16 Tevet 5778
3 January 2018
The News on the Israel Street
Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .
A few hours ago, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired yet another missile into southern Israel. This time, fortunately, no Israelis were physically wounded and no buildings were hit. As has become the norm, there were no sirens warning of an incoming missile. This makes 33 missiles and mortars that have been fired into the Gaza border communities in the last month.
Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorism elsewhere continued unabated. Terroists threw “rocks” and Molotovs at Israeli motorists at numerous places such as Eli Zahaf, Neve Tzuf, Bruchin, Ateret, Umm Aruv, along the Hevron road in Gush Etzion, Safa, Har Gilo, Jania, Beit El, Deir Nizam, Beit Sira, Rama, and Adam.
How many of these attacks were reported in the mainstream media? Absolutely none.
So much for BDS efforts . . .
Israel’s Ministry of the Economy reported yesterday that Israeli exports totaled more than 100 billion dollars in 2017–a 5% increase over last year.
*Israeli exports to the European Union increased by 20% over the previous year despite labeling of Israeli products and intensified efforts by the BDS movement.
*25% of Israeli exports were to the U.S.–the same as in 2016.
*Exports to China stayed the same; to South Korea, Japan, and Singapore soared; to India, Malaysia, and Indonesia dropped; to Latin America increased–particularly to Brazil and Argentina.
Parsing Trump’s Tweet:
The Good the Bad, and the Very Bad
In case you missed it, here is what President Trump tweeted yesterday:
What are we to make of this tweet?
First of all the good:
* Trump recognizes that the problem with the so-called “peace process” lies with the Palestinians–as it always has.
* Trump is willing to put his money where his mouth is. If the Palestinians don’t want to talk peace, then the millions of dollars paid to the Palestinians will be stopped.
* In Trump’s view, “Jerusalem” is off the table. He has recognized that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and that is that. Of course, this seems to run counter to his Jerusalem Declaration speech in which he said that U.S. recognition of Jerusalem did not mean U.S. recognition of the current borders of the city.
Now the bad:
* If the Palestinians simply decide to return to the “negotiating table”, U.S. funding of the PLO will continue. This is an extremely low threshold for receiving hundreds of millions of American dollars. There is no requirement to stop terrorist incitement, recognize Israel is a Jewish state, or anything else.
* Trump doesn’t realize that Jerusalem was never “the toughest part of the negotiation.” When Barak and Olmert made their offers to the Palestinians in 2000 and 2007, Jerusalem was not the sticking point. The sticking point was the 5,000,000+ so-called “refugees” that the Palestinians demanded be given citizenship in Israel. Even more than this, there is no recognition on Trump’s part that what the Palestinians really want is Israel.
Finally, the very bad:
* You may recall that at the time Trump made his Jerusalem Declaration, PM Netanyahu declared that there was no quid pro quo; according to Netanyahu, Trump expected nothing in return.
Obviously, this is not true.
Trump’s position is now clear: in return for the Jerusalem Declaration, “Israel would have had to pay more.” Israel cannot feel good about Trump using this as an enticement to the Palestinians.
Where does all of this leave us today?
This morning, Mahmoud Abbas defiantly issued this response to Trump’s tweet: “Jerusalem and its holy places are not for sale, neither in gold nor in money.”
It would appear that despite the urging of some Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, Abbas has decided to cast his lot with the Shi’ite countries, the Europeans, and the other Palestinian supporters in the United Nations. Abbas apparently feels that whatever money the Palestinians will not receive from the Americans will be more than replaced by hundreds of millions of dollars from the above sources.
And make no mistake about it. Abbas’ remonstrations notwithstanding: for the utterly corrupt Palestinian leadership, it is all about money.
At least on that point, Trump is exactly correct.