Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is trying to do the impossible. He hopes to achieve too many others before him have failed to achieve. That is, to turn a dysfunctional, corrupt, rejectionist, ideological, violent Palestinian political divide into a peace-loving nation.
Here are just a few of the obstacles that stand in his way.
1) You cannot bring peace if you are delusional about the nature of the beast you are trying to tame.
Kushner, like others before him, goes to Ramallah to talk to the head of the Palestinian Authority, whether it be Yasser Arafat or PA President Mahmoud Abbas, as though they truly represent the best interests of the majority of Arabs in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. If they did, there would have been peace a long time ago, without Kushner.
2) Kushner is conditioning a regional Israel-Arab peace with the creation of a Palestinian state.
The establishment of a dysfunctional Palestinian state likely to be headed, sooner or later, by Hamas is not a panacea for regional peace.
The notion that solving the Palestinian problem will bring stability to a turbulent Middle East is nonsense. The sectarian and religious violence in the Arab and Islamic world will continue even if a fractious Palestinian political divide can be cajoled into submitting to Kushner’s will and dropping their differences long enough to establish Palestine on land vacated by Israel.
3) The false notion that the PA is a partner for peace.
The PA totally rejects the idea of the Jewish State of Israel. It has done so since prior to the awful Arafat days. Abbas, falsely seen by many as a pragmatist and moderate, frequently has outbursts of vehement anti-Jewish rhetoric. His presidency is soaked in the blood-stained money which he pumps in ever greater volume to imprisoned murderous terrorists or their next of kin, as he incites and educates his people for a world in which Israel does not exist and in which there never was any Jewish heritage.
4) The assumption that the creation of a Palestinian state is in America’s interest is wrong.
Either by the ballot or by the bullet, Hamas will usurp power in any Palestinian state. Hamas has a greater kinship to Iran than to either America or Israel. In order to entrench its power base, Hamas will recruit Iran and Russia to help it maintain control in an Islamic-type democracy. This is not in either America’s or Israel’s interest.
Jared Kushner, a religious Jew, should keep the new Hamas Charter next to his bedside and read it before he goes to sleep. Although he negotiates with Abbas, it is Hamas that is calling the shots, literally, from the Gaza Strip and increasingly in Judea and Samaria.
Their new charter converts Jews into Zionists and calls Jerusalem, all of Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.
It reads, “Its religious, historic, and civilizational status is fundamental to the Arabs, Muslims, and the world at large. Its Islamic and Christian holy places belong exclusively to the Palestinian people and to the Arab and Islamic umma. Not one stone of Jerusalem can be surrendered or relinquished.”
This language is the result of Western appeasement to an intolerant and antisemitic Palestinian ideology. It has emboldened the rejectionist Palestinian leadership to raise the stakes in their favor as they make inroads into United Nations forums such as UNESCO and UNWRA whose different functions pump out the same anti-Israel rhetoric and resolutions.
The United States must make a physical as well as verbal statement by stating the simple truth that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
It doesn’t have to move its embassy from Tel Aviv. It simply has to change the shingle outside the US Consulate in Jerusalem to a sign which reads The Embassy of the United States of America. It can do this while retaining its other embassy building in Tel Aviv.
It should also persuade or pressure other governments to verbalize the patent truth that Jerusalem has been, and always will be, the capital of Israel, and it has never has been, nor will it ever be, the capital of any other nation.
Palestine, according to the new Hamas Charter, stretches from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. This is confirmed on official and school maps produced by the PA. Israel simply does not exist.
Kushner is trying to make peace between Israel and the PA. Kushner is a smart guy. He knows that Hamas looms over everything. He is on a fool’s mission, and I think he knows it.
He should listen to his partner, Jason Greenblatt, who has said that Jewish settlements are not an obstacle to peace. He also knows that when Israel dismantled 21 settlements in Gaza it did not bring peace but instead converted Gaza into an Islamic terrorist base from which ever more lethal attacks are repeatedly launched against Israeli population centers.
Kushner knows this is the real danger of a Palestine state based on a slim 1967 border along Israel’s vulnerable coastal strip, and not the idea of his liberal friends that an Israeli withdrawal will be a harbinger of regional peace.
Kushner should invite Israeli experts to come and sit with him on his next visit to Israel and listen to viable alternatives to a failed two-state solution.
It may take 50 years to establish one of these alternatives, but let’s face it, the international diplomatic community has wasted 50 years trying to drag the camel of two states across the burning sand of the Middle East toward the distant mirage of peace without realizing in their fevered delusion that the camel is dead.
Kushner is a hard-nosed and successful real estate entrepreneur. He did not run his business on fantasies, but reality. It’s time for him to get real and look for an alternative solution to the Palestinian problem, of which there are several.The author is the senior associate for public diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of
Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism and this year’s best-seller,
1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.