(Pictured: On the left, David Friedman, the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel who is an Orthodox Jew and strongly pro-Israel. On the right, American president-elect Donald Trump.)


In case you haven’t noticed, right-wing populism and nationalism are gaining tremendous momentum all over the globe.  The trend came into the limelight via Britian’s “Brexit” from the European Union and was further confirmed by New York real estate magnate Donald Trump’s unlikely victory in the United States presidential election.  Italy’s Prime Minster Matteo Remzi was voted out of office in a referendum and the right-wing Five Star Movement is beginning to gain momentum, as are Marine Le Pen in France, Nigel Farage in the U.K., and  Geert Wilders in the Netherlands to name a few. 

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Israel is obviously not immune from this drift as many are optimistic about what a Trump presidency could mean for the Jewish state, hoping the president-elect will move the American embassy to Israel, increase defiance to their regional enemies and further enforce Netanyahu's occupation strategy.  Although this may be tempting to the new Republican leadership, Donald Trump should do what’s best for all parties involved and recognize Israel in the Golan and acknowledge the formation of an independent Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as it’s capital.  



David Wainer of Bloomberg spoke with Michael Oren, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about what a Trump presidency will mean for Israeli diplomacy: “It’s very important for the U.S. to back a formal recognition of Israel’s control of the Golan. If it weren’t for Israel’s presence, the Syria war would be spilling over to Jordan. So Israel’s presence in the Golan is indispensable for Mideast stability.”  Oren said.  He is urging Netanyahu to recognize Israel’s control of the Golan in an upcoming meeting with president-elect Trump.  


        


We must remember that around 65% of the Golan is occupied by the Israelis and the rest by Syrians.  The border is enforced by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).


 

It appears that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and his allies in Russia and Hezbollah are going to quell the U.S. backed rebels and make the U.S.-backed coalition look languorous and indecisive.  In addition, the Islamic State has notoriously infiltrated the Syrian controlled Golan and caused unrest. In what would be an incandescent diplomatic move, Donald Trump should recognize Israel’s control of the Golan.


This is a potential win-win for Mr. Trump, as it would show strong solidarity with Israel and Jordan as well as discontent with Assad and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.


Yesterday the United Nations Security Council was supposed to vote on a resolution to "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem."  Surely this resolution should have passed, as Israel's encroachment on the already ripped-off Palestinian's land will only escalate tensions.  Egypt withdrew the resolution before it was voted on.  


 

Saddam Husayn infamously drew a parallel between Iraq's annexation of Kuwait with America and Israel's actions toward Palestine.  Surely this was a bit of a stretch, however one cannot help but recognize the similarities: In 1923, Britain drew Iraq and Kuwait’s borders in favor of Kuwait, giving them access to land that was not previously theirs.  This gave Kuwait increased access to the future remunerative Rumeila oil fields and diminished Iraq’s already paltry access to the Gulf.  

Husayn saw his actions in the Second Gulf War as being equally principled to Israel's actions in the Levant and accused the the West of holding a double standard.  The logic behind the ensuing American-led liberation of the Kuwaiti's showed that all people should be freed from occupation, and the Palestinians most certainly fall under that umbrella.  

Palestinians deserve more than the half-baked reforms laid out in Oslo II; They deserve an internationally recognized state free from foreign interference.


 

 In an interview on Charlie Rose, the late contrarian Christopher Hitchens told us how he really felt: "I'd better give you the straight answer, I think that Zionism, the idea of building a state of Jewish farmers on Arab land in the Middle East, is a stupid idea to begin with."  Rose then assumed that Hitchens was against Israel's right to exist, to which the Vanity Fair columnist strongly objected "Many states are found on injustices or foolishness or bad ideas, but that does't mean that anyone can just come and evict or destroy them."  


The avant-garde Hitchens
 conceded Israel is here and should never cease to exist, but he also strongly advocated for the two-state solution.  In his view, recognizing Palestine's sovereignty in Gaza and the West Bank was the least Israel could do to make up for it's nefariousness towards the indigenous Arabs.  


You could be forgiven for thinking that the Palestinians who were forcibly removed from their homes in 1948 shouldn’t have the right to an internationally recognized state. Regardless of the history behind the region, there are a substantial amount of Arab Palestinian’s who by no fault of their own were born in the Levant.  They are just as, if not more, righteous in their entreaty for a sovereign territory in the Levant as the Jewish people.

Donald Trump should urge the Palestinian’s to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and vice-versa.  He should push for the two-state solution laid out by the Clinton Parameters and the Geneva Accords.  Doing so would make West Jerusalem the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.  A safe passage would bridge Gaza and the West Bank. The Western Wall would serve it’s intended purpose and Yasir Arafat’s descendants would finally be able to set down their guns and hold their olive branches high in the air.  


 

 


I understand that the latter of these proposals happening under a Trump presidency is about as likely as the sun not rising tomorrow, but the reality TV star will not be sworn into office until January 20th and has yet to fully formulate his foreign policy objectives.  It’s past time we got over our tribal, ethnic and religious differences and worked out a solution that both sides can stomach.  Donald Trump could do what Clinton, Bush and Obama could not and be the American president that successfully resolves the Arab-Israeli conflict and the feud over the Golan.  History books would look back on him as a hero for doing so.  




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