Category: Ted Belman

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Will Trump's Deal of the Century Solve the Middle East's Problems?


In a recent interview, Jason Greenblatt, a special representative of the president, said, “Our plan begins with reality.  It recognizes the history of the conflict, of course, but [other plans] were always relying on tired notions of what it should be.  Instead, it focuses on what it could be.”

Thus, I assume that the Palestinian narrative that has driven the peace process and world opinion for fifty years will be severely undermined and replaced with reality and history, starting with the Palestine Mandate.  Greenblatt is mindful of the fact that this narrative was outlined by the KGB in its consultations with Yasser Arafat in the sixties and afterward.  They invented the Palestinian people as a means to cast the Arabs as the oppressed and the Israelis as the oppressors.

The rationale for the plan will start with the signing of the Palestine Mandate in 1922.  This mandate split Palestine into two mandates under British rule – namely, the Arab Palestine (Transjordan), which received 78% of the land, and the Jewish Mandate (Israel), which received the remaining 22%.  Britain tried to further divide the 22%, most notably in the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947, without success.  True, the UNGA passed the resolution, and Israel was created, but the Arabs rejected it, thereby ending their opportunity to create an Arab state on the part allocated to them.

International law recognizes Israel’s right to claim sovereignty over the entire 22%.  In addition, Israel cemented this right by its victory over the Arabs in the ’67 war.

No doubt, this history will inform the design of the plan.

Greenblatt went on to articulate a red line, if you will, saying, “We will not put forth a plan or endorse a plan that doesn’t meet all of Israel’s security issues because they are of extreme importance to us.”  Furthermore, “Israel is going to have to be comfortable that what we put forth in the plan does not put Israel at risk.”  The Palestinians must accept this as fundamental to the plan and be “comfortable” with it.

In explaining why he is putting all this effort into achieving peace when there are bigger problems in the Middle east – namely, Syria and Iran – Greenblatt says:

We think that there are unique circumstances now that warrant an attempt at trying to see whether or not we can do this.  President Trump, as devoted and dedicated to the State of Israel and the Jewish people as he is, he’s also dedicated to trying to help the Palestinian people, and the way we can marry those two ideas is by trying to reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

Thus, he is guided by two goals.  He wants to strengthen Israel, and he wants to help the Palestinian people.  As he said, “we do believe that many Palestinians want to live in peace, and they want to see their lives improved.”

So how can he marry these goals?  He says, “We must abandon all the old formulae and focus on what is doable.”

Taking all the foregoing into account, I believe that the plan will recognize the original division of Palestine into Jordan as the Palestinian state and Israel as the Jewish state.  These states already have a peace agreement in which the agreed border is the Jordan River.

So far, so good.  But what will happen with the two million Palestinians, all of whom have Jordanian citizenship, living west of the Jordan River?  Presently, these Palestinians live for the most part in Areas A and B (1.4 million), Area C (100,000), and Jerusalem (350,000).

According to a well informed source, the administration of the A areas, as agreed to in the Oslo Accords, will pass from the P.A. to Jordan.  The B areas will be absorbed into the C area in order to remove the Swiss cheese effect.  Hebron, on the other hand, will be administered by a joint local council made up of Israelis and Palestinians.

This means that the P.A. will be done away with, because its primary function is to wage war against Israel’s legitimacy.  All Palestinians living west of the River will be seen as both Jordanian citizens and foreign residents.  There will be no need to give them citizenship.  Israel will then be free to build without restraint in the expanded Area C and in other ways exercise its sovereignty on all lands west of the Jordan River.

In effect, all Arabs will remain where they are and will continue to work in Israel.  The only difference will be that they have to give up their aspirations for a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River and accept that Jordan is the Palestinian state.

Jordan and Israel will negotiate separate agreements dealing with joint economic relations and joint military arrangements.

Job-creating joint ventures will be set up in Jordan.  These jobs will be available to all Palestinians who emigrate to Jordan.  Expectations are that many Palestinians living west of the river will avail themselves of these jobs.

As for my idea that a new city should be built in Jordan to house a million people, I am informed by the source above that Jordan is a welfare state that guarantees housing to all citizens.  Jordan will start with building an extra 500,000 units to accommodate the influx of citizens.  This too will induce many Palestinians to emigrate to Jordan.

It should be made clear that Israel will not be party to forced ethnic cleansing.

There is also talk about joint military planning between Israel and Jordan.  In effect, Jordan will be an extension of Israel.  Jordan may also be the buyer of the 100 F-16s that Israel now wishes to sell.

UNRWA will be scuttled.  The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq will be invited to move to Jordan as full citizens, thereby ending their refugee status.

Many Israelis will not be happy with the fact that the Arabs will remain, but at least there will be no obligation to offer them a path to citizenship.  Furthermore, this deal will do away with the Palestinian narrative, which is the cause of so much disloyalty among Arab Israelis.

As Greenblatt said, the Palestinians and the Israelis must decide, “Will we be better off with this plan or continuing without it?”  I believe, on balance, that both the Israelis and the Palestinians will accept the plan if it looks like this.  The Israelis hunger for an end of conflict agreement, and the Palestinians are sick and tired of living under the P.A. rule and under the king’s rule, as the case may be.  They are hungry for change and normalization.

As for the Arab world, Greenblatt said, “We’re also hopeful that we can count on their support, and I use the word ‘support’ rather than ‘approval.'”  Thus, he doesn’t expect them to publicly accept the plan, but he does expect them not to undermine its acceptance.

Both Abbas and King Abdullah have publicly rejected any such plan.  Assuming no change of heart, they will be replaced.  Mudar Zahran is waiting on the sidelines.  He most certainly accepts such a plan.

Conventional wisdom has it that Israel would never agree to ousting Abdullah.  After all, as the theory goes, the border has been quiet for 30 years.  But increasingly, Israel sees Abdullah as an obstructionist just like Abbas.  I think Israel is ready for change, especially if change leads to a resolution of the conflict.

Conventional wisdom also suggests that if Mudar Zahran becomes the leader of Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose world headquarters is in Jordan, will oust him from power within 24 hours.  In this, it is wrong also.  Within the said 24 hours, Zahran would ban the Muslim brotherhood and designate it a terrorist organization.  In this, he would have the support of Israel and the U.S.

I believe that this deal will be accepted and will thus be the Deal of the Century.

Ted Belman is the editor of Israpundit.com, which he started 16 years ago.  Together with Mudar Zahran, he spear-headed the plan, in the spring of 2017, to replace King Abdullah, as the leader of Jordan, with Mudar Zahran, the head of the Jordan Opposition Coalition.  This plan was dubbed The Jordan Option.  Many if not all the principles set out in the plan are reflected in the Deal of the Century.

In a recent interview, Jason Greenblatt, a special representative of the president, said, “Our plan begins with reality.  It recognizes the history of the conflict, of course, but [other plans] were always relying on tired notions of what it should be.  Instead, it focuses on what it could be.”

Thus, I assume that the Palestinian narrative that has driven the peace process and world opinion for fifty years will be severely undermined and replaced with reality and history, starting with the Palestine Mandate.  Greenblatt is mindful of the fact that this narrative was outlined by the KGB in its consultations with Yasser Arafat in the sixties and afterward.  They invented the Palestinian people as a means to cast the Arabs as the oppressed and the Israelis as the oppressors.

The rationale for the plan will start with the signing of the Palestine Mandate in 1922.  This mandate split Palestine into two mandates under British rule – namely, the Arab Palestine (Transjordan), which received 78% of the land, and the Jewish Mandate (Israel), which received the remaining 22%.  Britain tried to further divide the 22%, most notably in the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947, without success.  True, the UNGA passed the resolution, and Israel was created, but the Arabs rejected it, thereby ending their opportunity to create an Arab state on the part allocated to them.

International law recognizes Israel’s right to claim sovereignty over the entire 22%.  In addition, Israel cemented this right by its victory over the Arabs in the ’67 war.

No doubt, this history will inform the design of the plan.

Greenblatt went on to articulate a red line, if you will, saying, “We will not put forth a plan or endorse a plan that doesn’t meet all of Israel’s security issues because they are of extreme importance to us.”  Furthermore, “Israel is going to have to be comfortable that what we put forth in the plan does not put Israel at risk.”  The Palestinians must accept this as fundamental to the plan and be “comfortable” with it.

In explaining why he is putting all this effort into achieving peace when there are bigger problems in the Middle east – namely, Syria and Iran – Greenblatt says:

We think that there are unique circumstances now that warrant an attempt at trying to see whether or not we can do this.  President Trump, as devoted and dedicated to the State of Israel and the Jewish people as he is, he’s also dedicated to trying to help the Palestinian people, and the way we can marry those two ideas is by trying to reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

Thus, he is guided by two goals.  He wants to strengthen Israel, and he wants to help the Palestinian people.  As he said, “we do believe that many Palestinians want to live in peace, and they want to see their lives improved.”

So how can he marry these goals?  He says, “We must abandon all the old formulae and focus on what is doable.”

Taking all the foregoing into account, I believe that the plan will recognize the original division of Palestine into Jordan as the Palestinian state and Israel as the Jewish state.  These states already have a peace agreement in which the agreed border is the Jordan River.

So far, so good.  But what will happen with the two million Palestinians, all of whom have Jordanian citizenship, living west of the Jordan River?  Presently, these Palestinians live for the most part in Areas A and B (1.4 million), Area C (100,000), and Jerusalem (350,000).

According to a well informed source, the administration of the A areas, as agreed to in the Oslo Accords, will pass from the P.A. to Jordan.  The B areas will be absorbed into the C area in order to remove the Swiss cheese effect.  Hebron, on the other hand, will be administered by a joint local council made up of Israelis and Palestinians.

This means that the P.A. will be done away with, because its primary function is to wage war against Israel’s legitimacy.  All Palestinians living west of the River will be seen as both Jordanian citizens and foreign residents.  There will be no need to give them citizenship.  Israel will then be free to build without restraint in the expanded Area C and in other ways exercise its sovereignty on all lands west of the Jordan River.

In effect, all Arabs will remain where they are and will continue to work in Israel.  The only difference will be that they have to give up their aspirations for a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River and accept that Jordan is the Palestinian state.

Jordan and Israel will negotiate separate agreements dealing with joint economic relations and joint military arrangements.

Job-creating joint ventures will be set up in Jordan.  These jobs will be available to all Palestinians who emigrate to Jordan.  Expectations are that many Palestinians living west of the river will avail themselves of these jobs.

As for my idea that a new city should be built in Jordan to house a million people, I am informed by the source above that Jordan is a welfare state that guarantees housing to all citizens.  Jordan will start with building an extra 500,000 units to accommodate the influx of citizens.  This too will induce many Palestinians to emigrate to Jordan.

It should be made clear that Israel will not be party to forced ethnic cleansing.

There is also talk about joint military planning between Israel and Jordan.  In effect, Jordan will be an extension of Israel.  Jordan may also be the buyer of the 100 F-16s that Israel now wishes to sell.

UNRWA will be scuttled.  The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq will be invited to move to Jordan as full citizens, thereby ending their refugee status.

Many Israelis will not be happy with the fact that the Arabs will remain, but at least there will be no obligation to offer them a path to citizenship.  Furthermore, this deal will do away with the Palestinian narrative, which is the cause of so much disloyalty among Arab Israelis.

As Greenblatt said, the Palestinians and the Israelis must decide, “Will we be better off with this plan or continuing without it?”  I believe, on balance, that both the Israelis and the Palestinians will accept the plan if it looks like this.  The Israelis hunger for an end of conflict agreement, and the Palestinians are sick and tired of living under the P.A. rule and under the king’s rule, as the case may be.  They are hungry for change and normalization.

As for the Arab world, Greenblatt said, “We’re also hopeful that we can count on their support, and I use the word ‘support’ rather than ‘approval.'”  Thus, he doesn’t expect them to publicly accept the plan, but he does expect them not to undermine its acceptance.

Both Abbas and King Abdullah have publicly rejected any such plan.  Assuming no change of heart, they will be replaced.  Mudar Zahran is waiting on the sidelines.  He most certainly accepts such a plan.

Conventional wisdom has it that Israel would never agree to ousting Abdullah.  After all, as the theory goes, the border has been quiet for 30 years.  But increasingly, Israel sees Abdullah as an obstructionist just like Abbas.  I think Israel is ready for change, especially if change leads to a resolution of the conflict.

Conventional wisdom also suggests that if Mudar Zahran becomes the leader of Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose world headquarters is in Jordan, will oust him from power within 24 hours.  In this, it is wrong also.  Within the said 24 hours, Zahran would ban the Muslim brotherhood and designate it a terrorist organization.  In this, he would have the support of Israel and the U.S.

I believe that this deal will be accepted and will thus be the Deal of the Century.

Ted Belman is the editor of Israpundit.com, which he started 16 years ago.  Together with Mudar Zahran, he spear-headed the plan, in the spring of 2017, to replace King Abdullah, as the leader of Jordan, with Mudar Zahran, the head of the Jordan Opposition Coalition.  This plan was dubbed The Jordan Option.  Many if not all the principles set out in the plan are reflected in the Deal of the Century.



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Trump in Search of Middle East Peace, Not a Peace Agreement


As he flew off to Rome, the New York Times published a major report on President Trump’s Middle East trip that it titled “Trump Leaves Middle East With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It.” The article didn’t reflect the title, for it went no farther than to say, “What Mr. Trump did not do was reveal the least hint of what, if anything, was behind it,” referring to his hope. The article later acknowledged that “strict secrecy” was a good thing.

Close scrutiny of the statements made in the last few days and the events leading up to this trip would strongly suggest that President Trump is right to be cautiously optimistic — because he has a plan.

After relentless pressure from President Obama and Secretary Kerry, Prime Minister Netanyahu came close to accepting the Kerry framework based on the ’67 ceasefire lines (with swaps) as borders and a divided Jerusalem.  On Feb 24, 2017, the Times of Israel and the AP published a report on a secret regional conference that took place in Aqaba, a year earlier. In attendance were Netanyahu, King Abdullah, and Abdel Fattah al Sisi, among others.

“According to a US official and an Israeli source familiar with the plan cited by Haaretz, the prime minister detailed five steps Israel could take to promote a regional peace initiative aimed at reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, and also asked for US assurances on a number of issues.”

The plan, according to the two sources, included:

“1. The approval of large-scale Palestinian construction and advancement of economic initiatives in Area C in the West Bank, where Israel maintains security control, the approval of infrastructure projects in the Gaza Strip, closer coordination with the Palestinian Authority, including allowing entry of weapons needed by its security forces.


“2. Positive public references by the Israeli government to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi initiative, including a willingness to negotiate the components with Arab states.


“3. The support and active participation of Arab states in a regional peace summit, including dispatching senior officials from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Sunni states to a public gathering attended by Netanyahu.


“4. Practical American recognition of construction in the settlements blocs, in exchange for a freeze outside those areas.


“5. A guarantee by the then-Obama administration to bloc any moves against Israel at the United Nations, including the use of its veto power at the Security Council.


“According to Haaretz, Kerry initiated the summit after complex bargaining with both Israel’s regional neighbors and its internal political players. Details of the proposal, ultimately rejected by Netanyahu, and the secret meeting came from former senior officials in the Obama administration.”

At that time, Netanyahu invited the Labour Zionists, headed by Isaac Herzog, to join his government, in order to overcome the resistance to the proposed deal by his own coalition. In the end, Israel Beteinu, headed by Avigdor Liberman, joined the coalition and that ended the initiative.

Netanyahu brought his plan to the attention of President Trump when he met with him in the White House on Feb 14th. In the press conference after the meeting, Trump proposed a regional solution and said that the U.S. would no longer insist on a Palestinian state.  He ended by saying “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” This according to the NYT.

Trump then dispatched his Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to Israel in the second week of March, where he spent four days in discussions with all the players. The message he carried was that his boss was serious about peace and so should the parties be.

This was followed by four days of intense talks in the White House between an Israeli delegation and the Trump people ostensibly on the question of settlements, but probably on the whole question of reaching a deal. Nothing conclusive was announced.

Four weeks later, Trump made his historic visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The logjam in negotiations that had existed for 50 years broke just prior to the trip.

“Gulf States Offer Normalizing Israel Ties in Exchange for Partial Freeze on Settlements.” This is the first time the Gulf states showed flexibility.

Then in King Salman’s remarks at end of Trump’s visit he said,

“We stress that achieving peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is a just and necessary quest that requires joint sacrifices and sincere determination for the interest of all.” [emphasis added]

Another first.

Ahead of Trump’s arrival in Israel, the Israeli Cabinet approved a series of gestures at the request of Trump:

The measures approved earlier on Sunday include extended opening hours at the Allenby Crossing, new industrial zones for the PA, and increased Palestinian Arab construction in Area C. Israel will determine the nature of the construction, be it agricultural, industrial or residential.”

Another first.

Perhaps the biggest first of all is that Mahmoud Abbas is now proposing to accept Israel keeping 6.5% of the territories rather than only 1.9% originally on offer. This means that Israel gets to keep Ariel, Maaleh Adumin, and Gush Etzion.

Arutz Sheva reported a few days ago:

“… Olmert had offered to compensate the Arabs with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8 percent of Judea and Samaria, along with a link to the Gaza Strip. The rejected offer also included placing Jerusalem’s Old City under international control.


“This time however, Jerusalem, the most controversial aspect of previous discussions, is not mentioned in the proposal that Abbas is allegedly meant to discuss with Trump during his visit.”

That’s a good thing.

These firsts didn’t just happen. According to Secretary Rex Tillerson, Trump put Abbas and Netanyahu under great pressure to get them to move. He probably did the same to King Salman. At the same time, he made nice to all of them.

Thus the gap between the parties that was formerly considered huge now appears negotiable.

Mind you, Trump avoided any mention of Palestine, settlements or occupation — all issues which have dominated discourse heretofore. Trump isn’t working to reach a final peace agreement. Instead, he is looking to achieve peace so that the coalition of Israel and the moderate Arab states together with the U.S. can focus on terrorism and Iran.

Kushner, who along with international negotiations envoy Greenblatt has been tasked by Trump with relaunching the peace process, reportedly told Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Opposition, “We are planning to move fast in starting a diplomatic process in order to reach a deal.”  To this end, Greenblatt will be returning to Israel in a few days for follow up discussions with all sides.

I envisage an agreement in which:

       Israel gets to build in eastern Jerusalem and in all settlement blocks and the Arabs get to build in parts of Area C.

       Jerusalem will remain under Israel’s jurisdiction.

       The PA and Israel will have the same rights in A, B, C as they now have due to the Oslo Accords.

       Security will continue to be a joint enterprise. Thus, the IDF will remain in the territories. This is good for Israel and good for the Palestinians.

       Saudi Arabia will normalize relations with Israel will continue to improve the Palestinian economy with the help of the US.

Netanyahu’s five point plan tabled in February 2016, is being implemented.

But Trump is not satisfied.

Israel National news reported on Friday, May 26, 2017,

According to Channel 10 News, in meetings held this week, Americans discussed with Israel elements of a potential final agreement with the PA. The Israelis made it clear to the Americans that Israel cannot compromise when it comes to security arrangements in the final agreement.


“The Americans are reportedly not satisfied with the measures towards the PA that were approved by the Cabinet this week, and want to see more confidence-building measures. The administration gave Israel a list of proposals for such additional measures, including what was reported on Channel 10 News earlier this week: A move which would redefine sections of Area C in northern Samaria as Area B.”

Pro-Israel supports of Trump who believed him when he said he would not pressure Israel, are very disappointed. They are also disappointed with Netanyahu for stressing security rather than Israel’s right to the land and to Jerusalem.

As he flew off to Rome, the New York Times published a major report on President Trump’s Middle East trip that it titled “Trump Leaves Middle East With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It.” The article didn’t reflect the title, for it went no farther than to say, “What Mr. Trump did not do was reveal the least hint of what, if anything, was behind it,” referring to his hope. The article later acknowledged that “strict secrecy” was a good thing.

Close scrutiny of the statements made in the last few days and the events leading up to this trip would strongly suggest that President Trump is right to be cautiously optimistic — because he has a plan.

After relentless pressure from President Obama and Secretary Kerry, Prime Minister Netanyahu came close to accepting the Kerry framework based on the ’67 ceasefire lines (with swaps) as borders and a divided Jerusalem.  On Feb 24, 2017, the Times of Israel and the AP published a report on a secret regional conference that took place in Aqaba, a year earlier. In attendance were Netanyahu, King Abdullah, and Abdel Fattah al Sisi, among others.

“According to a US official and an Israeli source familiar with the plan cited by Haaretz, the prime minister detailed five steps Israel could take to promote a regional peace initiative aimed at reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, and also asked for US assurances on a number of issues.”

The plan, according to the two sources, included:

“1. The approval of large-scale Palestinian construction and advancement of economic initiatives in Area C in the West Bank, where Israel maintains security control, the approval of infrastructure projects in the Gaza Strip, closer coordination with the Palestinian Authority, including allowing entry of weapons needed by its security forces.


“2. Positive public references by the Israeli government to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi initiative, including a willingness to negotiate the components with Arab states.


“3. The support and active participation of Arab states in a regional peace summit, including dispatching senior officials from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Sunni states to a public gathering attended by Netanyahu.


“4. Practical American recognition of construction in the settlements blocs, in exchange for a freeze outside those areas.


“5. A guarantee by the then-Obama administration to bloc any moves against Israel at the United Nations, including the use of its veto power at the Security Council.


“According to Haaretz, Kerry initiated the summit after complex bargaining with both Israel’s regional neighbors and its internal political players. Details of the proposal, ultimately rejected by Netanyahu, and the secret meeting came from former senior officials in the Obama administration.”

At that time, Netanyahu invited the Labour Zionists, headed by Isaac Herzog, to join his government, in order to overcome the resistance to the proposed deal by his own coalition. In the end, Israel Beteinu, headed by Avigdor Liberman, joined the coalition and that ended the initiative.

Netanyahu brought his plan to the attention of President Trump when he met with him in the White House on Feb 14th. In the press conference after the meeting, Trump proposed a regional solution and said that the U.S. would no longer insist on a Palestinian state.  He ended by saying “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” This according to the NYT.

Trump then dispatched his Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to Israel in the second week of March, where he spent four days in discussions with all the players. The message he carried was that his boss was serious about peace and so should the parties be.

This was followed by four days of intense talks in the White House between an Israeli delegation and the Trump people ostensibly on the question of settlements, but probably on the whole question of reaching a deal. Nothing conclusive was announced.

Four weeks later, Trump made his historic visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The logjam in negotiations that had existed for 50 years broke just prior to the trip.

“Gulf States Offer Normalizing Israel Ties in Exchange for Partial Freeze on Settlements.” This is the first time the Gulf states showed flexibility.

Then in King Salman’s remarks at end of Trump’s visit he said,

“We stress that achieving peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is a just and necessary quest that requires joint sacrifices and sincere determination for the interest of all.” [emphasis added]

Another first.

Ahead of Trump’s arrival in Israel, the Israeli Cabinet approved a series of gestures at the request of Trump:

The measures approved earlier on Sunday include extended opening hours at the Allenby Crossing, new industrial zones for the PA, and increased Palestinian Arab construction in Area C. Israel will determine the nature of the construction, be it agricultural, industrial or residential.”

Another first.

Perhaps the biggest first of all is that Mahmoud Abbas is now proposing to accept Israel keeping 6.5% of the territories rather than only 1.9% originally on offer. This means that Israel gets to keep Ariel, Maaleh Adumin, and Gush Etzion.

Arutz Sheva reported a few days ago:

“… Olmert had offered to compensate the Arabs with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8 percent of Judea and Samaria, along with a link to the Gaza Strip. The rejected offer also included placing Jerusalem’s Old City under international control.


“This time however, Jerusalem, the most controversial aspect of previous discussions, is not mentioned in the proposal that Abbas is allegedly meant to discuss with Trump during his visit.”

That’s a good thing.

These firsts didn’t just happen. According to Secretary Rex Tillerson, Trump put Abbas and Netanyahu under great pressure to get them to move. He probably did the same to King Salman. At the same time, he made nice to all of them.

Thus the gap between the parties that was formerly considered huge now appears negotiable.

Mind you, Trump avoided any mention of Palestine, settlements or occupation — all issues which have dominated discourse heretofore. Trump isn’t working to reach a final peace agreement. Instead, he is looking to achieve peace so that the coalition of Israel and the moderate Arab states together with the U.S. can focus on terrorism and Iran.

Kushner, who along with international negotiations envoy Greenblatt has been tasked by Trump with relaunching the peace process, reportedly told Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Opposition, “We are planning to move fast in starting a diplomatic process in order to reach a deal.”  To this end, Greenblatt will be returning to Israel in a few days for follow up discussions with all sides.

I envisage an agreement in which:

       Israel gets to build in eastern Jerusalem and in all settlement blocks and the Arabs get to build in parts of Area C.

       Jerusalem will remain under Israel’s jurisdiction.

       The PA and Israel will have the same rights in A, B, C as they now have due to the Oslo Accords.

       Security will continue to be a joint enterprise. Thus, the IDF will remain in the territories. This is good for Israel and good for the Palestinians.

       Saudi Arabia will normalize relations with Israel will continue to improve the Palestinian economy with the help of the US.

Netanyahu’s five point plan tabled in February 2016, is being implemented.

But Trump is not satisfied.

Israel National news reported on Friday, May 26, 2017,

According to Channel 10 News, in meetings held this week, Americans discussed with Israel elements of a potential final agreement with the PA. The Israelis made it clear to the Americans that Israel cannot compromise when it comes to security arrangements in the final agreement.


“The Americans are reportedly not satisfied with the measures towards the PA that were approved by the Cabinet this week, and want to see more confidence-building measures. The administration gave Israel a list of proposals for such additional measures, including what was reported on Channel 10 News earlier this week: A move which would redefine sections of Area C in northern Samaria as Area B.”

Pro-Israel supports of Trump who believed him when he said he would not pressure Israel, are very disappointed. They are also disappointed with Netanyahu for stressing security rather than Israel’s right to the land and to Jerusalem.



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Trump’s plan to defeat radical Islam


In Feb 2016, Lt. General Mike Flynn became an advisor to candidate Donald Trump. Trump was interested in his views of how to defeat radical Islam. In the summer of that year, Flynn published his book The Field of Fight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies  

In it he wrote, “The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

According to Breitbart:

The book identifies the main enemy to Islam’s ideological encouragement of supremacism, violence, and expansionism, describes Iran as a ‘linchpin” of a loose anti-American alliance of Russia, Islam, China, and North Korea, and calls for a diplomatic effort to flip Russia against Iran and radical Islam. When dealing with Islamic militants, he writes, ”[w]e’ve got to stop feeling the slightest bit guilty about calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”

Even though Flynn was asked to resign in February, Trump is following his prescription to a T. 

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, another Trump adviser, in an interview by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates, on Mar 4/17 said,

“The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

Once in office, Trump appointed Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the UN instructing her to demand the UN stop treating Israel unfairly. So far she has done a great job with her assigned task.

When President Assad used chemical weapons against his own citizens, Trump bombed a Syrian airbase with 49 Tomahawk missiles, something President Obama never did. He also decided to arm the Kurds without regard to the protestations of President Erdogan. Again, something the Obama was unwilling to do.

President Trump seemed to change his positions on Israel related issues. During his campaign, he promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem on day one, to allow Israel to build housing in Judea and Samaria, and to search for alternate solutions to the conflict. In this regard, he has been a disappointment to the pro-Israel community. He didn’t move the embassy and he didn’t allow Israel to build in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria. And he made bold moves to achieve a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This included inviting President Abbas to the White House for a couple of hours and announcing a conference for this summer which would include the regional Arab powers. From Israel’s point of view, Trump has no chance of succeeding.

Mind you, he has been careful not to mention the creation of the state of Palestine, so one wonders what he has in mind.

The White House announced that President Trump would visit Saudi Arabia starting May 20, then Israel, and then the Vatican.

At a press conference on May 16/17, the National Security Advisor, General McMaster, gave details of the speeches Trump will deliver in Saudi Arabia.

“[Trump] will address the leaders of 50 Muslim countries including the Gulf States on the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam across the globe. The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilizations and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.  … [Trump will] participate in the inauguration of a new Center intended to fight radicalism and to promote moderation.  By establishing and operating this center our Muslim friends including Saudi Arabia are taking a firm stand against extremism and those who use a perverted interpretation of religion to advance their criminal and political agendas.”

Accordingly, Trump remains committed to defeating the radical Islamist  ideology and is requiring the Arab states join him and to reject the ideology.  His demands on the Arab states are reminiscent of President Bush’s speech shortly after 9/11 in which Bush said to these countries “Either you are with us or you are against us.” But unlike Bush, Trump will follow through.

In 2009, President Obama made his first foreign trip to Egypt to deliver a ground-breaking speech to the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, and to the Muslim world in general.

In describing the problem thusly,

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.”

President Obama chose to identify the enemies as “violent extremists,” whereas Trump in his speech will unapologetically identify the enemy as” radical Islamists.”

Obama went on to make his pitch.

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Trump, on the other hand, will demand that the Muslim world, including the Arab states, reject the radical interpretation of Islam and those who follow it.

Obama’s “new beginning” involved embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated a terrorist organization by many countries, and embracing Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump, on the other hand is making the US friendship with the Muslim world contingent on it rejecting the terrorist ideology.

His upcoming speech will truly herald a new beginning.

Already he is meeting with success. The Gulf states have compiled a proposal to take steps toward normalization with Israel if the Netanyahu government in turn makes gestures to the Palestinians, such as freezing settlement construction in parts of the West Bank and easing trade restrictions in the Gaza Strip.

Their offer will be rejected by both Trump and PM Netanyahu.

According to an Arab intelligence officer, Trump will be demanding that the Arab leaders normalize relations with Israel without preconditions. If the Arabs want to be friends with the US, they must first be friends with Israel.

Secondly, he will look for an alternative solution if he can’t broker a deal.

Prior to Abbas being hosted in the White House in early May, Trump pushed the Palestinian leder to end the payments to convicted terrorists and their families. We don’t know how this is being resolved but we do know that Senators Lindsey Graham, and Mark Kirk are seeking to cut US assistance to the PA by the amount paid to prisoners in Israeli custody and their families, according to an amendment to the Senate spending bill for State and Foreign Operations.

The US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, arrived in Israel on Monday and in an interview reiterated certain positions and attitudes that Trump embraces,

       next week in Israel “with no specific plan or road map in mind” and that “there are no demands for Israel to freeze building in Judea and Samaria.”

 

 

 

       “both sides should sit down at the same table with no preconditions, and talk.”

       “The US will not dictate how you need to live together here. That’s something that only you will decide”.

       “Trump didn’t say settlements are an obstacle to peace. He didn’t say he wants a freeze. He said he wants to come to an understanding with the Israeli government on how the issue will be dealt with.”

       “In 2009, Hillary Clinton insisted on a complete freeze of all building in Judea and Samaria, but Abbas still refused to come to the negotiating table. Now, we don’t have any demands that Israel freeze building, and Abbas is interested in meeting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu without any preconditions.”

       “I don’t know if Israel will ever have to make concessions. It’s hard to answer that question right now.”

 

Candidate Trump said many of these things during the campaign.  Ambassador Friedman is now repeating them on his behalf.

 

One must conclude that in foreign policy itself, Trump meant what he said and said what he meant.

In Feb 2016, Lt. General Mike Flynn became an advisor to candidate Donald Trump. Trump was interested in his views of how to defeat radical Islam. In the summer of that year, Flynn published his book The Field of Fight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies  

In it he wrote, “The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

According to Breitbart:

The book identifies the main enemy to Islam’s ideological encouragement of supremacism, violence, and expansionism, describes Iran as a ‘linchpin” of a loose anti-American alliance of Russia, Islam, China, and North Korea, and calls for a diplomatic effort to flip Russia against Iran and radical Islam. When dealing with Islamic militants, he writes, ”[w]e’ve got to stop feeling the slightest bit guilty about calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”

Even though Flynn was asked to resign in February, Trump is following his prescription to a T. 

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, another Trump adviser, in an interview by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates, on Mar 4/17 said,

“The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

Once in office, Trump appointed Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the UN instructing her to demand the UN stop treating Israel unfairly. So far she has done a great job with her assigned task.

When President Assad used chemical weapons against his own citizens, Trump bombed a Syrian airbase with 49 Tomahawk missiles, something President Obama never did. He also decided to arm the Kurds without regard to the protestations of President Erdogan. Again, something the Obama was unwilling to do.

President Trump seemed to change his positions on Israel related issues. During his campaign, he promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem on day one, to allow Israel to build housing in Judea and Samaria, and to search for alternate solutions to the conflict. In this regard, he has been a disappointment to the pro-Israel community. He didn’t move the embassy and he didn’t allow Israel to build in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria. And he made bold moves to achieve a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This included inviting President Abbas to the White House for a couple of hours and announcing a conference for this summer which would include the regional Arab powers. From Israel’s point of view, Trump has no chance of succeeding.

Mind you, he has been careful not to mention the creation of the state of Palestine, so one wonders what he has in mind.

The White House announced that President Trump would visit Saudi Arabia starting May 20, then Israel, and then the Vatican.

At a press conference on May 16/17, the National Security Advisor, General McMaster, gave details of the speeches Trump will deliver in Saudi Arabia.

“[Trump] will address the leaders of 50 Muslim countries including the Gulf States on the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam across the globe. The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilizations and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.  … [Trump will] participate in the inauguration of a new Center intended to fight radicalism and to promote moderation.  By establishing and operating this center our Muslim friends including Saudi Arabia are taking a firm stand against extremism and those who use a perverted interpretation of religion to advance their criminal and political agendas.”

Accordingly, Trump remains committed to defeating the radical Islamist  ideology and is requiring the Arab states join him and to reject the ideology.  His demands on the Arab states are reminiscent of President Bush’s speech shortly after 9/11 in which Bush said to these countries “Either you are with us or you are against us.” But unlike Bush, Trump will follow through.

In 2009, President Obama made his first foreign trip to Egypt to deliver a ground-breaking speech to the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, and to the Muslim world in general.

In describing the problem thusly,

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.”

President Obama chose to identify the enemies as “violent extremists,” whereas Trump in his speech will unapologetically identify the enemy as” radical Islamists.”

Obama went on to make his pitch.

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Trump, on the other hand, will demand that the Muslim world, including the Arab states, reject the radical interpretation of Islam and those who follow it.

Obama’s “new beginning” involved embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated a terrorist organization by many countries, and embracing Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump, on the other hand is making the US friendship with the Muslim world contingent on it rejecting the terrorist ideology.

His upcoming speech will truly herald a new beginning.

Already he is meeting with success. The Gulf states have compiled a proposal to take steps toward normalization with Israel if the Netanyahu government in turn makes gestures to the Palestinians, such as freezing settlement construction in parts of the West Bank and easing trade restrictions in the Gaza Strip.

Their offer will be rejected by both Trump and PM Netanyahu.

According to an Arab intelligence officer, Trump will be demanding that the Arab leaders normalize relations with Israel without preconditions. If the Arabs want to be friends with the US, they must first be friends with Israel.

Secondly, he will look for an alternative solution if he can’t broker a deal.

Prior to Abbas being hosted in the White House in early May, Trump pushed the Palestinian leder to end the payments to convicted terrorists and their families. We don’t know how this is being resolved but we do know that Senators Lindsey Graham, and Mark Kirk are seeking to cut US assistance to the PA by the amount paid to prisoners in Israeli custody and their families, according to an amendment to the Senate spending bill for State and Foreign Operations.

The US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, arrived in Israel on Monday and in an interview reiterated certain positions and attitudes that Trump embraces,

       next week in Israel “with no specific plan or road map in mind” and that “there are no demands for Israel to freeze building in Judea and Samaria.”

 

 

 

       “both sides should sit down at the same table with no preconditions, and talk.”

       “The US will not dictate how you need to live together here. That’s something that only you will decide”.

       “Trump didn’t say settlements are an obstacle to peace. He didn’t say he wants a freeze. He said he wants to come to an understanding with the Israeli government on how the issue will be dealt with.”

       “In 2009, Hillary Clinton insisted on a complete freeze of all building in Judea and Samaria, but Abbas still refused to come to the negotiating table. Now, we don’t have any demands that Israel freeze building, and Abbas is interested in meeting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu without any preconditions.”

       “I don’t know if Israel will ever have to make concessions. It’s hard to answer that question right now.”

 

Candidate Trump said many of these things during the campaign.  Ambassador Friedman is now repeating them on his behalf.

 

One must conclude that in foreign policy itself, Trump meant what he said and said what he meant.



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The Deal of the Century


There is no end in sight for the Syrian War because both sides have a lot of fight left in them. This is due in part to the fact that losing is not an option for either and both sides are being financed by oil money.

What started as a civil war in 2011 quickly escalated in a sectarian war between Shiites, (Iran, Alawite Syria, and Hizb’allah) and local Sunnis aided and abetted by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and from time to time Turkey. Almost from the start, President Obama backed the ouster of Assad by Turkey and some Gulf states with the intention of installing the Muslim Brotherhood to run it just as he installed the Muslim Brotherhood to run Egypt.

Victory was almost within the Sunni grasp until Russia entered the fray on the side of the Shiites and turned the tables. At some point along the way, Obama, in pursuit of the Iran Deal, backed away from original plans to oust Assad. This deal greatly strengthened Iran by giving it $150 billion and a license for seeking hegemony.

This conflict between Shiites and Sunnis dates back to a dispute over succession to Muhammad as a caliph of the Islamic community upon his death in 632. The dispute intensified greatly after the Battle of Karbala, in which Hussein ibn Ali and his household were killed by the ruling Umayyad caliph Yazid I, and the outcry for revenge divided the early Islamic community.

Today at least 85% of the 1.5 billion Muslims are Sunni, but the Shiites are concentrated in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Bahrain.

The eight-year Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq lasting from 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, to August 1988. The war was motivated by fears that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency among Iraq’s long-suppressed Shi’ite majority, as well as Iraq’s desire to replace Iran as the dominant Gulf state.

In 2003 President Bush removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and attempted to transform Iraq into a democracy. The end result was that the majority Shiites were put in power and Iranian influence in Iraq dramatically escalated. This action, in effect removed the most important bulwark to Iran’s hegemonic ambitions.

In contrast the Syrian War is in its sixth year.

The turmoil in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq can rightly find its roots in the Sykes-Picot agreement which Britain, France, and Russia signed in 1916 believing that they would defeat the Ottoman empire in WW I. Essentially, in it, they divided up the spoils into three spheres of influence, one for each of them. When Russia withdrew from the war, it were no longer part of the agreement.

Due to the hue and cry that followed when this agreement became public, Sykes-Picot morphed into the division of the Ottoman Empire into Mandates, namely the Palestine, Syria, and Iraq mandates, in which the ultimate goal was to usher in independence for the inhabitants of each area. No regard was held for the Shiite/Sunni divide. And thus we have sectarian conflict in Syria and Iraq.  

Although Palestine was originally intended by the mandate to be a Jewish state, Britain thwarted this goal by restricting Jewish immigration and encouraging Muslim immigration. And thus we have sectarian conflict in Israel. This conflict has resulted in many wars and has defied resolution.

For six years now the conflict in Syria and Iraq has defied resolution because there are no good choices.

Frank Gaffney Jr., in a recent interview in which the removal of Assad was the topic, said:

“The choices, unfortunately, seem to be more of the same. At best, it’s an Assad-Lite, supported by the Russians, supported presumably by the Iranians, supported by Hezbollah. Or, alternatively, it’s sharia supremacists of the Sunni stripe supported by the Saudis, supported by the Turks, supported by perhaps al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, or simply the Muslim Brotherhood. All very bad choices, in my judgment.”

He did, however, support the creation of an independent Kurdistan in both Syria and Iraq.

“I personally think the President of the United States ought to be thinking about a Kurdistan in at least the parts of Syria – and maybe even Iraq or Iran for that matter – that are Kurdish, that have the opportunity or the basis for being safe havens for minorities that are currently very much at risk and are being helped by the Kurds.”

But what to do with the Sunni populated territories.

He worried that Trump would abandon his goal of defeating radical Islamic terrorism and its ideology.

“I think the president is now being buffeted by individuals who have come in who apparently do not agree with his priority of defeating radical Islamic terrorism, as he calls it, and who have, instead, have the view that we should align ourselves with people who are the prime movers behind radical Islamic terrorism. That would include, by the way, the Saudis. It would include the Turks. It would include the Qataris and others in the region. I think that’s a grave concern.”

I share his concerns but have some suggestions to make.

At the beginning of the Syrian War, Turkey had visions of taking over Syria and recreating the Ottoman Empire. Why not play into that?

Let’s say, President Trump, the master of the deal, approaches Turkey with the following deal:

  1. Turn from your Islamist drift to a ‘neo-Ottoman jihad state’ and reestablish the modern, secular nation-state of Turkey based on the reforms of Kemal Ataturk instituted in 1923.
  2. Allow the secession of southern Turkey where 10 million Kurds live so they can have their independence and join the New Kurdistan if they so choose.
  3. In return, the U.S. will assist you to take over the Sunni areas of Syria and Iraq and to annex them if you so wish.

In return The U.S. will assist Turkey in taking over the Sunni areas of Syria and Iraq and to annex them if it so wishes.

That would leave Alawite Syria as a state in which Russia could maintain their port and airfield.

What’s not to like? Turkey would get rid of a decades long insurgency and a financial liability and would gain far more territory than it gave up. Russia would keep what matters to them. The Alawites would have their own state and Assad would remain in power there. Israel would share a border with expanded Turkey with whom they have normal diplomatic ties. The Kurds would finally have a state of their own with a population at least double that of Israel. America would have pro-American allies Israel and Kurdistan as bookends to the problematic areas.

And finally, Trump would have brokered the deal of the century.

There is no end in sight for the Syrian War because both sides have a lot of fight left in them. This is due in part to the fact that losing is not an option for either and both sides are being financed by oil money.

What started as a civil war in 2011 quickly escalated in a sectarian war between Shiites, (Iran, Alawite Syria, and Hizb’allah) and local Sunnis aided and abetted by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and from time to time Turkey. Almost from the start, President Obama backed the ouster of Assad by Turkey and some Gulf states with the intention of installing the Muslim Brotherhood to run it just as he installed the Muslim Brotherhood to run Egypt.

Victory was almost within the Sunni grasp until Russia entered the fray on the side of the Shiites and turned the tables. At some point along the way, Obama, in pursuit of the Iran Deal, backed away from original plans to oust Assad. This deal greatly strengthened Iran by giving it $150 billion and a license for seeking hegemony.

This conflict between Shiites and Sunnis dates back to a dispute over succession to Muhammad as a caliph of the Islamic community upon his death in 632. The dispute intensified greatly after the Battle of Karbala, in which Hussein ibn Ali and his household were killed by the ruling Umayyad caliph Yazid I, and the outcry for revenge divided the early Islamic community.

Today at least 85% of the 1.5 billion Muslims are Sunni, but the Shiites are concentrated in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Bahrain.

The eight-year Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq lasting from 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, to August 1988. The war was motivated by fears that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency among Iraq’s long-suppressed Shi’ite majority, as well as Iraq’s desire to replace Iran as the dominant Gulf state.

In 2003 President Bush removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and attempted to transform Iraq into a democracy. The end result was that the majority Shiites were put in power and Iranian influence in Iraq dramatically escalated. This action, in effect removed the most important bulwark to Iran’s hegemonic ambitions.

In contrast the Syrian War is in its sixth year.

The turmoil in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq can rightly find its roots in the Sykes-Picot agreement which Britain, France, and Russia signed in 1916 believing that they would defeat the Ottoman empire in WW I. Essentially, in it, they divided up the spoils into three spheres of influence, one for each of them. When Russia withdrew from the war, it were no longer part of the agreement.

Due to the hue and cry that followed when this agreement became public, Sykes-Picot morphed into the division of the Ottoman Empire into Mandates, namely the Palestine, Syria, and Iraq mandates, in which the ultimate goal was to usher in independence for the inhabitants of each area. No regard was held for the Shiite/Sunni divide. And thus we have sectarian conflict in Syria and Iraq.  

Although Palestine was originally intended by the mandate to be a Jewish state, Britain thwarted this goal by restricting Jewish immigration and encouraging Muslim immigration. And thus we have sectarian conflict in Israel. This conflict has resulted in many wars and has defied resolution.

For six years now the conflict in Syria and Iraq has defied resolution because there are no good choices.

Frank Gaffney Jr., in a recent interview in which the removal of Assad was the topic, said:

“The choices, unfortunately, seem to be more of the same. At best, it’s an Assad-Lite, supported by the Russians, supported presumably by the Iranians, supported by Hezbollah. Or, alternatively, it’s sharia supremacists of the Sunni stripe supported by the Saudis, supported by the Turks, supported by perhaps al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, or simply the Muslim Brotherhood. All very bad choices, in my judgment.”

He did, however, support the creation of an independent Kurdistan in both Syria and Iraq.

“I personally think the President of the United States ought to be thinking about a Kurdistan in at least the parts of Syria – and maybe even Iraq or Iran for that matter – that are Kurdish, that have the opportunity or the basis for being safe havens for minorities that are currently very much at risk and are being helped by the Kurds.”

But what to do with the Sunni populated territories.

He worried that Trump would abandon his goal of defeating radical Islamic terrorism and its ideology.

“I think the president is now being buffeted by individuals who have come in who apparently do not agree with his priority of defeating radical Islamic terrorism, as he calls it, and who have, instead, have the view that we should align ourselves with people who are the prime movers behind radical Islamic terrorism. That would include, by the way, the Saudis. It would include the Turks. It would include the Qataris and others in the region. I think that’s a grave concern.”

I share his concerns but have some suggestions to make.

At the beginning of the Syrian War, Turkey had visions of taking over Syria and recreating the Ottoman Empire. Why not play into that?

Let’s say, President Trump, the master of the deal, approaches Turkey with the following deal:

  1. Turn from your Islamist drift to a ‘neo-Ottoman jihad state’ and reestablish the modern, secular nation-state of Turkey based on the reforms of Kemal Ataturk instituted in 1923.
  2. Allow the secession of southern Turkey where 10 million Kurds live so they can have their independence and join the New Kurdistan if they so choose.
  3. In return, the U.S. will assist you to take over the Sunni areas of Syria and Iraq and to annex them if you so wish.

In return The U.S. will assist Turkey in taking over the Sunni areas of Syria and Iraq and to annex them if it so wishes.

That would leave Alawite Syria as a state in which Russia could maintain their port and airfield.

What’s not to like? Turkey would get rid of a decades long insurgency and a financial liability and would gain far more territory than it gave up. Russia would keep what matters to them. The Alawites would have their own state and Assad would remain in power there. Israel would share a border with expanded Turkey with whom they have normal diplomatic ties. The Kurds would finally have a state of their own with a population at least double that of Israel. America would have pro-American allies Israel and Kurdistan as bookends to the problematic areas.

And finally, Trump would have brokered the deal of the century.



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The 100-year betrayal of Israel by the West


In 1920, the victorious allies of World War I met in San Remo for the purpose of drawing up boundaries for their captured territories. It was decided, among other things, to put Palestine under British Mandatory rule. Thus, the Allies confirmed the pledge contained in the Balfour Declaration concerning the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine and made it a legal obligation on Britain and a legal entitlement for the Jews.

When the Palestine Mandate was drafted by the League of Nations pursuant to the San Remo Resolution, it added this important recital:

“Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

This addition was of great importance as it affirmed the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, which, by the way, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the UN today are doing their best to deny.  In addition, the Jewish right to “reconstitute” their national home was recognized. Thus the Jews were in Palestine as a matter of right and not sufferance.

The Mandate provided,

“The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co¬operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.“

The first betrayal of that promise and right came in 1921 before the Mandate was signed.  The Arabs had rioted and Britain decided to reduce Jewish immigration to “absorptive capacity.” They told Chaim Weizmann that the mandate wouldn’t be signed if the Jews didn’t agree to delete, temporarily, the east bank of the Jordan. The Jews had no choice but to agree and the Palestine Mandate was signed in 1922.  This territory amounted to 78% of what was promised to the Jews and it ultimately became Jordan. The deletion of the east bank became permanent, contrary to Article 5 which prohibited any removal of land from the Mandate.

While the British Cabinet was generally sympathetic to the Zionist project, the Civil Administration appointed by it to manage the mandatory was anti-Semitic. It restrained the Jews and emboldened the Arabs thereby violating its pledge to use its best efforts to facilitate the creation of a homeland.  Whenever the Arabs rioted, the Jews were made to pay the price. Sound familiar?

After the Arab riots of 1929, a White Paper was issued by Britain stating that because of the shortage of arable land, Jewish settlement would be permitted only under stringent government supervision. Thus, another betrayal.

From 1936 to 1939, the Arab Revolt against the British took place, which led to the Peel Commission being appointed to study the matter and make recommendations. The Commission recommended that the Mandate be partitioned between Arabs and Jews thereby further diminishing what was promised to the Jews and what they had the legal right to.  This recommendation was passed by the British Parliament but ultimately abandoned.

In and by virtue of the 1939 White Paper, Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 for the first five years, subject to the country’s “economic absorptive capacity,” and would later be contingent on Arab consent. Stringent restrictions were imposed on land acquisition by Jews.

This betrayal was all the more egregious as Hitler, who had been in power for six years had systematically denied Jews their rights and their property and removed them from their jobs and their professions. The Jews were is dire straits and needed to emigrate.

The Jewish Agency for Palestine issued a scathing response to the White Paper, saying the British were denying the Jewish people their rights  in “darkest hour of Jewish history. It was to no avail.

During WWII, Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jews, by first transporting them to extermination camps, like Auschwitz, and then killing them with the use of poison gas. Britain still refused to allow more Jews into Palestine.

In effect, Germany was herding the Jews into barns before setting fire to them and Britain was guarding the burning barns to make sure no Jews escaped, metaphorically speaking.

After the war, Britain still wouldn’t let the survivors in. Instead they were housed in “displaced persons” camps in Europe until Israel’s declaration of independence on May 19, 1948.

Just imagine the millions of Jews who would have emigrated to Israel during the Holocaust had Britain adhered to her obligation in the Mandate.

But before leaving Palestine, Britain once more betrayed the Jews by turning over all their military equipment and police stations to the Arabs. This was after they had confiscated all weapons they could find in the hands of the Jews.

To make matters worse, the U.S. imposed an embargo on all U.S. weapons to either the Arabs or the Jews, making it very difficult for the Jews to get the arms needed to defend themselves.

Upon Israel declaring independence, six Arab countries invaded Israel intent on destroying the state and killing the Jews. President Truman believed that the Jews would be defeated within four months but still maintained the arms embargo.  The Jews succeeded in turning the war around and began conquering additional territory.  Only then was it possible to arrange a permanent ceasefire.  In the Ceasefire Agreement with Jordan, Jordan insisted that the ceasefire lines were never to be construed as a border between Jordan and Israel. Israel agreed. This didn’t stop President Obama from demanding that the border between Israel and Palestine be the said ceasefire lines.

In 1956, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, an international waterway, and Israel, in response to this casus belli, conquered the Sinai in concert with Britain and France who were interested in reclaiming the Suez Canal.  President Eisenhower forced them all to retreat. Part of the deal was that the U.S., Britain, France and Russia would guarantee that the Straits would remain open to Israel.

In 1967, Nasser again closed the Straits of Tiran and the Guarantors were nowhere to be found.  Another betrayal.

In response to this new casus belli and the massing of Arab armies on all Israel’s borders, Israel preemptively attacked and defeated Egypt, Syria and Jordan in six days. 

Considering that this was the third time in 20 years that Israel was forced to defend itself, you would think that Israel would be entitled to keep all land conquered in such a defensive war pursuant to international law. But no, the best it could get from United Nations Security Council  was Resolution 242 which began by “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” in total disregard to this war being a defensive war which permits it.  It required Israel to withdraw from territories acquired (but not all territories) in exchange for recognized and secure borders. Thus it was recognized that secure borders would necessitate Israel retaining some of the territories.

Subsequently, the international community has embraced the Arab Peace Initiative, which has no legal standing whatsoever, and which requires 100% withdrawal. Another betrayal.

In addition, the international community interpreted this, ex post facto, to include unsecured borders which can be made secure by arrangements rather than borders which are inherently secure as was originally intended. Again, a betrayal.

In 1973, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel and in the first 2 or 3 days came close to destroying Israel. It took Israel this long to fully mobilize.  It quickly ran low on ammunition and parts, and then appealed to the U.S. for resupply. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s Secretary of State, refused immediate delivery as he wanted Israel to suffer a bloody nose so that she would be more pliable in future negotiations. Fortunately, without this much-needed resupply, General Ariel Sharon managed to create a beachead on the west side of the Suez Canal from which he started for Cairo, which was undefended.  Most of the Egyptian Army had gone to the east side to fight Israel.  Russia threatened to intervene, and Nixon stood up to them and ordered Kissinger to effect the resupply immediately and to arrange a ceasefire. The resupply was made more difficult as the various European countries denied the resupply planes with landing rights. I would say that Kissinger’s delay of resupply and Europe’s withholding landing rights were two more grave betrayals.

President George H.W. Bush put a lot of energy into convening the Madrid Conference in 1991 in which peace negotiations could start.  He tried to have the PLO included in the talks but Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir insisted that only Palestinians from the West Bank could participate as part of the Jordanian delegation. Bush also insisted that Jerusalem be put on the table for final status negotiations. Shamir resisted this as well but in the end agreed. He needed a U.S. guarantee for $10 billion in order for Israel to be able to finance the massive aliyah from Russia.

After this, Shimon Peres had an opportunity to negotiate with the PLO in secrecy to see what could be negotiated and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave his approval. This resulted in the Oslo Declaration of Principles for Interim Self Government being signed in 1993. It awkwardly described the Palestinian party to the agreement as “the PLO team (in the Jordanian Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference) (the “Palestinian Delegation”), representing the Palestinian people.” Quite a mouthful.

“The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian interim self-government authority, the elected Council (the “Council”), for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)”

What is important to note is that the Council was for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza, thereby excluding the refugees outside of the West Bank. Furthermore,  it was intended to lead to “a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)”. Nevertheless, the entire world takes the position that the goal of the Oslo Accords is the creation of a Palestinian state. This is a lie and a betrayal.

Of further note, the Accords in no way limited settlement construction, though they did define the settlements as a “final status issue”. Nevertheless, the world demands a freeze on settlement construction because they imperil a two-state solution. But the accords made no mention of a two-state solution. PM Netanyahu has always said that they are not an impediment because they can always be removed. Besides, the Palestinians have no right to a state.

From day one, the Palestinians have been in default of the Accords because they engage in incitement and violence which they are committed not to do.

In September 2000, they started the Second Intifada in which they murdered well over 1000 Israelis. President George Bush sent Sen. George Mitchell to the territories on a fact-finding mission and Mitchell, in his report, you guessed it, recommended that Israel stop settlement construction. Once again, the West made the Jews pay the price for Arab violence.

Though Saudi Arabia played a major role in the perpetration of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, President Bush felt he had to appease them by calling for a Palestinian state in his vision speech in 2002.  This was a betrayal of Israel which had always rejected the creation of such a state. 

He also introduced the Roadmap for Peace which was a further betrayal of Israel for a number of reasons: 1) It began by reciting the Arab Peace Initiative which called for 100% withdrawal by Israel contrary to Resolution 242 and 2) It called for Israel to freeze all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements) and 3) It called for the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state, none of which had Israel agreed to. These were included in the 14 reservations raised by Israel to the Plan and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted that the Plan be accepted. After all, it was only a process, he said, and he promised that the State Department would give serious consideration to them, which it never did.

Because of the pressure put on Israel by the U.S. to create a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon thought he had to initiate solutions before he was forced to do what the West wanted. Thus, he proposed the Disengagement Plan. Bush gave him a letter in 2004 in support, which committed the U.S. to certain things, including U.S. support for the retention of the settlement blocs, and a solution based on Resolution 242 rather than the API. It also committed the U.S. to not allow any other Plan to be imposed. This letter was carefully drafted as it was considered to be binding on the U.S. One of the first things President Obama did after his inauguration was to disavow this letter so he would be free to impose terms on Israel if not a full plan. I would say that was a major betrayal.

President Obama betrayed Israel in many ways during his presidency, including forcing Israel to institute a settlement freeze, and to support a two-state solution which the Jewish state wasn’t legally obligated to do. Rather than leave all final status issues to be negotiated directly as had been agreed upon, he attempted to influence the parameters of an agreement by insisting on a division of Jerusalem and the 1967 lines as the borders. His parting shot was to refrain from casting his veto to UN Resolution 2334 which thoroughly attacked the settlements and demanded a permanent freeze. If that weren’t bad enough, it went on to apply these demands to communities in Jerusalem east of the ceasefire lines.

The Iran Deal requires special mention as a betrayal of major proportions.

The driving force behind all these betrayals is the desire on the part of the West to appease the Arabs due to their 300 million population, their oil and gas exports, and to their one billion co-religionists. It matters not, what the facts, history, agreements, values, guarantees are.

It remains to be seen whether President Trump will put an end to this 100-year betrayal.

One hundred years ago the British government published the Balfour Declaration which stipulated:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

In 1920, the victorious allies of World War I met in San Remo for the purpose of drawing up boundaries for their captured territories. It was decided, among other things, to put Palestine under British Mandatory rule. Thus, the Allies confirmed the pledge contained in the Balfour Declaration concerning the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine and made it a legal obligation on Britain and a legal entitlement for the Jews.

When the Palestine Mandate was drafted by the League of Nations pursuant to the San Remo Resolution, it added this important recital:

“Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

This addition was of great importance as it affirmed the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, which, by the way, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the UN today are doing their best to deny.  In addition, the Jewish right to “reconstitute” their national home was recognized. Thus the Jews were in Palestine as a matter of right and not sufferance.

The Mandate provided,

“The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co¬operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.“

The first betrayal of that promise and right came in 1921 before the Mandate was signed.  The Arabs had rioted and Britain decided to reduce Jewish immigration to “absorptive capacity.” They told Chaim Weizmann that the mandate wouldn’t be signed if the Jews didn’t agree to delete, temporarily, the east bank of the Jordan. The Jews had no choice but to agree and the Palestine Mandate was signed in 1922.  This territory amounted to 78% of what was promised to the Jews and it ultimately became Jordan. The deletion of the east bank became permanent, contrary to Article 5 which prohibited any removal of land from the Mandate.

While the British Cabinet was generally sympathetic to the Zionist project, the Civil Administration appointed by it to manage the mandatory was anti-Semitic. It restrained the Jews and emboldened the Arabs thereby violating its pledge to use its best efforts to facilitate the creation of a homeland.  Whenever the Arabs rioted, the Jews were made to pay the price. Sound familiar?

After the Arab riots of 1929, a White Paper was issued by Britain stating that because of the shortage of arable land, Jewish settlement would be permitted only under stringent government supervision. Thus, another betrayal.

From 1936 to 1939, the Arab Revolt against the British took place, which led to the Peel Commission being appointed to study the matter and make recommendations. The Commission recommended that the Mandate be partitioned between Arabs and Jews thereby further diminishing what was promised to the Jews and what they had the legal right to.  This recommendation was passed by the British Parliament but ultimately abandoned.

In and by virtue of the 1939 White Paper, Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 for the first five years, subject to the country’s “economic absorptive capacity,” and would later be contingent on Arab consent. Stringent restrictions were imposed on land acquisition by Jews.

This betrayal was all the more egregious as Hitler, who had been in power for six years had systematically denied Jews their rights and their property and removed them from their jobs and their professions. The Jews were is dire straits and needed to emigrate.

The Jewish Agency for Palestine issued a scathing response to the White Paper, saying the British were denying the Jewish people their rights  in “darkest hour of Jewish history. It was to no avail.

During WWII, Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jews, by first transporting them to extermination camps, like Auschwitz, and then killing them with the use of poison gas. Britain still refused to allow more Jews into Palestine.

In effect, Germany was herding the Jews into barns before setting fire to them and Britain was guarding the burning barns to make sure no Jews escaped, metaphorically speaking.

After the war, Britain still wouldn’t let the survivors in. Instead they were housed in “displaced persons” camps in Europe until Israel’s declaration of independence on May 19, 1948.

Just imagine the millions of Jews who would have emigrated to Israel during the Holocaust had Britain adhered to her obligation in the Mandate.

But before leaving Palestine, Britain once more betrayed the Jews by turning over all their military equipment and police stations to the Arabs. This was after they had confiscated all weapons they could find in the hands of the Jews.

To make matters worse, the U.S. imposed an embargo on all U.S. weapons to either the Arabs or the Jews, making it very difficult for the Jews to get the arms needed to defend themselves.

Upon Israel declaring independence, six Arab countries invaded Israel intent on destroying the state and killing the Jews. President Truman believed that the Jews would be defeated within four months but still maintained the arms embargo.  The Jews succeeded in turning the war around and began conquering additional territory.  Only then was it possible to arrange a permanent ceasefire.  In the Ceasefire Agreement with Jordan, Jordan insisted that the ceasefire lines were never to be construed as a border between Jordan and Israel. Israel agreed. This didn’t stop President Obama from demanding that the border between Israel and Palestine be the said ceasefire lines.

In 1956, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, an international waterway, and Israel, in response to this casus belli, conquered the Sinai in concert with Britain and France who were interested in reclaiming the Suez Canal.  President Eisenhower forced them all to retreat. Part of the deal was that the U.S., Britain, France and Russia would guarantee that the Straits would remain open to Israel.

In 1967, Nasser again closed the Straits of Tiran and the Guarantors were nowhere to be found.  Another betrayal.

In response to this new casus belli and the massing of Arab armies on all Israel’s borders, Israel preemptively attacked and defeated Egypt, Syria and Jordan in six days. 

Considering that this was the third time in 20 years that Israel was forced to defend itself, you would think that Israel would be entitled to keep all land conquered in such a defensive war pursuant to international law. But no, the best it could get from United Nations Security Council  was Resolution 242 which began by “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” in total disregard to this war being a defensive war which permits it.  It required Israel to withdraw from territories acquired (but not all territories) in exchange for recognized and secure borders. Thus it was recognized that secure borders would necessitate Israel retaining some of the territories.

Subsequently, the international community has embraced the Arab Peace Initiative, which has no legal standing whatsoever, and which requires 100% withdrawal. Another betrayal.

In addition, the international community interpreted this, ex post facto, to include unsecured borders which can be made secure by arrangements rather than borders which are inherently secure as was originally intended. Again, a betrayal.

In 1973, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel and in the first 2 or 3 days came close to destroying Israel. It took Israel this long to fully mobilize.  It quickly ran low on ammunition and parts, and then appealed to the U.S. for resupply. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s Secretary of State, refused immediate delivery as he wanted Israel to suffer a bloody nose so that she would be more pliable in future negotiations. Fortunately, without this much-needed resupply, General Ariel Sharon managed to create a beachead on the west side of the Suez Canal from which he started for Cairo, which was undefended.  Most of the Egyptian Army had gone to the east side to fight Israel.  Russia threatened to intervene, and Nixon stood up to them and ordered Kissinger to effect the resupply immediately and to arrange a ceasefire. The resupply was made more difficult as the various European countries denied the resupply planes with landing rights. I would say that Kissinger’s delay of resupply and Europe’s withholding landing rights were two more grave betrayals.

President George H.W. Bush put a lot of energy into convening the Madrid Conference in 1991 in which peace negotiations could start.  He tried to have the PLO included in the talks but Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir insisted that only Palestinians from the West Bank could participate as part of the Jordanian delegation. Bush also insisted that Jerusalem be put on the table for final status negotiations. Shamir resisted this as well but in the end agreed. He needed a U.S. guarantee for $10 billion in order for Israel to be able to finance the massive aliyah from Russia.

After this, Shimon Peres had an opportunity to negotiate with the PLO in secrecy to see what could be negotiated and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave his approval. This resulted in the Oslo Declaration of Principles for Interim Self Government being signed in 1993. It awkwardly described the Palestinian party to the agreement as “the PLO team (in the Jordanian Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference) (the “Palestinian Delegation”), representing the Palestinian people.” Quite a mouthful.

“The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian interim self-government authority, the elected Council (the “Council”), for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)”

What is important to note is that the Council was for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza, thereby excluding the refugees outside of the West Bank. Furthermore,  it was intended to lead to “a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)”. Nevertheless, the entire world takes the position that the goal of the Oslo Accords is the creation of a Palestinian state. This is a lie and a betrayal.

Of further note, the Accords in no way limited settlement construction, though they did define the settlements as a “final status issue”. Nevertheless, the world demands a freeze on settlement construction because they imperil a two-state solution. But the accords made no mention of a two-state solution. PM Netanyahu has always said that they are not an impediment because they can always be removed. Besides, the Palestinians have no right to a state.

From day one, the Palestinians have been in default of the Accords because they engage in incitement and violence which they are committed not to do.

In September 2000, they started the Second Intifada in which they murdered well over 1000 Israelis. President George Bush sent Sen. George Mitchell to the territories on a fact-finding mission and Mitchell, in his report, you guessed it, recommended that Israel stop settlement construction. Once again, the West made the Jews pay the price for Arab violence.

Though Saudi Arabia played a major role in the perpetration of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, President Bush felt he had to appease them by calling for a Palestinian state in his vision speech in 2002.  This was a betrayal of Israel which had always rejected the creation of such a state. 

He also introduced the Roadmap for Peace which was a further betrayal of Israel for a number of reasons: 1) It began by reciting the Arab Peace Initiative which called for 100% withdrawal by Israel contrary to Resolution 242 and 2) It called for Israel to freeze all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements) and 3) It called for the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state, none of which had Israel agreed to. These were included in the 14 reservations raised by Israel to the Plan and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted that the Plan be accepted. After all, it was only a process, he said, and he promised that the State Department would give serious consideration to them, which it never did.

Because of the pressure put on Israel by the U.S. to create a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon thought he had to initiate solutions before he was forced to do what the West wanted. Thus, he proposed the Disengagement Plan. Bush gave him a letter in 2004 in support, which committed the U.S. to certain things, including U.S. support for the retention of the settlement blocs, and a solution based on Resolution 242 rather than the API. It also committed the U.S. to not allow any other Plan to be imposed. This letter was carefully drafted as it was considered to be binding on the U.S. One of the first things President Obama did after his inauguration was to disavow this letter so he would be free to impose terms on Israel if not a full plan. I would say that was a major betrayal.

President Obama betrayed Israel in many ways during his presidency, including forcing Israel to institute a settlement freeze, and to support a two-state solution which the Jewish state wasn’t legally obligated to do. Rather than leave all final status issues to be negotiated directly as had been agreed upon, he attempted to influence the parameters of an agreement by insisting on a division of Jerusalem and the 1967 lines as the borders. His parting shot was to refrain from casting his veto to UN Resolution 2334 which thoroughly attacked the settlements and demanded a permanent freeze. If that weren’t bad enough, it went on to apply these demands to communities in Jerusalem east of the ceasefire lines.

The Iran Deal requires special mention as a betrayal of major proportions.

The driving force behind all these betrayals is the desire on the part of the West to appease the Arabs due to their 300 million population, their oil and gas exports, and to their one billion co-religionists. It matters not, what the facts, history, agreements, values, guarantees are.

It remains to be seen whether President Trump will put an end to this 100-year betrayal.



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