Sivan 21, 5777
June 15, 2017
Are We Completely Mad?
Think about this timeline:
President Trump’s unequivocal Jerusalem declaration at AIPAC during the campaign last year:
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem. And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel.”
Fast forward to May 22 last month on the plane carrying Secretary of State Tillerson from Saudi Arabia to Israel. Tillerson remarked to reporters: “On to the second stop, Tel Aviv, home of Judaism.” In doing so, he alluded to U.S. Defense Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ infamous statement back on January 12 that “Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel.”
Shortly thereafter on June 1, Trump signed the waiver to keep the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
On the same day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dissembled that it was not a question of if but of when the Embassy would be moved to Jerusalem.
Now we have the statement from two days ago, again by Rex Tillerson (before the House Foreign Affairs Committee) that Spicer was incorrect about the “when” part of his statement. According to Tillerson: “[President Trump] has not made that decision yet. . .”
Of course, Israelis are not stupid and know a fraudulent promise when they see one. And what they have seen is Trump go back on his word.
In case you missed it, the same President Trump has provided (via Jason Greenblat) a preview of the upcoming “peace negotiations.”
A summit between Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas will take place in September. The parties will sign a document detailing American principles to end the conflict.
Then come “political” negotiations during which:
1. Israel will restrict “settlement” construction.
2. Israel and the Palestinians will receive security guarantees under the auspices of Jordan and the Gulf States.
3. Israel and the Gulf States will begin to normalize relations so that the Israeli public will be more amenable to the giving away of land and the evacuation of “settlements.”
Let’s stop a minute and think about this. Once again, it is all about “settlements.” Once again Israel makes concessions in return for worthless and easily retractable promises. Once again, everything is premised on Israel signing away its ancestral homeland.
And what is missing from this litany of disaster? A few “minor” details such as “the status of Jerusalem”, the status of the so-called Palestinian “refugees”, etc., etc. In other words, once again, the most intractable issues, the same ones that have caused the Palestinians to reject every single peace proposal Israel has ever made, are not even to be discussed until a later date–after Israel has made territorial concessions.
And lest you think that PM Netanyahu has not already signed on to the giveaway of Judea and Samaria, think about the announcement from the Israeli government yesterday.
14,000 new housing units for 50,000 Palestinians have been approved by Netanyahu. The units are to be built beside Qalqilya (a hotbed of terrorism) on land currently in Area C. Area C, you will recall, is completely under Israeli control. The land will be turned over to the Palestinians to be incorporated into Area A, the area that is under complete Palestinian control.
This approval of construction and transfer of territory comes as the Netanyahu government continues its de facto freeze on all Jewish construction in Area C.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, spoke for many of us yesterday when he declared: “This is a scandal . . . are we completely mad? Is there no limit to the lack of credibility?”
Dagan’s questions are of course rhetorical: when it comes to Judea and Samaria, the government is completely mad, and utterly lacks credibility.