Why Trump’s peace deal is B-I-G

Score one for President Donald J. Trump.

The historic agreement by the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations with Israel is, as Joe Biden said in a different context, a Big f’n deal. It is the first Israeli/Arab diplomatic handshake since Jordan recognized Israel in 1994, following Egypt in 1979, which was the first breakthrough, and that one was massive. (I covered Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s peace mission to Israel, but that’s another story.)

President Trump and his friend Netanyahu (Photo: L.A. Times)

“It could reorder the long stalemate in the region, potentially leading other Arab nations to follow suit in forging an increasingly explicit alliance with Israel against their mutual enemy in Iran while taking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s explosive annexation plan off the table, at least for now,” reported The New York Times. 

Speaking of the Times, columnist Thomas Friedman, a reliable Trump and Bibi basher, called the deal “huge.”

His praise is almost unprecedented.

Like Israel, the UAE is advanced, pro-West and anti-Iran, and is acting like a mature adult. Its motive was to cease Israel’s suicidal plan to annex part of what is considered to be “Palestinian land.” 

In announcing the new relationship, Netanyahu said he was “suspending” annexation plans, but he was not cancelling them.

The Palestinians immediately cried foul, saying no one has the right to negotiate for them. The UAE wasn’t, but the deal does help the Palestinians, by suspending annexation. The Palestinians have a decades-long history of saying no, no, no, to peace offers. They have no’d themselves into irrelevance.

As recently as January, the Palestinians rejected a peace proposal from Trump. Unlike previous administrations, Trump just ignores Palestinian protestations, and the UAE move is further evidence that Arabs are tired of the Palestinian millstone around their neck. 

Over the years, the Palestinians have rejected numerous peace offers. Their techinque is to examine the offer, reject it, and wait for the other side to come back with a sweeter one. That’s what has happened until Trump. His January offer was less than previous plans and the implication to the Palestinians is that the next one will be even worse. As when he moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, Bibi’s friend Trump told the Palestinians and the larger Arab world, he will act in what he perceives to be the best interests of U.S. and Israel. He might be wrong, but he checked off another campaign promise. 

Here’s why what just happened is important.

The current stuck-in-the-mud peace plan calls for two states — one Israeli and one Arab — living peacefully side by side. That is called the Two State Solution. There are at least two problems. 1- Neither side trusts the other. 2- The Palestinians have a leadership divided by the Palestinian Authority, which controls most of the land and Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, and controls the small Gaza Strip which fires rockets into Israel. Palestinians do not have one voice.

Israel has long built towns, called settlements, on the land that someday will be in a Palestinian state. That is trouble enough, but Netanyahu then began talking about annexation.

That would mean that what is now called the West Bank (actually Judea and Samaria) would be absorbed into Israel.

Inside Israel today, all citizens can vote — Jews, Christian, Moslems, Druze, etc. 

Palestinians are outside of Israel. They can’t vote, or hold office, because they are not citizens of Israel. That is why the “apartheid” charge against Israel is a lie. Palestinians have no right to vote not because they are Arabs, but because they do not live within Israel.

Annexation would change that equation.

If the West Bank were to be annexed, Israel would face a Hobson’s choice: Deny Palestinians who live in Israel the right to vote and actually become an apartheid state, or allow them to vote. If allowed to vote, the Arabs’ much higher birth rate would soon make them a majority which would allow them to vote to abolish the Jewish state.

The UAE seems to recognize that insanity and made their gesture — written in Hebrew, as a courtesy — to stop the annexation.

This diplomacy opens the door, and provides cover for other Arab regimes to follow the UAE’s lead, which could lead to a major realignment in the Middle East. (It’s an open secret that some Mideast states, like Saudi Arabia, swap military information and intelligence with Israel.) 

So the UAE agreement is a win for the UAE, and Israel, and Trump, and could lead to a more stable Mideast.

That is why it is so important even journalist Friedman had to praiseTrump. 

8 thoughts on “Why Trump’s peace deal is B-I-G”

  1. Stu is so correct. This is a huge, historic event. Even to me, and I’m raised Irish-Catholic, or Pape. Yet I don’t believe those hardworking professional “journalists” down at the once great Philadelphia Inquirer have heard the news. Maybe I’m wrong, but I ain’t seen a peep of it mentioned. They should be forced to remove the name of our city from the pages of their vile product, for they are the shame of the city.

  2. HAPPY SUNDAY !!!
    Stu,
    Good job, pallie . As most intelligent people realize, we, the world, can not continue in the old ways. There is no room for strict following of jihadists, Palestinian Hamas or any other zealot. Same holds true right here. Our fanatics are hell bent on destruction.
    WAKE UP WORLD !
    Tony

  3. Alas, a cautionary note. Indeed, the UAE (in its own interests, which do not include Zionism) dealing with Israel is a Big Deal not just between the two but as a potential precedent in Arab states’ normalization with Israel, but, “annexation,” as eg Jonathan Tobin again just pointed out, is an inaccurate anti-Jewish homeland slur.

    Annexation is “to take over territory and incorporate it into another political entity, e.g., a country or state” (Encarta Dictionary, included in ‘Word’). Netanyahu isn’t “talking about annexation,” but applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, the Hebrew-origin historical names used even by the UN itself (not “West Bank”) in its 1947 Palestine resolution.

    Israelis, supported by many grassroots American Jews like me, cannot accept a nine-miles-wide in the lowland middle, historic Jerusalem-less Jewish homeland state, which would be militarily indefensible and Jewishly meaningless. The 1949 ceasefire line (the “green line,” gleefully miscalled “Israel’s 1967 border,” was expressly declared in its very defining document to be a military ceasefire line exclusively, not a political border, was vitiated by renewed 1967 fighting (again started by Jordan – which was 78% of the Palestine Mandate and has a Palestinian Arab majority population) and is not among the Holy Land’s holy places.

    The new actual statement just signed by the US, Israel and UAE says “suspend declaring sovereignty,” and both of those terms – “suspend,” not stop,. and “declaring sovereignty,” not “annexation” – matter.

      1. Yes, giving back Sinai for peace with Egypt worked, but Gaza, part of western Palestine itself, didn’t, ask the folks in Sderot and right now balloon-fire-bombed farmers all over the south. Giving up the Judea-Samaria hill country and natural Jordan Valley border would indeed be suicidal. There isn’t room west of the Jordan for viable Jewish and Arab states. Palestinian Arabs have (Jew-free) the 78% of the Palestine Mandate east of the River. It could be a constitutional monarchy.

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