samaria where 95% of the Palestinians live. If they do not agree to make peace on this basis we reserve the right to apply Israeli civil law here also and may so in the future. We will not accept the continuance of terrorist presence in any part of Judea/Samaria.

  2. In any case I doubt if there will be direct talks with Israel and Abbas/PlO. If this is the case will Trump put heat on Israel to concede to Abbas like Obama or will he tell Abbas you are not being reasonable so I will not be able to stop Israel from annexing areas and expanded building including brand new settlements.

    As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets on Tuesday in Ramallah with President Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, well-informed Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinian Authority would engage in fresh negotiations with Israel based on four conditions: halting settlements, releasing a number of prisoners, guaranteeing the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines, and determining a timeframe for the end of negotiations.
    Sources said the Palestinian Authority’s new conditions show its acceptance of a U.S. mediating role and of direct negotiations with Israel, contrary to its previous stance on the need to have an international mechanism as the basis for launching the peace talks.


  3. There are many actors and conflicts in the Middle East that challenge and threaten US national interests …

    When folks talk about “national” interests, what they really means are *government* interests.

    Government works for its own interests.

    The interests of the US Government have NOTHING to do with the interests of average Americans. In fact, the former reliably works to the detriment of the latter.

    The average American, certainly not a Failing NYT subscriber, cares as little about the Arab-Israeli conflict as the average Israeli does about the conflicts between rival street gangs in LA.

  4. President Donald Trump. Are you willing to help set-up and approve a terrorist Arab State in the United State? Your actions and deeds show you do not! Why would you want Israel to permit an Arab terrorist State in Judea and Samaria? Just see the results of giving the Arabs control of Gaza, which is now a terrorist entity that launches thousands of rockets at Israel and threatens its safety and security.
    No sane leader or government would permit such a move or it will be replaced.

    As long as world countries and leaders contribute money and support to the Arabs who promote hate and commit terror and violence, the terror hate and violence will continue.
    As long as you treat Mahmmoud Abbas as a leader and not as a terrorist criminal (who has a murder conviction and an escapee from justice) who promotes and incites hate, violence and terror, the violence and terror will continue. Stop deluding yourselves that these Arabs are anything but terrorists who seek to destroy Israel and anyone who is not like them.

    Mahmmoud Abbas and his Arab Palestinian authority are a terrorist entity and anyone who condones them is supporting terror and violence. Mahmmoud Abbas is a convicted murderer who is an escaped convict and belongs in Jail. Stop patronizing Abbas and start applying what he deserves, to be put in jail. He gladly admitted for sponsoring the Munich massacre and other terror acts. Abbas is playing the peace game as long as he can milk the nations of the world for billions of dollars and running a dictatorial terrorist entity.
    The Arab PA is no different than Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    There never was and will never be a second Arab-Palestinian State West of the Jordan River; they have Jordan which is Jewish territory.

    Anyone who thinks about putting another terrorist entity in Judea and Samaria aka West Bank, needs to have his head examined, and any government considering such a proposal must be replaced. Such a move is suicidal to Israel especially in view of the results from Gaza, with thousands of rockets attacking Israel. Judea and Samaria is Jewish territory no concession of this territory is permitted. Israel is a sovereign country and Israel does not need anybody’s consent to apply its sovereignty to Judea and Samaria. Israel must expedite building housing, industry and roads in Judea and Samaria. No country has the right to interfere and or dictate to Israel how to conduct its internal affairs and or its safety and security.
    Let the Arab-Palestinians in Judea and Samaria relocate to Jordan or the homes and territory of over 120,000 sq. km the Arab countries confiscated from the over a million Jewish families they terrorized and expelled from the Arab countries.
    The Arab-Palestinian Authority with its leader Mahmmoud Abbas the convicted murderer is a terrorist organization, just like Hamas and Hezbollah.
    YJ Draiman

  5. Why didn´t more of us support Huckabee in the primary? This is hardly the first time Trump has gone back and forth like this. Huckabee was the only candidate with a long consistent record of support for Jewish self-determination throughout the length and breadth of Eretz Israel. He has led solidarity trips to Yesha every year for 40 years, or something. The only one.

  6. I agree with everything YJ Draiman has written. One thing I would like to add. If the USA Government and POTUS supports the fake Palestinians and does not support Israel to do what Israel deems is necessary to stop Arab terrorism against its citizens. Then all that is left is the dire need for a government in Israel with the courage and faith in G-d to claim the land that was promised to them and allow Trump and the USA to face the consequences of supporting terrorists and the betrayal of Israel. This normally involves, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, economic disaster, internal conflict, and terrorism on it’s own soil and no doubt political failure. Dividing Jerusalem is forbidden, as is taking land that belongs to the Almighty and was promised to Israel trying to give it to someone who has no right to it. A criminal and murderous bunch that destroy everything they touch. Someone needs to wake up in the current Israeli government and stop pussyfooting around Trump who may well be encouraged to capitulate to the Arabs if Israel doesn’t stand up and claim its rights as a sovereign state. Trump has not yet made America great again and is unproven and perhaps a tad gullible in ME politics and he is not the President of Israel. Does Israel have a Leader /President/PM that will make Israel great again? If it’s not Netanyahu, then please get a new one and hurry up.

  7. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Sebastian, asking “Why?” about the US electorate, is asking for more than I can handle. Huckabee didn’t have a chance, from the get-go. Trump had a strong base of support; but most of the media and oddsmakers could not see this through their smirky, liberal globalist bubble reality. Hillary was a walking disaster; so Trump got elected. I voted for him, despite knowing (I live in a “blue” state) that my vote wouldn’t count for much.

    Yes, Mike Huckabee has a good heart toward Israel; and so does his daughter, who is #2 to Reince Priebus.

    This isn’t the first time, that I have become disappointed with America’s President and uninformed populace. My wife and I continue to pray for our leaders and for our country; but it’s hard to expect much from God in this department, because my countrymen have largely abandoned faith in Him. I thought, at first, that we had gotten a reprieve for a while, with President Trump; but I’m starting to think this is another lesson we’ll have to learn the hard way.

    Yes, Mike Huckabee is a good man; but his goodness is his faith in God. Others don’t share that faith, and now we are in deep trouble.

    God bless and keep you. Hine lo yanum v’lo yishan shomer Israel. Lo yanum, v’lo yishan. (Behold, He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps).

  8. @ Russell:
    Hi, Russell.

    Keep talking like that, and you will be sued for starting an earthquake! (joke, I hope).

    What is likely to happen to the Trump presidency? I suppose I shouldn’t even try to guess, seeing that it’s a miracle from God that we even have a Trump presidency. Nonetheless, let’s start with:

    1. Syria. We’re committing troops there, in a war that cannot ultimately have a good outcome for us. GW Bush did the same in Iraq, and look what it’s left us. To his credit, Trump is sticking with a US ally and rejecting the treacherous Turks. Nevertheless, we cannot win there in the long run: We will leave, and the Russians will leave, and Turkey will become the new ISIS

    2. The President is losing support from his key constituency, Evangelical Christians, including me. Israel’s survival might not be important to the mainstream media, nor to the Democrats (former Israel champion Chuck Schumer is in bed with the Islamists), nor from the apathetic Middle. Even most US Jews are ambivalent, at best. Only the Evangelicals care; and the Evangelicals got Trump elected. He’s sawing off the limb he’s sitting on. How can it go well for him?

    3. Earthquakes? We don’t need more earthquakes; and they would do nothing to change Americans’ minds. What we do have is Mike Pence, and a better-than-even chance that Trump can be impeached, if he continues to blunder. That would be better for us, than a plague.

  9. @ Michael S:

    Taken as a joke, but Trump will lose support of many Evangelicals if he follows a similar road to peace as his predicessors did and have all failed. Netanyahu will also lose support at home and abroad if he doesn’t “Put Israel first”.

  10. @ Michael S: Thank you. By “us” I meant members of the National Camp, including Haredim I know, who just sort of chuckled at the thought of supporting Huckabee. I suppose they didn’t think he had a prayer. Well, neither did Trump in this neck of the woods. Huckabee, actually, was a favorite, in an earlier primary. Shouldn’t we actually support the candidate we believe in rather than a “tank?” Somebody pointed out that Sharon was such a “tank.”

    I am in NYC. Hillary beat Trump handily here. In fact, recent polls show that if she decides to run for Mayor this year, she will beat Bill de Blasio by 20 points in the primary. And, with rare exceptions in times of crisis, such as Giuliani and Bloomberg for Mayor, and a handful of city council seats in a few districts in Queens and Staten Island, the Dem primary in NYC, is the election. Republicans don’t bother to run in most races. There was no Republican candidate for Congress from my district in the last election, just Dem, Greens and Working Families — the last 2 got maybe 1 percent of the vote each. The General election is a mere formality. Like Soviet elections. That’s why most Jewish conservatives who vote Republican in national elections, like Dov Hikind, are Dems.
    The problem of communicating with liberals here appears to be insurmountable because liberals believe, mindlessly, that everything on Fox News, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, or any other conservative news source — they’ve never heard of any others — is fake news. They don’t believe anything negative about Hillary or Bill Clinton, or Obama or Soros — in fact they don’t even know about any of it, and they still believe all the dis-credited lies about Trump!

    So, I was just talking about the pro-Israel National Camp for whom Jewish settlement and sovereignty is paramount. With the rest, it’s a zero sum game. Our team wins when theirs loses. That’s all. Communication is pointless.

  11. Could any of you writing here please say what is Trump doing and saying any different from what the majority of Israeli Jews,and the Israeli Jewish leaders, saying and doing?

    So then why is Caroline Glick and all of you people here lighting onto Trump?

    Surely you are lighting onto the wrong person and you should be focussed on your own opeople in Israeland especially their leaders in the Knesset.

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